In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag 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. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."
He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
Back then, they returned their 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 they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. People took the streetcar and kids walked, rode their bikes or rode the school bus to school, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks. But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the disposable kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 240 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 old lady is right; they didn't have the green thing back in her day.
Back then, they 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 small country. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. They used a push lawn mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; they didn't have the green thing back then.
They drank from a glass tumbler or a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a disposable cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But they didn't have the green thing back then.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because "they didn't have the green thing back then"?