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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:14 PM

 

We didn't have the "green thing" back in our day....(a most enjoyable read!)

'Checking out at the store,
the young cashier suggested to the much 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 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.

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.

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 that 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...

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off...especially from a smartass who can't make change without the cash register telling them how much.
The end !'

No link....sorry!

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Reply We didn't have the "green thing" back in our day....(a most enjoyable read!) (Original post)
SugarShack Feb 2013 OP
PM Martin Feb 2013 #1
loyalsister Feb 2013 #2
starroute Feb 2013 #24
loyalsister Feb 2013 #27
progressoid Feb 2013 #29
loyalsister Feb 2013 #32
progressoid Feb 2013 #35
loyalsister Feb 2013 #38
Ron Green Feb 2013 #3
abelenkpe Feb 2013 #4
sammytko Feb 2013 #9
antigone382 Feb 2013 #5
fishwax Feb 2013 #6
virgogal Feb 2013 #7
tarheelsunc Feb 2013 #8
Curmudgeoness Feb 2013 #11
Warren Stupidity Feb 2013 #10
UnrepentantLiberal Feb 2013 #12
Lex Feb 2013 #13
Phentex Feb 2013 #14
LineLineLineReply .
Lex Feb 2013 #15
harmonicon Feb 2013 #16
Skittles Feb 2013 #26
DEMTough Feb 2013 #17
pamela Feb 2013 #20
DEMTough Feb 2013 #21
Mariana Feb 2013 #25
alp227 Feb 2013 #18
Zoeisright Feb 2013 #19
lynne Feb 2013 #22
Hissyspit Feb 2013 #23
Drunken Irishman Feb 2013 #28
Mariana Feb 2013 #30
MineralMan Feb 2013 #31
stlsaxman Feb 2013 #33
flobee1 Feb 2013 #34
year of the cat Feb 2013 #36
KG Feb 2013 #37
Javaman Feb 2013 #39

Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:16 PM

1. kick

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:24 PM

2. Yeah

It wasn't the smart ass who did away with many of those things in the name of convenience. It was the greedy members of the baby boom generation.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:08 AM

24. No - it was the parents of the boomers who went wild for disposable everything

Paper plates, paper towels, paper napkins, plastic knives and forks, TV Dinners. That was the shape of the future from the 1930s to the 1950s, and the boomers didn't invent any of it. It was that sweet little old lady who bought into it, and the rest of us are paying the price.



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Response to starroute (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:27 AM

27. It continued

Dishwashers, disposable diapers, I remember having milk delivered in 1975. PLASTICS! Baby boomers did pick them up and ran. It was the industries run by Baby Boomers who replaced milk, soda, and other drinks with plastic bottles, etc.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:36 AM

29. Yeah because boomers invented and promoted plastics

Oh, wait...no, they didn't

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Response to progressoid (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:14 PM

32. You understand he's talking to a boomer, right?

Boomers most certainly did promote plastics. The were running the show when soda and milk bottles, butter tubs, disposable diapers, plastic shopping bags - rather than paper began to be widely used.
Whatever the previous generation ushered in related to plastics, the baby boomers expanded. I was 5 yrs. old in 1975 when we were still getting milk delivered in glass bottles. More of my toys were made of wood and metal than plastic.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #32)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:47 PM

35. Yeah.

They promoted a product already being promoted by the previous 'Mad Men' generation.

The chain email implication that the Greatest Generation was already green is hogwash. If that were the case, they would still be doing it. But they aren't. Our parents and grandparents didn't do the things listed in the email to be stewards of the environment, they were doing those things out of necessity. When cheaper, more convenient alternatives were available, they happily joined the disposable world (broad brushly speaking).

No generation is without blame for our current predicament.

I'm eight years older than you by the way.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #35)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:03 PM

38. That would make you a "tween"


"The chain email implication that the Greatest Generation was already green is hogwash"

I fully agree with that. I received that email from a couple of boomers who resent calls for practices that avoid damaging the environment. My point was that the annoying woman could have been from either generation. My boomer parents happily abandoned the more unintentional conservation oriented practices for convenience despite Jimmy Carter's call for more.

Gen Xers are largely responsible for some of the landfill problems pending because of electronics.

