Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Green Initiatives in the 1950's

This is not my story but one of those things your "friends' send you in the email.

“A cashier at the grocery store told an older shopper she should bring her own bag because plastic bags were not good for the environment.

“‘We didn’t have the “green thing” back in my day,’ she apologized.

“‘That’s our problem today,’ the clerk said. ‘Previous generations didn’t care about saving our environment.’

“He was right. That generation didn’t have the “green thing.”

“Back then, they returned milk, soda and beer bottles to the store. And the store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles over and over again. Real recycling.

“But they didn’t have the “green thing.”

“In those days, people walked up stairs because they didn’t have an escalator in every 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 gobbling machine — wind and solar power really did dry clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

“Back then, they had one television, 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 Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do it. When they packaged a fragile item to mail, they used old, wadded-up newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

“Back then, they didn't fire up a gasoline engine to cut the grass. 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 that operate on electricity.

“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 plastic bottle every time they ‘needed’ a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen and they replaced the blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor when the blade got dull.”

“But, no, they didn't have that “green thing” going for them.

“Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids walked or rode their bikes everywhere instead of turning moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not a bank of sockets to power multiple appliances. And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space 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?”

2 comments:

Slightly Jaded said...

Ahhhhhh... the good old days!

Alan said...

Best blog you have written.