And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Conservation and Nostalgia

Posted on: April 3, 2011

Got this from a friend and enjoyed it enough to pass on to you as a “remember when” as well as a good lesson in conservation.  BB

Conservation


In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that
plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.  The woman
apologized to her and explained,
“We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

That’s right, they didn’t have the green thing in her day.  Back
then, they returned their milk bottles, pop bottles and beer
bottles to the store.  The store sent them back to the plant to
be washed and sterilized and refilled, using the same bottles
over and over.  So they really were recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an
escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the
grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine
every time they had to go two blocks.

But she’s right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t
have the throw-away kind. They 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, they didn’t have the green thing back
in her day.

Back then, they 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 pizza
dish, not a screen the size of the state of Montana.  In the kitchen,
they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric
machines to do everything for you.  When they packaged a fragile
item to send in the mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion
it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to
cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power.
They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club
to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of
using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.
They refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they
replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the
whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to
school or rode the school bus or walked, instead of turning their
moms into a 24-hour taxi service.  They had one electrical outlet
in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And they 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 they didn’t have the green thing back then!

 

3 Responses to "Conservation and Nostalgia"

[…] they didn’t have the green thing in her day.  Back then, they returned their milk bottles … Read More via And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and […]

It’s true that we weren’t as wastefull and lazy back then the way we are now and we certainly were so much less voracious in our use of energy. But lets remember that it was the people who came before us who set the course for our present predicament. There has never been a time (or place) when people didn’t jump at the chance to increase conveniance or lessen the physical labors of life when the opportunity arose. They may have been more innocent back then in terms of degree, but they bit the apple everytime just like us. “How green was my valley?” was set at the turn of 20th century Wales, where already pollution was becoming a blight on nature. Human nature is to blame, and we today didn’t invent that.

Very much agree Terry. I enjoyed the above post and that is why I posted it on my site but while all of the above is true and my mother (and I) saved our glass milk bottles and pop bottles the smoke and fumes from the steel mills in the northern Ohio Valley where I was born and raised was so bad that I had to breath in the sulfur at my home 10 miles from the mills. AND, rivers were being set on fire with the burning trash and pollution. So all in all I think perhaps we are moving forward rather than back. BB

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