You're absolutely correct- no one is blameless.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:26 PM

3. Nostalgia

just ain't what it used to be.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:31 PM

4. How long has this been floating around the internet

Seems like it is posted every once in a while. Serves no purpose except to stir up resentment between generations and discussions where each side spew forth generalisations and hateful comments about one another.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:30 PM

9. Too long. Gah!!!

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:46 PM

5. You may want to check out this thread:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2399585

This was posted just a few days ago.

The story makes some interesting points but a lot of people feel it takes an unnecessarily hostile tone towards younger people. Many of those of us who care about environmental issues are very well aware that things were done more sustainably in the past and that older people who remember those times have knowledge that is a precious resource for us today.

I highly doubt any cashier would actually say such an insulting thing to a customer in the first place, as it would cost most any customer service worker his or her job.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:53 PM

6. Here's a link

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022399585



I don't care for the story, personally. It might have something interesting to offer, but it would be a more enjoyable read (and more effective) without the gratuitous generational conflict.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:56 PM

7. As an old person I'm thrilled with the post. Thanks----a real keeper for me.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:19 PM

8. As a (relatively) young person, you really brought my attention to things I knew but didn't realize

I always knew and understood the "way things used to be," but never thought of it in an environmental context. After reading this post, I fully understand your point. My generation (I am 22) is extremely wasteful in general, and you can see this in our reliance on cars to go somewhere that would only take 20 minutes to walk to, elevators to go down 1 floor (I admit I have done this a couple of times), eating half a meal and throwing the rest out as "scraps" (my wife, who is native Chinese, wasn't very happy with me the first time she saw me eat a chicken wing and not get all the meat off the bone), and continual consumption of beverages from plastic bottles. I know I can be very wasteful at times, but it feels like in modern society, you can't help but be wasteful.

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Response to tarheelsunc (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:01 PM

11. Actually, that isn't true.

You really can help but be wasteful. I know that younger people have grown up with all these disposal things, and that they just don't realize how much they can do. Read the story again. Read it several times if you have to. There are so many things, even in today's society, that can be done. And you can do it. You are our hope.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:48 PM

10. Sorry but "back then" was the 50s and thats when we invented the disposable consumer culture

this Idiotic Internet Essay is bemoaning. After the depression and the rationing of WWII, people couldn't consume enough shit fast enough. The essay fixes itself in time in the 50s by claiming the shitty black and white tvs of that era as an exemplar of frugality. It then proceeds to make all sorts of idiotic claims about that era.

Escalators have been around since the Otis Elevator Company built one in 1899.

Ballpoint pens, seriously? Ever used a fountain pen? A real one, not the disposable cartridge kind?

Why stop with the horrors of disposable razors compared to disposable razor blades? Real home-towny mainstream old fashioned Americans used straight razors and a stropping leather.

Homes had more than one outlet per room. I lived in one. So did all my friends. They indeed did not have enough outlets. They also had extension cord trees that routinely caused fires. Best we should go back to that system and fuse boxes too. Plus coal furnaces, those were pretty nifty.

The anti-green motif of the essay betrays its rightwing faux nostalgia for a recent past that never was.

Who exactly is bemoaning the fact that people 50 years ago didn't recycle? How about nobody?



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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:20 PM

12. All these RW email memes read like they were written by the same person.

 

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:22 PM

13. Wow, really? TWICE on DU in just 2 days?

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Response to Lex (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:39 PM

14. Back then, we checked for dupes...

DU 2 that is.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:53 PM

15. .

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:59 PM

16. Get off my lawn. (nt)

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Response to harmonicon (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:23 AM

26. I WILL KICK HARMONICON ASS ON HIS OWN LAWN

yes INDEED

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:36 PM

17. This is Kinda Harsh

I get a right-wing subtext when I read this (And I'm glad others have gotten the same type of thing.) that says, "We've been doing the green thing for years!" Add that to the right-wing doctrine of "It's not man-made, it's natural/not happening at all."

Put those together, and you get that this essay sends a message that says, "Global Warming isn't really happening, and if it is, we can't do anything about it, so why bother?"

