An Angry Post: “Green Values”
NOTE: This showed up on my Facebook timeline; came from a friend’s mother’s friend (got that?) †She’s obviously resentful but is she also right? Please comment on this one – it’s a conversation worth having. † Cindy
Checking out at the supermarket recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own bags because plastic bags werenít good for the environment. I apologized and explained, ďWe didnít have this green thing back in my earlier daysď.
The clerk responded, ďThatís our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generationsď.
She was right about one thingĖour generation didnít have the green thing in ďOurĒ day. So what did we have back then? After some reflection and soul-searching on ďOurĒ day, hereís what I remembered we did haveÖ.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop 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 repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didnít have the green thing back in our day.
We walked up stairs, because we didnít have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didnít climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didnít have the green thing in our day.
Cloth diapers and clothes lines
Back then, we washed the babyís nappies because we didnít have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts ó wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didnít have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house ó not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of Wales. In the kitchen, we blended & stirred by hand because we didnít have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didnít fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didnít need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But sheís right. We didnít have the green thing back then.
Bottled water and new razor blades
We drank from a water fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didnít have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didnít 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 isnít it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didnít have the green thing back then?
Please post this on your Facebook profile so another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smarty-pants young person can add to this.