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Green thing


By derekm


This is not a blog about gardening particularly, just about the environment, the following was sent to me in an e-mail, and I was asked to pass it on, so I’ll pass it on to you.

Checking out at the supermarket, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady, that she should bring her own shopping bags, because plastic bags were not good for the environment. T he woman apologised, and explained ‘’ we didn’t have this ‘green thing’ in my earlier days’’

The young cashier responded, ’’that’s our problem today, your generation did not cars enough to save our environment for future generations’’.

She was right,- our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in it’s day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, lemonade and beer bottles to the shop, the shop sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized, and re-filled.

But we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back in our day.

Grocery shops bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we re-used for numerous things, most memorable, besides household bags for rubbish, was the3 use of brown paper bags as covers for our school books, this was to ensure that public property,
the books provided by the school, for our use, was not defaced by our scribblings, then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have a lift in every supermarket, shop or office building, we walked to the local shop, and didn’t climb into a 300 horsepower machine 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 babies terry towelling nappies, because we didn’t have the throw away kind, we dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine, burning up to 3 kilowatts, wind and solar power really did dry our clothes, back in our early days, kids had hand me down clothes, from their brothers and 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 1 radio or television in the house, not a tv in every room, and the tv had a small screen, the size of a large handkerchief, {remember them?} not a screen the size of Scotland in the kitchen.
We blended and stirred by hand, because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us, when we packed a fragile item or 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 mow the lawn, we pushed a 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, powered by electricity.

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

We drank from a tap or a fountain when we were thirsty, instead of using a plastic cup or bottle, every time we had a drink of water. we re-filled 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 bus, and kids rode their bikes to school, or walked, instead of turning their mums into a 24 hour a day taxi service, in the families " people carrier", which cost the same as a whole house did, before we had the ‘green thing’.

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 computerised gadget to receive a signal, beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space, in order to find the nearest pub.

But isn’t it sad that the current genaration, laments how wasteful we old folks were, just because we didn’t have the ‘GREEN THING’ back then.

More blog posts by derekm

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I've read this before and it always makes me smile.

26 Jan, 2014


Here here!!!!
One thing that truly gets on my nerves about supermarkets is that we are encouraged to re-use our carrier bags.......what about the hundredweight of plastic wrappers that comes with our shopping!

26 Jan, 2014


I so enjoyed this Derek and I can remember back then.

And if you think of it we really did recycle.

And when we see bins on bin day it's all the parents with young children who don't recycle.

26 Jan, 2014


remember it well, we had tilley lamps too

26 Jan, 2014


Love it so true, I recall all of it. :o))

26 Jan, 2014


I do think people are using their own bags for shopping there are some very nice ones about and the supermarkets sell their own, in our day we used a shopping basket. Most parts of this blog are very familiar.

26 Jan, 2014


It's true Derek! :)

26 Jan, 2014


Also young girls were not so arrogant and cheeky as they are now. I am sick of them. Just enjoy being with my
own generation.

27 Jan, 2014


I enjoyed your blog Derek, and it brought back many memories ...

lol to those huge tv sets :D why do they need them as big as that ?

27 Jan, 2014


Nostalgia's not what it used to be, is it? ;-)
Brilliant blog, Derek, that had me misty-eyed and snorting with laughter so much that I had to employ a linen hanky to dispose of my own 'green thing'. Lol.

27 Jan, 2014


I've seen this before and yes its all so true....

27 Jan, 2014


Hi, thank you for your comments, I'm glad it stirred some memories, I'd like to say I don't remember those days, but I would be lying, lol, Derek.

27 Jan, 2014


Hi Derek ..
good to see this again ..
amazing how the world has changed ...

27 Jan, 2014


Not seen this before, but oh so true Derek.

There is far too much of this 'calling the kettle black' I feel sure the recycling 'Green Thing' has been around much longer than many youngsters realise.

27 Jan, 2014


Hi Tt & Waddy, yes it is amazing how things change, and not neccessarily for the better, and yes it has always been there, apart from the last 30 years or so, but we just didn't call it re-cycling, or green then, it was just what you did, you paid a deposit on bottles, took the bottle back, got your deposit back, simples, then we turned into a throw away society, because it was easier, I don't think we will ever get back to those days, because the latest generation would find it too time consuming, not to mention hard work, Derek.

28 Jan, 2014


Sad but true Derek.

29 Jan, 2014


How on earth did I miss this great piece. Brought back some good memories. If I remember correctly you got 3 pence back for each spendo from both grandmas. :o)

24 Sep, 2014


I seem to remember 4p when you returned a Ben Shaws pop bottle and round here (Yorkshire) we had Barrs who gave 3p, my spending money too HB, if I wanted sweets. Some local lads had cottoned on to where the shopkeeper stored his empty bottles in the yard behind the shop. They used to nick a couple and take them into the shop for the return money. It wasn't long before their scam was rumbled and they got a clip round the ear from the shopkeeper...wouldn't be allowed today of course.

25 Sep, 2014


Lol... My cousins used to do that too until they got caught. I wouldn't have dared.

25 Sep, 2014


Hi Sheila, glad you liked it, it does evoke some happy memories,and makes you realize just how hard life was back then, although we didn't realize it at the time, I don't think the younger people today would either cope, or put up with what was our way of life, I don't think they would have the stamina for it now, thanks to the nanny state, Derek.

25 Sep, 2014


It's more stressful I think for the parents today. Too many mothers bringing up children alone. We had family around to help out, many don't live near enough to their families now for them to pull together thanks to "get on your bike" MP, Norman Tebbit.

25 Sep, 2014


Very true Sheila, these ****** politicians have a lot to answer for, Derek.

25 Sep, 2014


I am not moaning because they are quiet people, BUT
my neighbours change the baby's fibre nappy, put the
dirty one in the plastic bag provided by the manufacturer,
and throw it out of the kitchen window !
Once a day dad goes out and picks them up, to put in the
wheelie bin.
Hope they dont have any more babies !
As I say, they are nice folks, and are quiet.

26 Sep, 2014

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