In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should
  bring her own grocery bag 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 clerk responded, “That’s our problem today.  The former generation did
  not 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, 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 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 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 was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.
 
  Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers 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 hankerchief, not a screen
  the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, they blended and stirred
  by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you.
 
  When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up
  old newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
 
  Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline 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 a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just
  because the blade got dull.
 
  But they 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 rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour
  taxi service. They had one electrical outlet 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 joint.
 
  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?

 

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