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Forum topic by GMman posted 08-01-2011 03:04 PM 1345 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GMman

3902 posts in 3163 days


08-01-2011 03:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor

The Green Thing—You have to Love This

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.

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.”

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.

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 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. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. 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 .

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 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 2,000 miles out in space in order 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?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person.

The Green Thing


27 replies so far

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helluvawreck

23188 posts in 2332 days


#1 posted 08-01-2011 03:24 PM

I know one thing, GMman, back in the good old days we didn’t sit on the couch all day practicing how to be a couch potato like some kids do today. If we didn’t have to work we got up and played hard all day in the summer starting at 8:00 or so and didn’t come back til almost dark. And we weren’t bored either and mostly stayed out of trouble. Because of it we built some pretty strong healthy bodies and rarely were over weight. Ah, the good old days.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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chrisstef

15673 posts in 2472 days


#2 posted 08-01-2011 03:32 PM

I couldnt agree with you more GMman, im 31 years old and growing up my generation has been accustomed to modern convienances, hwich in turn have been harming our environment ever since. Granted we learned not to change our oil over open pits any more but the “green” revolution that is upon us is no more than a bit of the past combined with modern marketing practices. We all have choices on how we do things. Have i ever recycled tinfoil, nope, but i can remember my grandmother doing it. We have become a lazy society where disposable items are the norm. Fridge is broken … lets get another one. Lets turn back the page.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Manitario

2402 posts in 2349 days


#3 posted 08-01-2011 03:32 PM

Great post. It’s funny that a lot of the “new” environmentalism is really just a switch back to how things were 60 years ago.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2540 days


#4 posted 08-01-2011 04:18 PM

Excellent post – Thank you.

Not to be serious, but there is a flip side to this. I grew up on the family farm in an era when potent herbicides and pesticides were just being developed. If we were honest, we would acknowledge that we were pretty sloppy with how we applied these because we didn’t understand the potential harmful effects on the environment.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View BobTheFish's profile

BobTheFish

361 posts in 2018 days


#5 posted 08-01-2011 04:35 PM

Your generation also invented all the plastics and crap. In the 80’s my mother used cloth diapers too, but they disappeared, for the most part, around then and disposable became popular. Growing up where I did, I remember too, milk delivered in glass bottles (and sold in stores in those same bottles!) The dairies stopped delivering because it was inefficient, and people had become enamored with the supermarket (no butchers anymore either).

People walked up stairs because there wasn’t a lazier option, and buildings didn’t always have them/require them. Bigger buildings means better access to the top, wheelchairs means access is needed by law, elevators are the perfect solution.

It was the 60’s when people became enamoured with the car. Drive ins, diners, etc… later strip malls, shopping centers, and so on- all came about because america in the 1960’s especially just LOOOOOOVED the car. My generation tends to prefer to bike or walk.

Oh yeah, just an off the record “when I was a child” bit. the place I grew up is SOOOO lost to time, that when I was first starting school, they still attempted to change my handedness (from left to right) during the 80’s. They also JUST got cell phone reception three years ago. So yeah, glass bottles? I remember them… XD

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MrsBob

26 posts in 1970 days


#6 posted 08-01-2011 05:06 PM

Reminds me of the lady that told me she does not eat beef, because cows are bad for the environment? I told her I have 3 choices and asked, which would be best for the environment? I can just quit farming, but the land taxes would be so astronomical, I would most likely have to sell out to the first land developer that wants to cover the place with concrete and rows of cheap stick houses! I could flatten the place and plant crops, but with the trees, rocks, bad soil, high ground and low ground, it would probably cost more that the astronomical land taxes just make the ground usable for crops! Or, I can continue to bust my @ss for manure pay, while my cows graze with the local wildlife and nap under the trees the birds nest in! She never did answer my question?

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Moron

5032 posts in 3359 days


#7 posted 08-01-2011 05:07 PM

: )

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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EPJartisan

1116 posts in 2591 days


#8 posted 08-01-2011 05:10 PM

Hi GMan,
Your argument ignores one important generation.. mine… people my age 35-45, who grew up in “your” time, but grew older in the “kids” time. We saw the world change, we were not part of the change as much as the generation right after us.. not freaked out by it as the generation the preceded us. We have the ability to see both sides of this argument..

But here is something you all do not understand. “green” is not a practice, “green” is not a debate. “Green” is an being aware and understanding of our impact on the world. “Green” is doing something that is a sacrifice to heal what is broken.. what we broke when no one thought of or cared about the environment. You did not have to nor want to think “green” so NO you did not have “green” back then.

