I received this in my email this morning. We all get these emails from well-intentioned friends and I usually skim through to see what the emailee wants me to do with his/her email after I have read it. This one was different, I started reading and kept on it all the way to the end. Corporations aside, we really were pretty green growing up. It does not matter if this story really happened or the writer just made it up, the point is it made me think about our planet and how while our intentions are admirable in this new generation, we would be wise to learn how the older generation did things before we make fun of them.
The Green Thing
At Raley’s the other day, the young cashier suggested that I bring my own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.I apologized to her 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.”She was right, our generation didn’t have the green thing in our day . . .Back then, we returned our 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 we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
In our day, 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 throw-away kind. We 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, yeah. . . we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one radio (or some a TV) in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a 19 inch or smaller screen, 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.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper 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. But, yeah . . . 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 replaced the razor blades 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, 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. Mama was sometimes seen walking the 2-mile round trip “downtown.”
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 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 we didn’t have the green thing back then?
Progress is usually a good thing but in reading this email I thought about how progress sometimes is not always new, just a different, better or faster way of doing things. Some people still recycle their soda cans and plastic bottles and recycling is still an industry but it is now voluntary and if you don’t recycle you just pay the CRV anew everytime you buy merchandise in that kind of packaging. But we were recyling back then because we got our money back on those bottles we returned an very few people would imagine buying a new six pack of coke without returning the emplty bottles. I mean, who wanted those bottles cluttering up their homes? Some people still use a push mower but usually only because they have such a small patch of lawn to mow. Usually they power up the big machine and some even think they need the big John Deere riding mower because their neighbor has one and look how much easier it is to ride while working. Some of these activities were beginning to change even while I was growing up and I am 58 but I can remember most of them.
So, did we really progress that far in green thinking or did we really just change the method? I know we have not started holding corporations responsible for what they are doing. We certainly have not extended our green technology in a big way. Maybe because it takes us longer to get corporations to take their share of the responsibility? And now the Republicans and Tea Party or should I say RepubicTeas want to reduce EPA and other regulations even more. If we cannot get Corporations to stop polluting with regulations, how on earth will we be able to do so with weakened regulations? Part of the problem is the RepublicTeas and their religous philosophy feel man has dominion over the world and man will do on his own what is right. Well I think we have plenty of proof that is a foolish notion because they have regulation now and how many companies could each of you name who have poisoned our earth?
- The Green Thing (spokelement.wordpress.com)
- How The Older Generation Destroyed The Environment… They Didn’t Have The ‘Green Thing’ Back Then (aleksandreia.wordpress.com)
- Should be required reading (junksciencesidebar.com)