Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should have brought her own shopping bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment and we should practice ‘green living’ wherever possible.
The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have green living back in our earlier days.” The cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
She replied, ‘’ you are right our generation didn’t have the ‘green living’ then.
….Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so they could use the same bottles over and over. Yes, they really were recycling. Now we have milk and other edibles packed in poly bags.
….We walked up the stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every shop 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. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. We didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol to cut grass in the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. People took the tram or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service.
….We washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. 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. 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 scarf, not a screen the size of roof. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
….In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. We actually cooked food that didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap and we could even wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad. We drank water from a fountain or a tap when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country. We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and local and didn’t expect that to be bucked by flying it thousands of air miles around the world.
….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. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. 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 today’s generation laments how wasteful we old folks were because we didn’t have the ‘green living’ back then? ’’
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