No, Old People Didn’t Have The “Green Thing”

But Corrie says, ‘It doesn’t pay to get us pissed off’

These words came by way of  my friend Corrie who lives in the Netherlands.  Too true to be lost, and so with no apologies, I send them along to  you. 


Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own shopping bags because plastic bags aren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this Green Thing back in my earlier days.”

The cashier responded, “Yes, and that’s what made our problem today. Your generation didn’t 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 got Milk in glass bottles and returned the empties to the Dairies, and as well as the all the cold Drink and Beer bottles to the store, which sent them back to the plant to be washed,  sterilized and refilled, so the same bottles were used over, over  and over. Really recycled. 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.

No, we didn’t have the Green Thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator and elevator in every shop and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300 horsepower Machine that runs on Petrol that comes from Oil, every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right.  We didn’t know of the Green Thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s Nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind, and used cloth Handkerchiefs, Napkins and Dish Cloths instead of throw-aways  that all  come from  paper which comes from cutting down our age-old Forests. We dried our clothes out side on a line, with real Wind and Solar Energy, and not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts and 30 amperes.  Kids wore hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new.

But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the Green Thing back in our day.

And we only had one TV or Radio in the house, and not one in every room.  And the TV had a small screen the size of a Handkerchief (remember?), not a screen the size of the county of Yorkshire.  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 Post, 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 Petrol just to cut the lawn, but 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 Electric operated  Treadmills.

But she’s right. We didn’t have the Green Thing back then.

We drank water from a Fountain or Tap when we were thirsty instead of each time, demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country.  We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect that food be bucked by flying it thousands of air miles round the world. We actually cooked food that didn’t come out of a Packet, Tin or Plastic wrap and we even washed our own vegetables and chopped our own salad greens.

But, of course, we didn’t have the Green Thing in our time.

Back then, 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 had one electrical outlet to 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 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 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 smart-ass young person.

Remember: Don’t make old people mad.  We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off. 

(Thanks to Corrie, a from Holland)

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