We started to break this world at the industrial revolution.. and humans have lived in ignorance for over 50 years.. which covers almost everyone alive to day. SO NO… you did not have “green” in your age and yes, your generation helped convert the world into what it is today. It is your generation whom, taught their kids to not care about the results of human waste, greed, and gluttony.

so here is a very educated GenXer’s view reflection, one with a product development background in Industrial Design, and heavy interest in history, psychology, and science.

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.

I worked at a grocery store for 10 years over high school and college. Some people had canvas bags, but most wanted paper bags. The store owners wanted cheaper and went to plastic… the store owner was 49 years old at the time making him 70 today and equivalent to the old woman in your story. He did not care about “green” issues.

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.

I remember bottles in my childhood, but I remember aluminum being the new choice. recycling was given up because it was too expensive. Refining Aluminum is far more polluting and energy using than bottles… but I also remember the 70’s oil crisis, though I was very young. I also remember the advent of Plastic bottles being heralded at the safe and cheaper wave of the future… yep such “green” concepts. Even though since the 1940’s we KNEW that BPA chemical lining was dangerous for human consumption…. oh but don’t get me started on how many companies took advantage and even exacerbated the ignorance of the general public (No “green” thinking to be found until someone got hurt) so they could pollute into human resources and kill people, animals, and our world… again.. not at all “green” in awareness nor understanding.

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.

No but you drove cars everywhere else and destroyed huge sections the whole country with unregulated deforestation for food and roads. Your generation started the identity by vehicle… a man and his truck. Prior generations disrupted whole eco systems for Theme parks and highways, and towns which are now dead fester sores of humanity with no tourism to keep anyone alive.. not to mention unregulated Pesticides that gave cancer to thousands.. you didn’t have the green thing in your 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. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. 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 .In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

IN a dumpy economy back in the 80s, when everyone was too busy to care about the world and was only trying to get rich … what happened. Women pretty much HAD to go and earn a second income for the home. I used to help my sister do diapers… but who has time for home chores anymore? Growing up.. I did the laundry and cooking right after elementary school. You know… President Carter, put solar panels on the white house, but Reagan took them off and then passed legislation to NOT support “green” technology. Nope no one in your generation even thought that electric consumption could damage the world. And you ALL adopted to electric consuming, time saving devices pretty fast… and you all taught by example that this was a good thing… consume and use. Not a bit of “green” thinking anyplace.

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.

A matter of what was available.. not what you chose to use. I can just imagine if you bought a tool today and it was wrapped in newspaper… and got damaged somehow… YEAH.. how green can you think them as you have to send it back.. fully aware that they could have used foam and not wasted your time and patience. Today.. aware people have no choice but to go green. NO this was not your world back them.. not even a green debate.

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.

And you hated it.. your kids hated it.. and avoided doing it.. and adopted electric and gas riding mowers the moment you could afford one… and now we are a fat and lazy culture who has to pay to get thin.. rather then just stop eating so much and so badly … and this is Anti-Green anyway.

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.

It was not my generation, nor any after mine, that started the “Protect the children” and “safety obsessed” over “safe future” world we live in. Public fountains are usually in parks and places where the government had responsibility and the government put regulations in place for public safe drinking and bathrooms were available… BUT hey the government is EVIL.. and taxes are “OUR money” not the governments to use to help us live safely and have decent drinking fountains.


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.

Pens got expensive an were hard to replace, thus necessity changed that. I still have pens that re-fill. Razors were once able to be resharpened.. and once were made of very cheap, durable, and “green” ceramics… So even in your example.. you are not as “green“ as we once were.. and find we MUST be again.

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.

People still do take busses and trains.. but again.. a government that has no money can not maintain quality and safety… so the price goes up quality does not.. and less people use it. People are fighting now to get Bike lanes on city streets (I was bashed and run down by a many a car in my life).. but again that requires a strong and funded government. Besides the insane desire to have a Suburban life created: Soccer Moms, and long drives to anywhere, and then the obsession to get out of the BOORING suburbs.


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 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

One electrical outlet per room in homes prior to the baby boom, you mean. After the boom, families and culture changed and one electrical outlet caused hundreds of fires every year. Then in the 70’s it was common to increase outlets using aluminum (cheaper) wiring, remodel with aluminum, and build new with more outlets. Causing more cultural issues of waste.. from before my generation. I grew up learning about no over loading an outlet, saving energy by unplugging.. yep. I got “green”ly education due to the prior generations mistakes and waste… but was NOT passed on many generations after mine.. so here we are again. Ignorance forcing us to be “green”

And though computers use electric, they save on waste from paper manufacturing (70% from virgin wood pulp) and increased the economy for small businesses.. And this comment is just wrong.. THAT technology.. is “Green”

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.

