Monthly Archive for January, 2012

The Green Thing

Someone at work forwarded a chain letter, and although its spirit was sincere, I thought it was misguided. So, below are my clever responses to the “education” the elder in the story is attempting to convey.

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.
Maybe this was a store outside of North America (excluding Mexico).

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.”
That was rude like typical customer service from our teenagers today.

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.
Corporations stopped accepting them. I’d rather get hit by a plastic bottle at a football game than a glass one.

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.
Mom & Pop stores could still compete with corporations back then.

We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
….back in the days of sidewalks. I don’t want government telling us where to put sidewalks, but it’d be OK if someone put a toll gate on my sidewalk.

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 the clothes.
Back then, a single parent income was sufficient to keep the family above the poverty line, so every family had a live-in nanny, the mother.

Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
Corporate advertising didn’t make us feel bad for pass-me-downs back then.

But that old 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 .
How else would we consume advertising so efficiently? I’ll state this without fact checking: the flat screen is more efficient than the CRT tube half its size.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.
Yeah, life was a bit slower back then.

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.
Then why was Styrofoam and plastic bubble wrap invented? I mean, I don’t see a radio button on Newegg or Amazon asking “yesterday’s paper or plastic?”

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.
How did corporate farms make it so that 50% of population were farmers and now only 3% are farmers?

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.
This one is my favorite. That was when it was safe to drink water before the corporations polluted water to where our fish glow in the dark. Back then, people would think you’re the best salesman on earth if you could sell water. Next up: canned air.

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.
Corporate advertising has made me feel self conscious if my skin were irritated.

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.
Public transit!? No government spending during this crisis, or ever, allowed. Oil Lobby, thank you for helping me understand that. Besides, what’s up with putting your kids in a whole bunch of activities they don’t even like? How about you stop running around trying to out do Mrs. Jones, and pay attention to kids’ heart, and then put them in what they truly want.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. We didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 22,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
We’re all disoriented in a new way now, so good call. And by the way, it’s 12,600 miles, which is the optimal altitude, so don’t stress over it.

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?
I have never heard anyone talk like that about the old generation, but what do I know? I’m just talking to myself on the Internet.

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

I forwarded it, alright. I forwarded it with these comments above and got a very positive response. Not only am I spot on, I am funny.