In the line at the supermarket, the cashier told an older woman thatshe should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't goodfor the environment.
The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the greenthing back in my day." The cashier responded, "That's our problem today. Maybe your generationdid 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 tothe shop or off licence. They sent them back to the plant to be washed,sterilized and refilled and re-used. So it could use the same bottlesover 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 lifts and escalators inevery shop and office building.
We walked to the local shops and didn't climb into a 300-horsepowermachine every time we had to go to a supermarket.
We bought fruit and veg loose - and washed them at home. We didn't haveto throw away bins full of plastic, foam and paper packaging that needhuge recycling plants fed by monster trucks all day, everyday.
But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have thethrow-away kind.
We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobblingmachine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry theclothes.
Kids got hand-me-down (mostly hand made or hand knitted) clothes fromtheir brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing shipped fromthe other side of the planet.
But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in ourday.
Back then shops repaired things with funny things called spare parts -we didn't need to throw whole items away because a small part failed.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in everyroom. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief(remember them?), not a screen the size of Wales.
In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't haveelectric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a waddedup old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut thelawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power and hand clippersfor the hedges.
We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a brightly lit, airconditioned health club to run on treadmills that operate onelectricity and then drink millions of bottles of that special waterfrom those plastic bottles.
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 plastic cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.
We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new plastic pen,and we replaced blades in a razor instead of throwing away the wholeplastic razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the bus and kids rode their bikes to school orwalked instead of turning their parents into a 24-hour taxi service.
We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of socketsto power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadgetto receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space inorder to find the nearest fish & chip shop.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we oldfolks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a young smartass.