Being Green…

English: Grocery store on California State Rou...
English: Grocery store on California State Route 1 in Cleone, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Examples of milk bottles from the late 19th ce...
Examples of milk bottles from the late 19th century made by the Warren Glass Works Company. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have absolutely no idea who wrote this (forwarded e-mail) but I was laughing so hard when I read it, I felt obliged to share it with you. As a bona-fide member of the Boomer generation am sure there will be many of you out there that can identify with the sentiments of the writer. I do, and so wish I’d written this piece; hilarious!

It made me think about all those efforts being made on behalf of the planet, only to realize …we had it right all those years ago, and allowed ourselves to screw things up in the name of progress. Oh well, that’s life. Enjoy!


Being Green…

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the 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 where it would be washed, sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really actually recycled.  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 scribbling.  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. 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 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 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. 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.

New Orleans street car (Photo credit:Google images)

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 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?

Please pass this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-ass 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 smart-ass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much. 

Guess what? Others bloggers posted the same article. Ces’t la Vie, indeed!

11 thoughts on “Being Green…

Add yours

  1. Good one Marcia! I don’t expect today’s lazier generation to understand the true meaning of ‘green’ 🙂 The number of battery cells consumed in my daughters house for their various gadgets and toys is frightening!

  2. We need to care for our environment. It starts with us and before we know it, we are holding hands around the world, all with one goal, “preserve nature and the future it holds.” Thanks.

  3. Hello Marcia:

    I’m 66, retired, and a fan of the “good ole days”. I remember all of the above when the “green thing” had not been invented by Generation Y. Great post and superlative content.

    Thank you for sharing. It absolutely made my day.



    1. I too am a part of the Boomer generation and grew up on the ‘good ole days’ standards; I wish we would have retained some of the values instilled by our parents. Instead…I shake my head daily when I see what society is coming to. Oh well…”Asi es la vida”!

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