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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Back Then We Had It Right!!


THE GREEN THING


In the queue at the shop, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own bags, 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 cashier responded, "That's our problem today.  The former generation didn't 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, lemonade bottles and beer bottles to the shop.  The shop sent them back to the Plant to be washed, sterilized and then 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 shop and office building.  They walked to the grocery shop and didn't climb into a 300 horsepower machine every time they had to go two miles.  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 220 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 Wales.  In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand, because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for them.

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the post, they used a screwed up old newspaper to cushion it, not polystyrene or plastic bubble wrap.  Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol 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 their razor, instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade had 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 rode in the school bus instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service.  They had one electrical socket in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And they 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 Hut.

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!

Food for thought?!

35 comments:

Bethe77 said...

Oh My dear Thisisme I do believe this is so true. I think they wouldnt knwo what to do or how to act. i think we had the green thing down much better than they think. How I long for those days. Yet then i wouldnt have the pleasure of knowing you my dear sweet Thisisme.
What a wonderful post.
Blessings

Just Martha said...

Well said dear Thisisme!!! Too true. i agree, a truly wonderful post indeed...

Thisisme. said...

Bethe - it was quite funny how writing this post brought back so many memories of what life used to be like!

Just Martha - thank you so much.

IWASNTBLOGGEDYESTERDAY said...

well written thisisme!!! its the generation in between, who decided plastic was the best thing since sliced bread!!

lyndylou said...

I loved this post! So so true and what a cheek blaming a previous generation - just goes to show how brain washed we've all become!!!

Thisisme. said...

I Wasn't Blogged Yesterday - Hallo! How lovely to see you here today, and thanks for visiting and leaving your comment. You are quite right, it was that generation in between. I get so cross with all the wrapping on things when you go to the supermarkets these days.

lyndylou - thank you! I think you've got it in one. See how brainwashed we have become!!

flowers on my table said...

Fabulous post Diane, so thought-provoking and kind of sad.Thankyou, I got your lovely comments, you are very kind, love Linda x

Shady Del Knight said...

This is a brilliant piece, Thisisme! It deserves to get syndicated and go viral so that millions can read it. Sometimes people ask me why I do so many things "the hard way" when I could simply press a button or buy a machine or gadget to do it. As you pointed out, work is good exercise. I walk behind my mower, walk up and down stairs and several of the other things mentioned in your article because I enjoy a low tech lifestyle and I really do want to think of myself as green TEA. Daisy, however, wants one of those televisions with a screen the size of Wales so that she can oogle a 50-foot Tom Jones! Happy Tuesday, dear friend!

kneesandpaws said...

My parents and grandparents were the most non wasteful people, ever! You are exactly right. What a great piece of writing. I agree with Shady...everyone should read it.

Mynx said...

Brilliant post and so very true. I remember working in a supermarket when they introduced plastic bags because "trees were being overused"
Now they are telling us that the plastic bags are a disaster.

Becky said...

Hi This! ~ I love this post! It is so very true! Thank you for sharing this! ((HUGS)) my friend!!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I think the younger generation just don't realize actually HOW GREEN ..the older generation actually were :-)

Odie Langley said...

This was soooooo true and awesome because I spent a lot of time in childhood sorting and preparing drink bottles to go back for recycling. The generation today just doesn't understand how much more green we were back then. It's 8 AM here and we have to be at the hospital at 9 so time is short for Linda. I will keep you posted how things go. Have a great rest of your tuesday.
Odie :)

SkippyMom said...

My grandparents actually never sent a single thing to the landfill. They either burned their garbage or recycled the glass. I do remember glass bottles and getting the deposit back when we were kids. And having one TV and all the other things you named. And yet, somehow I don't feel old, heehee, I am only 44.

Thanks for the memories. :)

Kristina said...

This post is very well stated, and I absolutely loved it and I agree! :) This is very thought provoking. It's something everyone needs to think about.

Jackie said...

So true, I remember it well!! We had so much packing to recyle this week the box was overflowing!!!

Just found your blog from Linda in Italy. Sounds like we could be about the same age.I will be back, Jackie in Surrey, UK.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

So true and brilliantly written, we no longer get given plastic bags in shops here, they have been banned.
Love the new header photo, hope they will be in bloom for the wedding. We set off for our weekend of celebrations tomorrow so I will not be around. Will catch up with you again before your own celebrations and I suspect I will see you on FB :)

Thisisme. said...

Jackie - Thank you so much for popping over to my blog today and leaving a comment. And you're from Surrey, here in England, so that's nice. A lovely part of the country. Hope to see you again.

