My sister mailed this story to me yesterday. It was so good, I had to share it with you all!
In the queue at the supermarket, 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 cashier 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, lemonade bottles and beer bottles to the shop or pub. They sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over again. 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 or a lift in every shop and office building. We walked to the grocery shop and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower four-wheel drive every time we had to go half a mile.
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 often got hand-me-down clothes from their elder 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 a football pitch.
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 post, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not 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 styrene 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 blade 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 tram or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service.
We had one five amp and one fifteen amp electric outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets on every wall to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest fish and chip shop.
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 smart-arse young person.
Don't you just love it?