This was posted by distant relative on her facebook page; I think it’s worth sharing.
Checking out at the supermarket recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. I apologised and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days". the clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations".
She was right about one thing--our generation didn't have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then?After some reflection and soul-searching on "Our" day here's what I remembered we did have....
Back then, we returned 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, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. 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 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 Wales. In the kitchen, we blended & 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 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'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 bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums 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 older folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
The green thing.
(23 posts) (14 voices)
This was posted by distant relative on her facebook page; I think it’s worth sharing.
i love this
your quiet, seething idignation (just been writing an essay about virginia wolf)
you/we did have-off the top of my head-probably highly chemically and historically inaccuarate (been writing all night-see above)
ddt, lindane etc
asbestos,lead in petrol and paint, mercury in the sea,smog and the atomic bomb
oh, and terry wogan
And space candy - that popping bastard of a sweet - evil pure evil I tell ya - not like that red spanish, pacers, the texan bar and fruit sensations.
John: This appeared in our parich magazine recently.
Good point though inbsl: We did have DDT in the good old days. For really green time you would have to go back before the industrial revolution - or Dorset.
Love this. OK I get the chemicals stuff, and there were scare stories about strontium 90 levels in milk.
But overall, we were very green on a day to day basis.
A chance to vent my spleen on a smug, spotty little shit trying to tell me otherwise would be beneficial to all.
I think what gets me is the idea that not using plastic carrier bags is in some way ‘green’. They’re ugly and a blight on the landscape, and possibly kill little creatures that get trapped inside, but compared to the harm done by, for example, bio-fuels, they are really trivial. And I bet the smug little twat on the checkout would just love to go back to the days of sanitary towels.
Also, AFAIK, we still have the atomic bomb, and DDT is still in use in Africa.
Re atom bomb: To be fair its a while since we loosed one off, unless you count nuclear meltdowns in Russia, Japan and Cumbria.
AS far as I know. Just realised, sorry bit slow today as had to get up early and cook breakfasts in the pub.
Isn't this a song by Billy Joel..........
You have a pub that serves breakfast? Man alive. I am so jealous.
Just like to clarify which feminine hygiene products DO have the JFR 'seal of approval' oh-errr
I approve of anything that makes the life of women easier, bsl. My first point is that disposables generally have a higher environmental impact than re-usables, and I doubt whether the sanctimonious young lady on the check-out would really prefer to hand-wash and dry bulky, ugly towels, of the sort used pre-1960’s, once a month to just dropping small, discreet items in the bin or down the bog. Second point, I guess, is that many greens want to save the world by having other people make sacrifices while quietly ignoring their own contribution to the befouling of the planet, which I view as one sub-text of the rant. It’s the hypocrisy that sticks in the craw.
I amass a fair number of plastic bags... but they all get reused where possible as litter bags - which my council are happy to take too.
And for those really bored who want to browse some Environment Agency reports into what bags might be greenest; http://www.biodeg.org/files/uploaded/Carrier_Bags_Report_EA.pdf
got it, JFR. i know what you mean!
mine was actually really just a throwaway remark, but that probably isnt very eco-friendly
in my day, we didnt have the convenience of throwaway remarks, we just had to keep repeating the old ones
btw 'recycling' often seems to involve shipping our shit off to africa, often without the consent of the 'recieving' governments. but hey, it makes us wasteful ones feel better...when electronics are 'recycled' we just know all know little boys love setting fire to things, especially old computers.
shame about the burns and the noxious smoke though...
M' young grandaughter has been introduced to the world, in blissful ignorance of the disposable nappy. Does anyone know whether the soap, water and energy involved in washing the re-usables is a saving over the costs of disposables? Assuming that drying is undertaken by the big yellow thing in the sky.
Oh, and good rant JFR
Where is your pub?
Could it host a gathering of newsbiscuit writers?
(What would be the collective noun? A packet of Newsbiscuits? A Selection? A tin of Newsbiscuits? A Plate?)
One other pint about M&S plastic bags.
Since they force you to buy them, surely you can take them back to "Returns" the next day and say "I bought this yesterday but it's not really me" and get your money back
That'd teach them.
M&S have been very clever with their bags. The signs say that the proceeds* of each bag goes to charity. *1.3p. This means they take the cost of the bag first which is a cost they used to pay. Not wishing to be cynical, but again this is profiteering dressed up as ' going green'
@ronseal, just click on his icon. It's not particularly near London, Manchester or anywhere townies have heard of. More sheep than people there - I'll drop in if I'm passing.
JFR's original post is great reading, and I enjoyed it immensely, but there are swings & roundabouts. We used to dump shit & chemicals into rivers & canals, we used to exploit the 3rd world and produce chemicals without proper H&S (remember Bhopal?), we used to dig holes just about anywhere (remember Aberfan?), etc.
So, we used to be bad, and today we're differently bad.
Ronseal, I love that idea.
Particularly if you tore a hole in the bottom of it, and said it had dropped your shopping (bottle of single malt and 24eggs) out of it which had smashed at the scene.
Therefore, the bag they sold you was not fit for purpose (trades descriptions act) and they owe you not only a refund on the bag, but on your ruined shopping too.
Coincidentally, thats the fifth time its happened to you this week, you stink of whisky and just dropped an eggy fart...
Perks - thought exactly the same thing when I saw a sign at a supermarket saying 'in order to help the environment we now charge 5p for each carrier bag'.
Sod all to do with the environment, everything to do with profits.
Ronseal - a biscuiteer with a pub sounds ideal for NB get-togethers, but I think the only person that lives anywhere near bj is bj.
Re: returning the bag. Instead of asking for your money back try asking for a credit note.
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