My partner gave me this story from a work colleague, which was on a piece of paper, I do not know who wrote this but it is an interesting perspective about conservation and lifestyle of the older generation. Technology has made our lives a lot easier, but at what cost? Are we now returning to doing things that was done back in the old days to save our environment? The opportunity for us now is that we can create new technologies to save our environment.
In the line at the supermarket, the checkout chick told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologised to her and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.” The cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation didn’t care enough to save our environment.”
She was right – our generation didn’t have The Green Thing in its day. Back then, we returned milk bottles, soft drink 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.
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. 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 nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 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 the 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 Western Australia. 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 a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol 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 was 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 plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water, we refilled fountain pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the 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 tram or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one power point 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 2, ooo miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we oil folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish oil person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person. Remember: Don’t make old people mad. We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off.