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Sinistrous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 02:30 PM
Original message
The Green Thing
I received this in an email this morning.

Posted it here because I didn't think the young'ns in GD would get it.

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

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 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 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. 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.


Remember: Don't make old people mad.
We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.
#####

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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent! nt
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. First chain email in a while that isn't100% bullshit.
My grandmother used to wash and reuse aluminum foil.

She also used to steal anything that wasn't nailed down, but that's beside the point.

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Bob Wallace Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-05-11 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Your Grandmother...
A recycler and a repurposer.

Ahead of her time....
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. Actually, IIRC, the old TVs with the tiny screens used more electricity than our giant LCD displays.
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Sinistrous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Probably. Those vacuum tubes were power piggies.
Anybody else remember the tube testers in the drugstore that would tell which tube was bad so you could fix the TV yourself?
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Ineeda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. All true, plus
to the initial point--
We had brown paper grocery bags that the bagger would fill to overflowing, not two or three items per plastic bag. We would reuse those bags either at the same grocery store, or line our waste baskets (not using yet another plastic bag to hold trash.) We even covered our school books with those brown bags.
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Paper Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Hey, I forgot about making book covers with brown bags!
I still use the bags for rubbish can liners. I also use them to wrap a package that has to be mailed. Find the smallest box possible, wrap in brown bag, go to UPS. I have found that UPS is much cheaper for most packages than USPS.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. Absolutely spot on. nt
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Paper Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
6. This brings me back to the 'old days'. Remember when Mom
washed out the plastic bags that the bread came in ? Chlorox came in a big glass jug and if you brought the jug back to the store you would get a refund of 5 cents. Same with milk.

To all of you who are under the 'senior age', there are tons of things we did in the 'old days' that were 'green'. We just did not call it by that name.

My family always did their best to reuse anything possible. Mom brought the Chlorox bottles back for the refund. We reused things that were new and expensive, like aluminum foil.

We burned rubbish because there was no curbside pick-up. The dump was open only Saturday and it was for big stuff.
Anything we could pass along, we did so.

Fix what broke, do not throw it away and buy something new. Mow the lawn by pushing that old hand mower. Saturday we kids did weed pulling detail. No dishwashers then, alternate wash and dry with a sibling or do the job yourself. We ironed our clothes, what little we had.
Going somewhere? Take the bus if it will get you close enough.
School bus? Walk about a mile for pick up.

There are so many things we 'seniors' did way back when. I wish I could remember all of them. I do know that everyone we knew when I was a kid did the same.

OK, this was in the 1940's and 1950's. This world has sure changed since then.
I still do many of the of these old time money saving things. It is just built into my system.
I tried to pass this to my kids. I hope the effort took hold.

I guess I shadow the original OP.

Those were the days, my friend!
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badhair77 Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
7. Thanks for posting.
Not only do I remember many of these but I still do some of them. Yikes.

I love to hang out the laundry.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 07:19 AM
Response to Original message
10. Anybody else do 'soap bags'?
Granny would sew a bag out of an old wash cloth and fill it with several of the slivers of bar soap too small to use any more.

Worked great in tub or shower.
I may start doing that again.
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