SO here is from a little younger than you smart ass.. the only sad thing i that you do not get it.
Your story begins with a conscious youth, doing the right thing… something your generation was ignorant of it.. and yet still seems to deny it … and then complains about The Green Thing rather than just getting off your high horse and accepting the future.. We damaged it.. time to think green or we will hurt ourselves and our children’s future. To be dismissive a safe future for that youth whom accurately blames the past generations …. is just a further slap in his face.

I feel you also should quit lamenting over your nostalgia from years past… and accept it was damaging.. that we ALL damaged our future … and we ALL must fix it.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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BobTheFish

361 posts in 2018 days


#9 posted 08-01-2011 05:47 PM

EPJartisan, Thank you… Just…. thank you.

Sometimes I feel like a lone voice of dissent against my elders When they start talking like this. I’m glad I’m not alone.

View pierce85's profile

pierce85

508 posts in 2028 days


#10 posted 08-01-2011 06:40 PM

Men always praise (but not always reasonably) the ancient times and find fault with the present; and they are such partisans of things past, that they celebrate not only that age which has been recalled to their memory by known writers, but those also (being now old) which they remember having seen in their youth. And when this opinion of theirs is false (as it is most of the times) I am persuaded the reasons by which they are led to such deception are various….I do not know, therefore, whether I merit to be numbered among those who deceive themselves, if in these Discourses of mine I shall laud too much the times of the ancient Romans and censure ours. And truly, if the virtu that then reigned and the vice that now reigns should not be as clear as the Sun, I would be more restrained in talking, being apprehensive of falling into that deception of which I accuse others.”

Niccolo Machiavelli

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2159 days


#11 posted 08-01-2011 06:51 PM

Gmann, you’re so ungreen. I really liked this post. I read an article that something like 70% of people my age (40 or less) reported that they would never accept a job where their boss didn’t give them nearly constant “attaboys”. Did y’all have this in your day? My generation makes me want to puke most days. I’m all for recycling, I compost, I have instant hot water, I use fluorescent bulbs, etc. But I still don’t cry about people not doing it. My boss also rarely tells me I’m doing a good job;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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DaddyZ

2475 posts in 2506 days


#12 posted 08-01-2011 07:47 PM

EPJartisan – Bravo !!!!!

Being 42 I grew up with little, & am living with little still !!!

But it costs more & is worse for the enviroment !!!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View BobTheFish's profile

BobTheFish

361 posts in 2018 days


#13 posted 08-01-2011 08:34 PM

Bertha, praise makes me feel uncomfortable, but it’s the self stroking of ones ego at any age, of any generation, that makes me want to vomit. Whether it be the self inflated topics started about how hand tools are the only tools of a “real” woodworker, or be it about how “green” someone is, or how “green” one is not…. It’s all just ego stroking in order to point out why one person is superior to the others, and why they aren’t part of a problem.

Then again, my favored goddess has always been Nemesis, the black winged balancer of fate… ;)

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Jim Jakosh

17172 posts in 2571 days


#14 posted 08-03-2011 07:14 PM

How true. We did not call it green back then, it was common sense which is pretty much gone these days!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3208 days


#15 posted 08-03-2011 08:43 PM

It is more unfortunate that the younger generations have fully bought into the notion that the answer to every ill is government. That if we could just channel everyone fortune to Biden and Reid and Pelosi, that they would use their then omnipotent power for the benevolence of all mankind – like:

Public fountains are usually in parks and places where the government had responsibility and the government put regulations in place for public safe drinking and bathrooms were available

we’re in similar age groups as I approach 46 but in my time i haven seen anything to dispute that ”- – everything the government runs/touches turns to crap” I have yet to see a hotel lobby, shopping mall or other place without drinking fountains and I bet those far outnumber the parks.

Ask yourself this – is there any person of the 535 rulers we have right now, that you believe if you dropped your wallet that they would return it to you…still full?

In the immortal words of Churchill -
“Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.”

Hence my choice of tagline – Even Einstein who was quite liberal, and died back in 1955 – recognized that this blind faith people have for government and the powerful is dangerous. We watch things happen that we know in our hearts is wrong – but still assume that the Government has our best interest at heart, or “ghosh! I can’t disagree with the president because he went to Harvard so he must be right”

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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