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May 17, 2011


  

 The Green Thing
> ================
>
> In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she
> should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good
> for the environment.
>
> The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the
> green thing back in my day."
>
> The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former
> generation did not care enough to save our environment."
>
> He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its
> day.
>
> Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer
> bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to
> be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same
> bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
>
> But they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.
>
> In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an
> escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the
> grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every
> time they had to go two blocks.
>
> But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.
>
> Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have
> the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy
> gobbling machine burning up 220 volts - wind and solar power really
> did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their
> brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
>
> But that old lady is right, they didn't have the green thing back
> in her day.
>
> Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in
> every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a
> handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the
> kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have
> electric machines to do everything for you.
>
> When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a
> wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic
> bubble wrap.
>
> Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to
> cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They
> exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to
> run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
>
> But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.
>
> They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using
> a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.
> They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new
> pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of
> throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
>
> But they didn't have the green thing back then.
>
> Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their
> bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their
> moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in
> a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
> And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal
> beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find
> the nearest pizza joint.
>
> But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the
> old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back
> then?
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Posted: Tuesday May 17, 2011, 1:47 pm
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Bertram Johnson
male , married, 3 children
Stone Mountain, GA, USA
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