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Baba Fats


Location: Philly, Pa
Country: US


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Why do we blame the OLDER generations for our environmental problems?

By: Baba Fats
Posted in:

Checking out at the store, the young cashier
suggested to the older woman that she should
bring her own shopping 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 cashier 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, 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 over and over. So they really
were recycled. 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 in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an

escalator in every shop 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 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 county of
Yorkshire . 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 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 water from a fountain or a tap when we

were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle
flown in from another country. We accepted that
a lot of food was seasonal and didnt expect that
to be bucked by flying it thousands of air miles
around the world. We actually cooked food that
didnt come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap
and we could even wash our own vegetables and
chop our own salad.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 mothers 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 that the current generation
laments how wasteful we old folks were just
because we didn't have the green thing back then?

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