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1 November 2019

We didn’t have this green thing back then…

Tag(s): Sustainability
Checking out at the supermarket, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment. The woman apologised to the young girl and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my younger days.” The young cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

The older lady said that she was right that our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day. She went on to explain: “Back then we returned empty milk bottles to the milkman who took them in his electrically-powered float back to the dairy where they were washed and sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over, so they really were recycled. It was the same with lemonade and beer bottles. Every school holiday I used to gather up my father’s empty beer bottles in a rucksack and cycle with them to the off license where I would collect a few bob on the returnable deposits which my father let me keep as extra pocket money. So those bottles were really recycled too.

“But we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back in our day. My mother did have her own shopping bags which she used every day walking a mile to the shops and walking back with the groceries. She washed my younger brother’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away-in-the-landfill kind. She hung them out on the line to dry, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in those days.

“But too bad we didn’t do the ‘green thing back then. We walked up stairs because we didn’t have a lift in every store and office building. We walked or cycled to school and didn’t expect our mums to drive us in a Chelsea tractor just to go a few hundred yards. But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back in our day.

“Children got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers and sisters, not always brand-new clothing. In fact, my sister made some of her own dresses. My mother would darn our socks rather than buying new ones the minute a hole appeared in the toe. But we didn’t have the ‘green thing back then.

“Back then we had one TV, a black and white one, with one channel, not a TV in every room in the house. And the TV had a screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?) not a screen the size of Wales.

“In the kitchen we blended and stirred and ground by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. We washed and dried the dishes by hand.  We only heated the rooms we were using at one time. We didn’t have central heating keeping the whole house warm all day and all night.

“Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to mow the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. And that was good exercise. We had one electrical socket in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. But no, we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then.

“We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a gym to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right; we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then. We drank from a fountain when thirsty instead of using a laminated cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled fountain pens with ink instead of buying a new pen every time the ink ran out. It was the same with razors. My father just replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

“Back then we had just one fixed wire telephone in the house. We didn’t each have a pocket computer that we constantly checked to see if anyone wanted to send us some inane message, burning vast quantities of electricity on remote, but powerful servers. We didn’t need to receive a signal beamed from satellites 22,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest takeaway. But we didn’t have the green thing back in those days.

“Back then we took just one holiday a year and would drive a hundred miles or so to the seaside and stay in a family run hotel. We didn’t get on a plane several times a year flying all across the world just to get some sunshine. But we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then. But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the ‘green thing back then.”

Please forward this to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart alec young person. We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to annoy us... Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smart alec who can’t calculate the change without the cash register telling them how much.

Source: I got this from the internet so it’s not green either but I have anglicised and personalised it.



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