SkippyMom - I can't believe you're 44. Do you realize that you are young enough to be my daughter??!! Eeeek!!

flowers on my table - thank you. It's amazing how the young ones think they have invented everything! Hee Hee! Will look forward to hearing from you that everything went well with your op. Hugs.

Shady - my dear friend, you are doing all the right things already, which is great. I walk behind my lawn mower, but it is a petrol one. Can you remember the little ones that just cut the grass and the grass cuttings used to go everywhere! LOL! You are definitely green tea in my book, and you tell that Daisy to behave herself. Would you believe that I was a member of the Tom Jones fan club nearly 50 years ago. Eeek!

kneesandpaws - you're right. Our parents and grandparents were brilliant at using virtually everything, with no waste.

Mynx - yes, I totally agree. We now have the plastic bags killing lots of creatures in the sea.

Becky - I've missed you my friend!! Glad you agree with me on this one. Hugs.

Anne in Oxfordshire - you're so right. The older generations were 'green' before the word was invented!

Odie - so you have those memories too, with the bottles. I think we used to get one old penny for every bottle we took back! Please do let us know how Linda's op goes and we will all be thinking of her.

Kristina - Hi. I'm glad that you agree with the post, which seems to have struck a chord with everyone!!

LindyLou in Italy - yes, it's the same here in England, although some shops do still give them out, but most people do take their own bags now. This has only happened in the last couple of years though, whereas in France it has been going on for years. Have a safe trip, and I hope the sun will be shining for everyone on Saturday, or anyway, definitely dry. The forecast is very good, with the temperatures getting much warmer. I will look forward to hearing all about it on your return.,

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

oh my - so very true! we had one of those push mowers and my brothers pushed it. my MIL washed and reused plastic (disposable) forks/knives/spoons and aluminum foil and baggies, etc. so her landfill footprint was quite small.

great post!

Thisisme. said...

Teresa - Your MIL did very well, didn't she? I think most people of the generation up from us were recycling before they knew it!! Hope blogger is okay for you now.

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

-chuckle-

She-who-still-can't-make-my-preferred-pics-post. But I think its my issue and not Blogger, this time.
~♥~

flowers on my table said...

Thanks for the comments Diane, I know I am trying to be cool about it, but I am really hooked. I love tumblr too. Loving your gorgeous rose header. Good luck with all your preparations, you must be getting really busy now. Loads of love, Linda x

becca said...

loved this and wow the memories it brought back and your right we didnt have a green thingy. makes you wonder who exactly is responsible for the mess we have.

Everyday Life

Daydream Living said...

I hope so too, for Brenda's sake, she is such a sweet lady, it really made me sad thinking about her situation, my parents went through the similar thing, so I know how devastating it is. Hope you have a good wednesday, it's still pouring here...
Maureen

EvaMarie Sa said...

Amen! Very well said, Diane! And so very true...

LV said...

What a wonderful journey back in time. I have been there and done that. In a way, I am glad I do not have to live as such.

Thisisme. said...

Aunt Amelia's Attic - I hope you get your photo problem sorted out! That was still a lovely photo of Gabe that you posted for us today. Hugs.

flowers on my table - I WILL get into this Pinterest thing once the wedding is over. That's all I can think of at the moment, with it being so close now!

Becca - it really did bring back memories, didn't it?!

Maureen - Poor Brenda! All we can do is pray for her my friend. Still really chilly over here, but supposed to be warming up by the end of this week :)

Mountain Mama said...

Amen!!!! Very well said :)

Belle said...

I had the same thought as Shady. You should send this in to a magazine or newspaper to educate the young people.
Excellent post. Even in the fifties in California, they had a wire cage where you would put your empty pop bottles.

Chatty Crone said...

It is something to think about - glad I live in the now. I am also green!

vintch said...

certainly puts everything in perspective, my sweet friend! oh to live in those times. i really do think they had it right back then!

Thisisme. said...

Mountain Mama - good to see you here! Thank you.

EvaMarie - thank you!

LV -Yes, it was like a bit of a journey back in time, wasn't it?! Interesting to see that you wouldn't want to go back to those times!

Belle - You're far too young to remember the fifties!!!

Chatty Crone -glad you're green!

vintch - whenever I read your sweet posts, I often think that you should be living in a time gone by!

Glenda Manus said...

I agree with Shady Del Knight. That was brilliant!

Jo-Anne Rambling said...

I think there is a lot to be said for the old ways, and get really annoyed when I hear talk about how we need to learn to recylce and reuse stuff. We did it long before it became the in thing to do.

This was a great post and I found myself nodding my head so much that it looked like it was on a spring bobbing up and down...........lol

Thisisme. said...

Jo-Anne Ramblings - you are SO right. We were doing it before it became fashionable!! I wish I had been there to see your little head bobbing up and down! LOL!!