The Green Thing

I've always said we'll know when the powers that be are genuinely interested in protecting the environment; it'll be when we're told to return glass bottles to the store instead of 'recycling' - smashing them up to make new ones.

Someone sent me this a few days ago - I hope you like it......

Shopping at the grocers recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. I apologised and said "We didn't have this green thing back in our day."

She said, "That's our problem today. Your generation didn't care enough to save the environment for future generations."

She was right - our generation didn't have the green thing back then.

So what did we have…? After some reflection here's what I remembered.... back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the shop. The shop sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles time after time. 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 shop and didn't climb into a car every time we had to go 100 yards. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an electric tumble-drier - wind and solar power really did dry our clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not brand-new. 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, not a screen the size of a tablecloth. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electrical machines to do it for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send by post, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn't fire up an engine, burn petrol or plug in just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower which ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to use electric treadmills. 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 plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled pens with ink instead of buying a new one, and we replaced our razor blades instead of throwing away the whole thing when the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then.

People took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums 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 have a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

We didn't have the green thing back then.

I suggest you post this on your Facebook profile so that the next time you get a lesson in conservation from a young smart-ass you can feel a little bit better...


    Footnote....A reader from Yorkshire emailed me to say .... "we didn't need the Green Thing in those days - we had commonsense....."

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