I am confused. . .

The Green Thing

The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older
woman that she should bring her own grocery bags
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. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He 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 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 day.
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 he 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 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 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 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 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 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 he’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 streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms 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 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 we old folks were just because we
didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person
who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person

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