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Being Green

Author Topic: Being Green  (Read 1968 times)

Connor Altinus Mcleod

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Being Green
« on: May 12, 2013, 07:51:24 PM »

My grandmother saved and reused her bread sacks. She used T-shirts as handkerchiefs, then as washcloths, then as weather-stripping on her windows. She grew and canned her own fruits and vegetables, made her own jelly and jam, and never threw away leftovers.

20 Years ago, the "green" movement forced people to switch from paper shopping bags to plastic in order to "save the trees." Now they say you are evil if you use the plastic bags that THEY told you to use.

Grandma was a gentle, quiet woman, but I am sure she would have told someone to mind her own business and tend to her own ecology.

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 truely 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 smartass young person.


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Re: Being Green
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 08:48:23 PM »
We so need a "like" button on the forums!  ;D


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Re: Being Green
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 06:55:44 AM »
But..  what if the bag you bring... is plastic?

 :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o  *mind explodes

Seriously the three Rs are REDUCE, REUSE and recycle.  Not 'toss it in the blue box and all is well'.  Washable bento box and a thermos for drink, not 'recyclable cardboard drink box and a tonne of packaging' was the norm when I went to school.  Don't think anything ever had less than one more 'use' after the bought use either - everything got some sort of 'second life' once its initial function was complete.

Would make me giggle when someone would bish that I didn't toss things in the recycling bin here... while they had a huge amount of things they'd toss in that could otherwise just been washed and reused or repurposed.  Mind boggling how much per week families here generate in trash and blueboxes.  Even if an item is recycled it's generally an energy loss overall (excepting outliers like aluminium where recycling is far far cheaper in all ways) - recycling is just resource conservation, not innately eco-friendly.