My uncle found this article and sent it to me in an email. It points out something very important about "the green thing".
The Green Thing
In the queue at the supermarket, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.
The woman apologised to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day." The cashier responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation didn't care enough to save our environment."
He was right—our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, fizzy-drink bottles and beer bottles to the shops. The shop sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilised 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.
We walked up stairs, because we didn't have a lift in every store and office building. We walked to the shops and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two streets.
But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the disposable kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 3kW; 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; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
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, not a screen the size of Snowdonia.
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 by post, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didn't start an engine and burn gasoline or plug in the power lead 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 she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.
We drank from a tap 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 blunt.
But we didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the tram or bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service.
We had one electrical socket in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And we didn't need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest MacDonald's
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?