Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older
woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags
weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’
back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today Your generation did
not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
She was right — our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day.
Back then, we returned 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
But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for
numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use
of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure
that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not
defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on
the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then.
(There was almost no plastic, our bread came wrapped in waxed paper, which were opened up, cut in squares and used to wrap our sandwiches.And also to keep the irons gliding smoothly over the damp, starched fabric of our clothes)
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and
office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a
300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway
kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning
up 220 volts — 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 didn’t have the “green thing” back in our
Back then, we 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 (remember them?),
not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended
and stirred by hand because we didn’t 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 didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut
the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by
working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that
operate on electricity.
Paper recycling very light weight cardboard box container under my desk was brought in to replace the heavy-duty recycled cardboard box I had used for several years. It was had for me to grasp the concept of yet another box when the one I used had been working perfectly.
But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.
We drank from a 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
But we 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 walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service
in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before
the “green thing.” We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire
bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from
satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger
Our very own special recycling container which replaced the large recycle bins that served multiple businesses.
But isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks
were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in
conservation from a smartass young person…
We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss
us off…especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can’t
make change without the cash register telling them how much.
The end !
There is so much truth to this, but I for one applaud having a cell phone, permanent press clothes out of the dryer and I love my computer. I do think we could make this a better world if we embraced the ways we each can recycle and keep junk out of the landfill and keep people slimmer and healthier with all the walking. However walking to work wouldn’t be good, unless I lived much closer.
So with thanks to an unknown writer and apologies for not being able to credit the right person, I hope you enjoy this and it brings back memories if you are one of the older among us. If you are one of the younger among us, perhaps you can learn something from history, or your elders and stop rolling your eyes, really it worked.