British Lung Foundation
34,216 members41,615 posts

This Green thing

I have just had this posted on my FB page thought you might like to read it too

Being Green...

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 young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f

or 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 truly recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.

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 throwaway 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 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger 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?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-ass young person.

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

12 Replies

I like that one Jandan, spot on. How green were we !! Ha Ha


I enjoyed reading that, I don't usually read long blogs just skip through them but kept on reading to see what else I could remember, sadly most of it, I must be old.

polly xx


Well said Jandan and neither did we know everything like the young of today.....init.



This bit is wrong

'Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-ass young person.'

Should be:

'Please forward this on to a smart-ass young person who needs a lesson in conversation from another selfish old person.'

BTW. I refer to 'greenies' as 'Watermelons'. They show green on the outside, but inside they are as red as any true blood communist.



Love it !!!!


But that old lady is right.They didn't have the green thing back in her day.And weren't we lucky to have lived in those4 truly good days!



Well said


What a brilliant blog! I'll certainly be passing this one on. :-)


A great blog thanks! Libby


Well said I will certainly put this on my fb page.


Too true, and many more - my Grandchildren look at me with horror when I relate how we did these household things etc 'in my day'- and as for cooking a good satisfying stew with a base of left overs - oh no not now (in many cases) straight in the bin, health and safety depicts! May have been hard and time consuming work - I don't know about you, but I didn,t have time to get stressed!!!!!! Ahh happy memories !!!!!!!! :) Cheers all happy days.


Ah, but I would be even more housebound than I am - no little electric scooter in a car provided by the Motability charity even if I had to buy the scooter & hoist for £2k; (we couldn't afford a car when I was a kid), no stairlift so I'd be stuck either upstairs or downstairs (even if I had to buy the Stannah stairlift for £6500 - I'm not on benefits you see cos I did absorb the work ethic & also saved up). But those things wouldn't matter, cos I wouldn't have the medication which keeps me alive for now. I bitch about things today with the best of them - but the golden age when I was a kid wasn't really golden - it was just that we erroneously trusted priests, and policemen, and doctors, and MP's and newspapers and judges - because we couldn't see the underlying tarnish we can now see via the wonderful social networks - from an enlightened cynical old man. Frank


You may also like...