And then there's the generational warfare aspect to this, which I'm also grateful others have brought up. I'm 18 now. The stock market crashed when I was 14, of no fault of my own, nor the fault of most people my age. Here I am, entering the job market, making less that what the minimum wage was in 1962. (inflation adjusted of course.) I hear news stating that my generation is the first ever that will likely have to make due with less than those who come before us. Education spending and spending for colleges is being slashed almost everywhere, and you have a party that almost entirely denies the existence of climate change. And to sum it all up, you get one republican who goes out and finally says what we've always thought they believed. "I won't be around for it."

This really rails on us young people. We're doing the best with what we've got here. I'm not asking for a break, I've just gotten started, but for god's sake, give us a foot up. New technologies, thank goodness, are being found and used. Little steps like the usage of reusable bags, and I'll admit, some of the old ways, are/were a good step.

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Response to DEMTough (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:15 AM

20. Good post.

I can't believe people are cheering this OP. This is something I would expect to read on Free Republic.

I remember some of the things in the OP but I also remember how filthy the air and water were in the 60's and 70's because that generation "didn't have the green thing." People have very selective memories.

Posts with a "these kids today" meme make me want to puke.

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Response to pamela (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:35 AM

21. Thank you!



That's a good point! thank goodness for the clean air/water acts.

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Response to pamela (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:14 AM

25. Around where I live, there are some ponds with fences and signs

warning people to stay away because they're STILL so toxic that swimming in them or eating fish out of them is dangerous.

I also remember seeing the scuz in the air over the cities, and the nasty yellow-brown stuff coming out of the smokestacks. I remember the nauseating foul stench from the local paper mill, and that the waste from it was discharged directly into the bay.

Those returnable bottles? A whole bunch of people just tossed them out of their cars, because there sure were always plenty to be found on the side of the road, among the rest of the garbage that people just threw on the ground wherever they happened to be.

To this day my father pours used motor oil, old paint, and solvents and such out onto the ground - in the vacant lot next door, of course. He won't be talked out of it, because he's always done that way.

Lots of folks just don't like young people and will take any opportunity to put them down, even if they have to make shit up to do it.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:05 AM

18. You know what else didn't exist "back in the day"?

-laws that protect against discrimination
-laws that criminalized marital rape (seriously in some states as late as the 20th century a husband could get away with raping his wife!)
-some public schools could have teacher-led prayer or creationism in science class
-environmental regulations; look up the Cuyahoga River fire for instance

Also consider Lawrence v. Texas that SCOTUS case from '03 that overturned anti-sodomy laws that were definitely enforced "back in the day".

I hate these phony baloney nostalgia chain mails. There's this other one posted as "a generation of risk takers" or "to all the kids who survived the 40s-70s" (link is to a DU discussion, don't worry) that basically puts out a bunch of anecdotes and concludes it was the time "before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good."

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Response to alp227 (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:08 AM

19. I hate those too. That stupid blind nostalgia for "the good old days"

completely ignores reality. Like: leaded gasoline back then, lack of recycling, Lake Erie on fire, acid rain, etc. etc. If everything was so hunky-dory back then, why are there laws against pollution now?

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:42 AM

22. When plastic bags were introduced at grocery stores -

- we were told we were "saving trees" by using them. Guess someone didn't look at the long-term repercussions for that idea.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:56 AM

23. Somebody put this glurge out of it's misery, please...

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:39 AM

28. Not this shit again...

Why is it we must pit generations against one another? I don't see the point to it. It's clear this story is fiction, as I highly doubt such a conversation took place, so, if it's trying to drive home a point ... why not do it in a better way than making the Millennials look like assholes?

I don't think I've ever come across someone my age completely disrespecting an older person. I only see it in movies and on TV shows.

Or in lame chain letters like this.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #28)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:29 AM

30. There's a whole lot of hostility toward young people

going on in this country. That's why bullshit chain e-mails like this one are so popular, along with those movies and TV shows you mentioned. Many older people (and I am one) will gleefully believe - or pretend to believe - almost anything negative about young people so they can feel superior.

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:33 AM

31. Anything you get as a forwarded email is almost certainly bogus,

and is most often created by conservatives to spread their propaganda. At the very least, try searching on Google for a quoted passage from the first paragraph. If you find it posted on countless websites, then everyone's already seen it.

