Thursday, May 5, 2011

"The Green Thing"... then and now

I discovered the following piece on the internet.  It sums up a few recent posting quite well.  Seems the "green thing" has been around far longer than many from the younger generation might be aware.

The "Green Thing" by Jim Knowles

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should
 bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the 
environment. The woman apologized to him 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." He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
Back then, they returned their 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 they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator 
in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and
 didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two
 blocks. But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the
 throw-away kind. They 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 is right; they didn't have the green thing back in her
Back then, they 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 the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred
 by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you.
 When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded
up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the 
lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by
 working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that 
operate on electricity. But she's right; they didn't have the green thing back then.
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup
 or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled 
their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the 
razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just
 because the blade got dull. But they 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 rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour 
taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank 
of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they 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 they didn't have the green thing back then?

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