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The Green Thing by Janell Rose
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, sterilized and refilled, the same bottles were used 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/elevator 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 gobbing 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 handkerchief, 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 stir and blend.

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion - not Styrofoam or bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline 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 operated by electricty.

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 or dipped them in ink instead of buying a new pen, and they used a straight razor which they sharpened themselves or replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away a whole razor because the blade was dull.

But they didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people walked, took the streetcar or bus and kids rode bikes to school or the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24 hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room and sometimes that was the light bulb that hung from the ceiling, 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 23,000 miled out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?

*********Couldn't resist typing this - after our Reunion - I think there are several members of our Dear Family who remember when we didn't have the green thing. I know we need to do all we can to protect and conserve our environment - but Thank Goodness for the Progress. Love You ALL. (Don't be checking my typing skills!!!!)

 

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