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We didn't have the 'Green' thing back then?

Posted by: Ward Everaardt | 21 June, 2011 - 9:54 AM


This is an interesting perspective on today's "New" concern for the environment...

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologised to her and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

That's right, they didn't have the green thing in her day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store.  The store sent them back to the factory to be washed, sterilised and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.  But they didn't have the green thing back in her 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's right.  They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby's nappies 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 day.

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 pizza dish, 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 wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol 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 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 tram and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their mums 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 computerised 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?

Blog comments Your Say

  • I remember those days Im 82 and cannot understand why so many changing Have a god day

    dennis Monday 1 August, 2011 - 1:00 PM
  • I was listening to this item on the radio this afternoon how it bought back memories of the days when i was young and even though I use the green bags and all the enery tips I must admit life was easier in the earlier day i.e what you havent got or know about you dont miss. So even though we may have been a contributer in the long run to the state we are in it is not just the older peoples responsibility to remember the green thing, but we will probably worry about not doing the most, because that appears to be something the younger generation needs to reassess.

    Annette Phelan Tuesday 21 June, 2011 - 9:21 PM
  • Yes...DDT was a great idea. Well done previous generations!
    The ideology of consumerism was well and truely pre-programed for my Generation, Gen Y, after all...the industrial revolution was the redesigning of performance and production. The forward momentum of consumerism. Producer faster, consume faster. Our Generation now deals with the ignorance of yester year..and we deal with it openly.
    The sooner all generation stop blaming each other, the sooner we will be able to rectify the problem.
    Sincerely, your Gen Y listener,

    Natasha Tuesday 21 June, 2011 - 11:26 AM

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