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Unread 07-31-2011, 09:52 AM   #1
Steve C
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The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery 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 clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He 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 he 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 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 clerk was 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 a wadded up old newspaper 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 he'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?
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Unread 07-31-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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excellent piece and well-written, Steve.

that really belongs somewhere that will get a bigger audience.
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Unread 07-31-2011, 10:28 AM   #3
ceramictec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandbagger
that really belongs somewhere that will get a bigger audience.
its all over the net Art.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMkUdFNeJQQ

http://www.greenconduct.com/articles...green-ol-days/
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Unread 07-31-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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Art, my mom e-mailed it to me this a.m. Don't know who wrote it but thought it was worth repeating.

As a kid, I got to keep the pop bottle deposit refunds whenever I cleaned out the garage. Pretty good incentive.

Brian, I hadn't seen it before, but this is usually the first place I think about sharing something I think is worthwhile.
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Unread 07-31-2011, 10:50 AM   #5
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Unread 07-31-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Unread 08-01-2011, 02:50 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting this. How true!
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Unread 08-01-2011, 04:07 PM   #8
tilelayer
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I agree my generation is a bunch of lazy bums who dont wanna work and want to play on their iphone all day. Their priorities are finding an outlet to charge their iphone.
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Unread 08-01-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
jondon
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Well put Rick, this generation is a product of the technology. Many moons ago when cars were invented I am sure the same thing occurred. People said "we walked everywhere, why do they need these things with wheels to take us everywhere." They probably said people with cars are lazy. Technology never stops so the more time that goes on the easier things will be, I mean how many people have lost jobs over the years due to computers. You program everything in to the computer and away it goes, a lot of manual labor has gone away or been sent over seas where they appreciate the work and probably don't complain like we do about manual labor. Of course they are grateful to have some money in their pockets when they live in such poor communities.

iPhones are just another way of people not having to communicate face to face anymore. People driving along texting or walking along with their iPhones not paying a bit of attention to what is going on around them, like they are in a little bubble. They do have they're purpose but lets face it some might as well have it glued to they're hands. They go somewhere to a gathering and all they want to do is sit they're with they're iPhone. They might as well stay at home to do that. Less interaction with the real world and more with the fantasy facebook world.

Someday people won't even leave home, that might be a good thing. I agree the plastic thing is a real green issue, when are they gonna come up with a container that is biodegradable since most people just throw them in with the regular garbage.

Our country needs to bring more awareness somehow to being green and recycling because only a small percentage is doing it. We have to look ahead for our kids and they're kids.
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Unread 08-01-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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Kind of cute, but it was that generation that invented the disposable culture and then force fed it to the younger generations like a pate' goose, virtually programming them into being superconsumers from the day they were born.

I have a file in my email program for stuff like this- it's titled "Inspirational sh*t".

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Unread 08-01-2011, 10:38 PM   #11
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I don't think it's constructive to launch a generational war here. Suffice it to say that all of us could do a little more to preserve our planet for future generations.
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Unread 08-01-2011, 11:11 PM   #12
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It's funny how the shopping bag has become the fall-guy in the war on plastic. Let's face it, when it comes to packaging consumer goods, bigger is better. Companies want their products seen, so they put a little tiny item in a huge package.

I shake my head when I go to Costco and see entire skids of thick plastic packages the size of laptops with a credit card size item placed in the middle. Half the time, the item isn't even in the package. It gets scanned and then they get the real item from the lockup.

And while we're stirring the pot on the environment and waste, lets not forget that most consumer goods are now made in countries with very questionable pollution laws, then loaded onto a truck, then put on a cargo ship sent half way around the world, then transfered to a train and then back to another truck where it can be brought to a distribution warehouse where another truck will eventually bring it to a big box store near you.

The icing on this plasticized cake is that 99% of these "goods" are of such poor quality that they have very little useful lifespan... just throw it in the garbage. Who cares??? It only costs a buck or two.
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