That is the case with this unfortunate piece of writing. See the Google search link below:

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22'Checking+out+at+the+store%2C+the+young+cashier+suggested+to+the+much+older+woman%22&oq=%22'Checking+out+at+the+store%2C+the+young+cashier+suggested+to+the+much+older+woman%22&aqs=chrome.0.57.21280&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Or this one:

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22We+didn't+have+the+%22green+thing%22+back+in+our+day%22&aq=f&oq=%22We+didn't+have+the+%22green+thing%22+back+in+our+day%22&aqs=chrome.0.57j0l2.5304&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:29 PM

33. Some of us "much older" people INVENTED EARTH DAY!

It was "much older" people who were the "dirty fucking hippies" who saw the throw-away culture of the 1950's and "invented" environmentalism.

But yeah- the Military Industrial Complex gave us "Up With People", "The Brady Bunch", "Flower Power" and turned the whole counter-culture movement into stale chalk laced with sacharin and shoved it down our throats after being scared to death by the Woodstock Generation and the Yippies... this whole urban folk legend makes me wanna pull an Abbie-



Yeah, little miss sales clerk- the dirty fuckin' hippies were RIGHT!

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:29 PM

34. every person that sends me this email

will get the same response from me.
"Since you are obviously not in need of all these things that you are railing against, I am on my way to your house to pick up your 300 horsepower machine, your oversized tv, your dryer, and any computers or cellphones you might have.
you are truly a generous person and see you in a few minutes"

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)


Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:56 PM

37. the never-ending 'wasn't everything better back when' memos...

oy

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Response to SugarShack (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:49 PM

39. This was posted the other day and this is how I replied...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2402937

What was old is new again...

My parents generation (pre-baby boom) recycled everything because there wasn't this level of gross consumerism that was foisted upon the American public until the post WWII years.

The babyboomers exploited the worlds resources on a much grander scale that could have never been imagined before. In the 19th century, resources were squanders, exploited and torn from nations via robber barons and the ultra-wealthy. It was only after successive panics that corporations came to the forefront to replace the Carnegie's, the Vanderbilt's etc.

WWII allowed corporations to suddenly exploit all the worlds resources under the guise of "we need to win a war" and the post war mantra, "we deserve it because we won a war". Out went much of the "old fashion" concept of recycling and in came "new is better" because if people are recycling how on earth are you going to convince them to buy more new stuff?

I was born on the tail end of the baby boom generation (1963). I missed most of what was considered the "golden age" of Post War America. I came of age during Watergate and when the first Earth day occurred April 1970.

We had all sorts of programs going on in elementary school to become "Ecologically" minded. But frankly, not much really occurred after that nationally for many years. Don't get me wrong there were protests against nukes and the national news of the Love Canal disaster, etc, but it really didn't catch on fire until, in my opinion the late 1980's.

My parents being of the depression era generation and of the "greatest generation" (a term they both hated), had always taught my brother, sisters and I to try and be creative about reusing things and fixing things instead of buying new. As a result, I used that same skill set when I renovated my home (built in '72) and reused much of the old growth timber 2 x 4's in the walls. (which still smelled fresh when I cut them a few years ago)

No one owns the concept of recycling, no one generation is better than the last. It's all a matter of perspective. The baby boomer generation gets a lot of well deserved guff for a lot of todays problems, but on the flip side of that, it was the "greatest generation" that gave birth to them and raised them. So who is to blame?

Whether you are a gen X'er, Y'er, etc. We are all a victim of marketing, propaganda and group think.

Castigating one generation because of their problems as the cause of another generations problems is just ridiculousness. Because not everyone is the same and blanket statements serve no one other than to inflate ego.

While this chain email has been around for a while and reeks of the "get off my lawn", it's only purpose is nothing more to demean the current generation for what? I don't know, because while the older generation did in fact recycle many things they also left us with a very much polluted world that is still being polluted via out modded thinking, but yet is still, for the majority of the world, still encouraged.

The bottom line is this: we all can learn from each other. I learned from my parents and am choosing to pass on that which I have learned and at the same time, keeping a very much open mind to new ways of doing things.

While the older generation did recycle a lot of things, todays generation has made recycling a part of life as it once was long ago.

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