We didn’t have this green thing in our day

20 Nov

I have a little repair shop in Leeds. I try to be ‘green’. I try not to sell packaged goods. I recycle all packaging. I recycle all metals. I stock environmentally sound products. I salvage working components for refurbishment & sale (throwing away perfectly good, working parts is madness). I minimise my fuel use. Etc. Etc. Etc. I do this for the Common Good.

After every weekend, I’m re sweeping up the broken glass from the road & pavements. Cyclists and pram-pushers are inconvenienced and relieved of their £££s (puncture repairs). Parents have to take extra care when walking their children. I do this for the Common Good.

I take out the bins for collection from households (i.e. students) so that they don’t forget and resort to putting out bags of rubbish for the rats and foxes to plunder. I do this for the Common Good.

I don’t care if you believe in climate change or not. That is not important.

Minimising our use of the Earth’s resources is important. I’m just doing ‘my bit.

The following is Deborah Williams’ (from Kent Freedom Movement) clever comment on the greenness of today’s society.


Emphasis in red are mine.

” Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.” The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.” She 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 she 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 our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is 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 wadded up old newspapers 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 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 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? “

1 Comment

Posted by on 2011-11-20 in Environment, Madness, Technology


One response to “We didn’t have this green thing in our day

  1. Lydia

    2011-11-20 at 11:21

    Absolutely brilliant and spot on. I am that generation, I remember all them things you talk about, now I know why I feel so depressed at times, because of the modern way of things being chaged and not for the better. I will have to send this to all who can relate to it. Thanks for this article.


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