Saturday, February 25, 2012

We didn't have the green thing back in our earlier days

While checking out today at a grocery store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman standing next to me, that she should bring her own shopping bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

While the woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." the cashier responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care much to save our environment for future generations."

She was right – our earlier generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, I remember my Dad returned milk bottles to the milk depot/ store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so they could use the same bottles over and over. Yes, they really were recycling.

I also recall how we refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen; Dad replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. Yeah, we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up the stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every shop / grocery store and office building.

Back then, Mom washed our nappies because we didn't have the throw-away concept. 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 senior siblings, not always brand-new clothing.

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 big handkerchief- hope we all remember.. ), not a screen the size of the county of Yorkshire.

In the kitchen, Mom blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. But, that lady is right. We didn't have the green thing back in our day.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

Bach then, we drank water from a fountain or a tap when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country.

We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect that to be bucked by flying it thousands of air miles around the world.

We actually cooked food that didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap and we could even wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad.

But, we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the tram or a bus, and kids rode their bicycles / bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers 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 require a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

It is sad... the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then..


Sandeep Singh said...

Ma'am your blog was very nice and thought provoking.. I never thought so but your blog made me think of many things, Are we really eco-friendly??? Thankx ma'am for sharing this

Gayatri said...

ma'am nice and thought provoking, unfortunately, things that were luxuries yesterday are slowly becoming necessities...

Zain imfy said...

Something to ponder upon!! Interesting!

Babita said...

This is absolutely bang on.
Loved it Joyi