I found this on Facebook a nice insight on popular belief

Being GreenChecking 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 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 truely 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 scribblings. 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. 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 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.

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  1. I’m not impressed by this being spread all over the blogs and here’s why – It’s important to remember that this generation also created the polluting SUVs, invented the plastics that now fill our oceans and landfills, and spurred the dependency on foreign oil that the current generation has been left with. While they did some beautiful things, they were also a generation where when they were returning their milk bottles, things like racism, sexism, and homophobia were an accepted part of life. I say this not to discourage the good behaviors (of ALL generations) but that every generation needs to take more accountability for the problems they created that screwed things up for the current generation who is tasked to clean them up (and is also paying Social Security out of our checks to support the older generation, when we probably won’t even have SS when our turn comes up). And I find it ironic that many of the older generation, like the lady featured in this post, is the one with the plastic bag – rather than setting an example for the younger generation, she is showing she has given up those environmentally friendly behaviors she grew up with. I find it very ironic that they tout all the things they did 50-60 years ago yet don’t do now.

    • Thanks for the other side of the story Ecogrrl. I think that generation couldn’t foresee what was going to be and they weren’t thinking about their impact on the world. I do believe that after the second world war, they were a frugal generation (I saw how my grandparents didn’t waste any food and reused as much as they could) Our generation seems to be the most wasteful. Our generation has a choice not to buy those SUV’s or go to macDonalds (most families couldn’t afford to go to a fastfood restaurant everyday) but more and more of them seem to be around now. I don’t blame the inventors but the buyers influence the marketplace. You can make anything you want but if no one buys it then nothing happens.
      I don’t think we should really be looking to blame anyone really. Ultimately nobody wants to harm the earth. But lets all do our part individually and as a team and find solutions to make it better. I love this post as it reminds us how to be frugal again. I hate to know that I bought a printer and it has a chip inside it that after so many copies it will just stop without it being broken. That makes me mad. Nothing is made to last anymore (see lightbulb documentary).
      Keep it up Ecogrrl we need more people like you!

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  3. Amen! You are speaking to the long-converted, here. Excellent and timely post. Too many self-righteous and lacking-in-knowledge-of history young people among us all. G


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