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Friday, December 30, 2011

End of 2011 and a new 2012

If you are over 40ish you might
understand the following story,
 if not well, think about it some.
If you have already seen it in an email I am sorry
you have to read it again here but it does have
a good message. Now go on an have a
Happy New Year
and make it better.
"Checking 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 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 recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

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 throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning lots of watts -- 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 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?"


Gaelyn said...

Too bad this generation doesn't learn more from the "old ways" that just weren't referred to as green.
As much as I love my electronics, the new technology can hardly be called green. Great piece.

holdingmoments said...

Brilliant Dale; and sadly, so very true.

All the very best to you and your family for the new year.

Bob Mc said...

Well I'm a long way past 40ish, and I DO remember.

Glenn C. Riffey said...

A very good post. I'm one of those who lived during the time when there wasn't a "green" thing. Here's something else. Back then the only "cell" phones were found in prisons. I could go on, but that one was bad enough... :-)

Love your work and your posts. Happy New year.. :-)

Magia da Inês said...


♫♫.•*¨`*•..¸ ☼ ☼ ¸.•*¨`*•.♫♫♫.
╔═════════ ೋღღೋ ═════════╗
ೋ ~~* FELIZ ANO NOVO ~~* ೋ
╚═════════ ೋღღೋ ═════════╝
♫♫.•*¨`*•..¸☼ 2012☼¸.•*¨`*•.♫♫

Katie (Nature ID) said...

My husband and I are firmly stuck in the chasm of changing social and generational attitudes. I once thought "being green" meant "being jealous." Our moms saved bottles to return to the stores - somehow it seems more efficient than the recycling as it is today. I remember studying alternative energy solutions and gas efficient cars in the late 1970's. My first term paper was typed out on Mom's non-electric typewriter, which frustrated the *** out of me every time I hit a wrong key. The very next year Apple donated computers to my school... and so it began.

Duane and April said...

I'm not over 40ish, but mostly all this stuff applies to me too! I love this.

Hunny said...

Spectacular shot :O