The Green Thing…


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 sterilised 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.  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 nappies because they didn’t have the throw-away 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 the state of Tasmania.

In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you.  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 gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push 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 fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a 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.

Back then, people took the tram or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.  They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And they didn’t need a computerised 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 the old folks were just because they didn’t have the green thing back then?

About Lazy Larry

Just a woodworker sharing some of the things learnt the hard way... so you don't make the same mistakes...
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8 Responses to The Green Thing…

  1. patron says:

    I still don’t have the green thing and I live in the country.
    There is lots of cans and trash on the highway and plastic bags blow in the wind, from all the people that have the green thing and throw it out the window.
    So it doesn’t clutter up their new car!

  2. Lazy Larry says:

    I know what you mean and this is why I posted this…

  3. donjoe says:

    I say amen to this many times over.

  4. Michael Wurm says:

    Ain’t it the truth Larry. I worked too when I was a kid, no allowance. I mowed lawns and pumped gas until I was a senior in high school. In the winter my dad got my brother and I up early after a snow storm and we shoveled sidewalks. No allowance…..

  5. Bill Aplin says:

    Totally Agree!
    And not only did the ol’timers (a term of endearment in my books) not just add a new blade to the razor, they sharpened the old cut throat and kept on using it!
    Chamber pots fertilised the vegies and lemon trees, not flushed to some expensive treatment plant, No Waste of water there!
    Green thing, the only good green thing is a TWC or a John Deer!

  6. Barbara E Bj says:

    Do you know who the original author of this is? It might take a little bit of effort to search it out now since this has been sent by email all over creation WITHOUT the proper attribution of the author’s name and the location / publication ownership for where it was originally printed.

    It is good to keep the source links and names with stuff when you re-publish someone else’s work.

    • Lazy Larry says:

      Where possible I try to acknowledge the original author but as you say when it is sent out en masse it is a little difficult… I will however endeavour to discover the author of this gem… thank you for your comments..

      • Lazy Larry says:

        I did in fact check this on Google and got over 9,000 results… none of which had an original author quoted…If any one does know please contact me and I will amend my post to include his/her name.. thanks to all…

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