Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Green thing ( my version)

Back in those days

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day. Back then,
they returned their milk bottles,  Coke bottles and beer bottles to
the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and
refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were

But they didn’t have the green thing back in her 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’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in my day either.

Back then, we washed my little brother's ( not pictured) baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried the 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 or neighbors, not always brand-new clothing.

But that lady is right, they didn’t have the
green thing back in my 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 bread box,
not a screen the size of the state of Montana.  In fact I never had a tv until I was an adult and then only to watch at night when there was no possibility of doing more creative things.

 In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric
machines to do everything for you.   We baked our own bread by hand from local ingredients not with a kneading machine or food brought from far away by trucks and planes.  

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, my father would never fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to
cut the lawn or take the car for one errand. In fact if we mowed, we pushed a mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so there was no need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.  Children really ran and played hard.  We did yoga on the floor as a family, no fancy equipment required.

But she’s right, they didn’t
have the green thing back then.

We all drank from a fountain when we were thirsty, instead of using a
cup or a plastic bottle every time for a drink of water. We drank tea from a reusable mug not a styrofoam cup.

 My parents refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and 
replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the
whole razor just because the blade got dull.  My father fixed things that were broken like irons, or toasters , vacuum cleaners or cars instead of getting a new one.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus and kids rode their bikes or the school bus, or walked ,like I did, four miles or so to school, instead of turning moms into a 24-hour taxi services.   In fact we had one car and my father was the only driver.

There were one or two  electrical outlets 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 we didn't have the green thing back then!

   This is reposted from the internet,  ( I can't find the author) but I have changed  the wording to personalize it.   It just struck a chord with me.


  1. love the green thing, essay! xoxo linda F.

  2. Ab fab that is!!! I feel part of the olden days when green was "not in", but just a normal way of living. I walk, never use a car, well almost never and eat local foods! xxx cant waitto catch up! xxx