In the queue at Tesco, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring
her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't very good for the environment.
The woman apologised to her and explained, "We didn't have the "green thing"
back in my day."
The cashier responded, "That's the problem today, your generation never
cared enough to save our environment."
She was right -- our generation didn't have the "green thing" in its
Back then, we returned milk bottles, lemonade bottles and beer bottles to
where we'd bought them. They 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
We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and
office building. We walked to the shops and didn't climb into a 3litre petrol
guzzling machine every time we had to go 200 yards or drop the kids off to
school. 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 the
clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not
always brand-new clothing. But that old lady was 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 Wales . 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 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 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 or plain 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 dull. But we didn't have the "green thing" back then.
Back then, people took the tram or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school
or walked instead of turning their mothers (or fathers) 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 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the
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 forward this on to another selfish old git who possibly needs a
lesson in conservation from a smartass young person who thinks they know it all.