We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my day.

By Dave Peddie | August 20 2019

We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my day.

Blog Category: General updateBlog Tags: Biodiversity and Older People

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    An older lady was shopping in her local supermarket on a quiet afternoon.  When she got to the checkout,  asked for a couple of plastic bags.  The young cashier suggested to her that she should bring her own environmentally friendly grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.

    The woman apologised, and the young cashier responded, “That’s the problem today. You old folk didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back in the old days.

    The older lady replied, “Ah, the ’green thing’, yes”, as she fixed her grey eyes on the cashier, and took a deep breath.

    “Back then”, she said, “we returned milk bottles, lemonade bottles & beer bottles to the shops. The shops then sent them back to the plant to be washed, sterilized & refilled, so those same bottles were used over & over, thus they REALLY were recycled. But we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back in our day.

    She continued…..

    “Grocery stores put our groceries into brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) were not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalise our books on their brown paper bag/covers. But, too bad we didn’t do the ’green thing’ back then”.

    “I remember how we walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store or office building; walked to the grocery store & didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go 200 yards.

    . . . But you are right. We didn’t have the ’green thing’ in our day”.

    By now a queue of, shall we say, ‘seniors’, were engrossed in what they were listening to.  The lady continued….

    “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 energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind & solar power really did dry our clothes back in our days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. . . . But we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back in our day”.

    ‘Back then we had one radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And if anyone did own a TV, it had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of a football pitch. When cooking we blended & stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send by post, we used layers of 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 you’re right; we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then”.

    “We drank from a tap or 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, & we replaced the razor blade 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 bus & kids rode bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s expensive car or van, which cost what a whole house did, before the ‘green thing’ came along”.

    “Oh and 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, hundreds of miles out in space, in order to find the nearest park”.

    The Lady finished, and the ‘senior’ queue spontaneously gave a cheer.

    It is so sad that this current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then.  We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to annoy us, especially by someone who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much.

    Feel free to forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in ‘the Green Thing’.

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Dave Peddie