Queuing up at the shop, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags weren’t
good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained: we didn't have the
green thing back in my day. That's right. Then they returned their milk and beer
bottles to the shop. The shop sent them back to the plant to be washed, sterilized
and refilled, and the same bottles were used over and over again--they really were
recycled. But they didn't have the green thing in her day.
In her day they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every
shop and office building. They walked to the shop and didn't climb into a 300hp machine
to go down the road. But she's right; they didn't have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they washed the baby's nappies because they didn't have the throwaway
kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up
220 volts. "Wind and solar power" really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down-clothes
from brothers or sisters, not always new clothing. But she's right; they didn't have
the green thing in her day.
Back then they had one TV, or radio in the house, not one in every room. In the kitchen
they blended and stirred by hand (no electric machines). When they packaged a fragile
item they used wadded up newspaper, not bubble wrap. They didn't use petrol or electric
to mow the lawn, just a push mower. They exercised by working, so didn't need to
go to a health club to use electrically powered equipment. But she's right; they
didn't have the green thing, back then.
They drank from a fountain, when they were thirsty, instead of a plastic bottle every
time. They refilled pens with ink and replaced razor blades instead of throwing away
the whole razor. But they didn't have the green thing, back then.
Back then children used public transport or bikes and didn't turn their mums into
a 24 hour taxi service. They didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal
beamed from satellites 2,000 miles away, in space, in order to find the nearest pizza
place. But she's right. They didn't have the green thing back in her day.