I just got sent this via email. Even if you disagree with some of the points, I think the message is pretty powerful.
In the line at the supermarket, a cashier told an older woman she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologised to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”
The assistant responded, “That’s our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles, fizzy drink bottles and beer bottles to the shop. The shop then sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.
But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day.
In her day, they walked up stairs and didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the shops and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go down the road.
They washed nappies 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. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
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 handkerchief, not a screen the size of the Wales! In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to make the job easy. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old 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.
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying new, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole thing just because the blade got dull.
People took the bus and kids rode their bikes or bus to school instead of turning parents into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one plug in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. They 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 place to eat.
But they didn’t have the green thing back then. My weren’t the last generation wasteful?