Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Original Green Movement

copied this from a friend...
Checking out at the supermarket recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own carrier bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. I apologised and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." The cashier responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."
She was right about one thing -- our generation didn't have the green thing in “Our” day.
So what did we have back then…? After some reflection and soul-searching on "Our" day here's what I remembered we did have.... Back then, we returned milk bottles, fizzy pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. 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 an escalator or lift in every store and office building. We walked to the supermarket and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two minutes up the road. 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 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 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 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 (remember them?), not a screen the size of England. 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 screwed up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't 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 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 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 didn't 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 didn't need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

I used a diaper service when my daughter was a baby - no disposable for me. I still rarely use a dryer for the washing, although I have to use the indoor space for hanging - HOA restrictions. I have a mixer, but usually stir by hand because it is less hassle and washing up. I don't like small appliances. I find them a nuisance to clean, and they take up valuable space. I cut my lawn using a push mower. Takes 15 minutes and I get a work out! I still use old newspapers to cushion packages. I used to use the Sunday funny papers for gift wrapping. I have washable rags for cleaning and use cloth napkins - paper towels are only for absorbing the bacon grease (I could probably use newspaper for that!) I believe in replacing things only when they can no longer be mended. However I do drink a lot of wine, so there are those pesky empty bottles! I am sure there is more I can do but I am not bothered.
Yeah, don't lecture me on abusing the planet.


David Duff said...

Also, we didn't have chippy Miss Know-nothings giving us a sermon at a checkout till!

Good job it wasn't me - an incident might have occurred!

missred said...

She would have heard a thing or two from me as well! Nothing I hate more are smug know-it-alls, no matter their age.