Thought I'd share this thought provoking email I just received from a friend. If you're of my generation, you can relate. Pardon the OP folks.
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much 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 for 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 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 in the family's $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the "green thing." 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?
We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to pi** us off...especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smart*** who can't make change without the cash register telling them how much.
(Am@n) This message has been edited. Last edited by: Froo Froo,
Froo, I just replied with a post that contained trigger words, so I will try again...Yes, the young clerk is probably woefully ignorant, but our generation (I am 64) and my parents' were not perfect by any means. Any woman who would want to return to the 50's (and even the 60's) deserves the glass ceiling, lack of career choices, and inadequate pay that our mothers suffered. I admit that I am somewhat dismayed when I encounter a young woman who does not realize that she is standing on the shoulders of the fem*inists who came before her, but I am also dismayed whenever I encounter people who have a romanticized view of the past. I hope the monitor will decide to allow my original post to appear, but I'm sure you get the idea. Let's not ignore the beam in our own eye...
Froo Froo - I remember most of of the "green" on this post. Talk about a walk down memory lane. Reuse, repurpose, recycle has been around for some of us for decades. Thanks for sharing.
Great post, Froo. I remember all of it. Although I admit, I don't want to go back to hanging wash on the line, I do my own little "green" thing everyday. So what if I forgot to bring my own bags to the grocery? Sometimes, I remember. Now if I could just stop the strange looks from the smart*** greenies when I say I very seldom use paper towels, that rags are just fine that I can wash and re-use LOL!
Let me clarify....I am NOT saying every or any generation is perfect. I just thought that this was an interesting comparison. I vividly recall my parents reminiscing about their "good old days". I must admit that depression generation were not whimps and they were the essence of recycling, repurposing and frugality. They had to be tough to survive.
As for hanging the wash, I often lament that my HOA won't allow clotheslines cuz there's not one (no doubt unhealthy) additive in laundry detergent today that comes close to drying clothes in the sunshine and fresh air. I do miss mom's sheets and towels.
Thanks for sharing that email, Froo - all very true and something most young people don't understand. Sms29s66 also makes some very good points and I certainly wouldn't want to go back to "the good old days".
It's a good reminder to all tho that everyone needs to do their part to prevent further degradation of earth. However, one of my pet peeves is that stores want customers to use reusable bags instead of plastic but they sell, and expect us to buy, plastic garbage bags. Not going to happen here as long as they give me free plastic bags which I recycle as my garbage bags. I think the stores' interests are more in their bottom line than in being 'green'. If anyone has a solution of what to wrap garbage in I'm willing to change.
"I have always had an aversion to the concepts of in style and out of style." ~Rose Tarlow
Inspirational pics: http://inspiration4u.shutterfly.com/
Yes, it's true that the Depression-era folks like my parents were frugal and recycled and repurposed before it was cool to be green. Mostly because they had no other choice, given their modest circumstances. My father's compost pile in our suburban backyard was started in 1954 and lasted until the house was sold about 50 years later.
But, I gotta agree with those who care not to romanticize the past. I am 63 and would not trade living in today's modern world for the not-so-great days of the 50s and 60s. No sir-ree. BTDT. Nor do I care to bemoan and complain about the so-called younger generation. There's too often a them against us mentality that irks me.
As for drying clothes on the line outside, fugghedaboudit. I had to handle that task for too many years to remember (my mom was partially disabled) and it was not fun. Nothing romantic about it. Plus the clothes and towels came out scratchy.
As someone who suffers terribly from seasonal tree and pollen allergies, I learned too late that drying clothes on a line and being exposed to windy dry conditions is not recommended. Thank goodness for my HOA which bans those unsightly line drying contraptions.
Aychihuahua, at 78 I still hang my laundry out. In the winter I hang it in the cellar. Not everything, but linens and cotton shirts etc. It smells wonderful and is one of our real luxuries in life! (nothing like slipping between crisp sweet smelling ironed cotton sheets!) In fact a retractable clothes line is on my Christmas list!
Well I would like to comment on all of these posts. First Froo, thank you very much. I am sending your thread to my sisters and also my local grocery stores.
I graduated from h.s. in 1952 and worked until 1962 (also after that of course but 1962 is when DD was born) The males and females of my acquaintance worked at basically the same rates of pay. Certainly when I worked for a major air line; exactly the same rate of pay for exactly the same job(s) Nursing and teaching then were also avenues of employment for females and secure jobs too (no teachers lost their jobs during the depression) Like now, they were relatively remunerative jobs.
Also jobs at the telephone company and utility companies were considered very good jobs.
It is true that many women did not have high expenses because most often women stayed at home till they were married. They also of course, were not single mothers or heads of households unless widowed or divorced.
What I most would dislike about returning to the past is not only the social conventions but the wonders of current day technology. I actually miss hearing adults call each other "Mr. and Mrs" until a closer acquaintanceship made using first names really special. I hate being asked now in a restaurant "what do you guys want to have?" I miss the courtesy that was definitely more prevalent in everyday life.
I remember the first time (I was 33) hearing the "word" dropped on me in talking to a male acquaintance while standing on the street. It was as if a bucket of water was thrown over my head. Simply did not hear that in mixed company.
I would hate wrapping garbage up in newspapers as we once did with unsightly and disgusting metal garbage cans.
Froo, also during the WW 2 we children would return saved fat to the grocery store, remove tops and bottoms from cans, stamp on the cans and return them to the grocery store. And everyone had a "victory" garden.
Don't forget that in those years (50's; 60's) it was still relatively rare for most people to go to college. NOne of the six of us did, although as adults, 3 of us got BA's. Education like now, often determines the job, lifestyle and height of the ceiling both males and females live under. Of course it is also true that many jobs now demand a degree that formerly did not. (remember when lawyers used to "read for the bar" rather than go to law school?)This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
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