Friday, April 07, 2017

#AtoZChallenge We were GREEN back in our day (or were we?)

Remember Pee-Chees? 

Boy "they" almost had me - brainwashing me, to believe we were not "green" back in the 40's and 50's, 60's,  Once again, our wasteful generation had to be shown up by these little whippersnappers. Until, we stop and really think about it. 

I wish I had written the following and perhaps you have read this before. It was perfect for today's G post. 

Author Unknown 

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery 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 young clerk 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 and soda 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 truly recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) 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 do the green thing back then. 

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store 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 diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway 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 state of Montana. 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 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 gasoline 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 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 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 then.

 Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one or two electrical outlets 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 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

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? (source: thingsthatmakeyougohmm)

  1951 Events & Facts MAJOR EVENTS: 

North Korean offensive pushes beyond the 38th parallel; truce negotiations fail
Congress passes 22nd Amendment, limiting a President to two terms
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg convicted of passing U.S. nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union; both are sentenced to death
General Douglas MacArthur relieved of command in Korea
Sen. Estes Kefauver begins investigation of gambling and organized crime


Movies: The African Queen,
An American in Paris,
Strangers on a Train,
A Streetcar Named Desire

Hello Young Lovers,
Getting to Know You,
Kisses Sweeter than Wine, I
n the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening

TV Shows: 
I Love Lucy,
Adventures of Ellery Queen,
Captain Video,
What’s My Line

A Man Called Peter, Catherine Marshall;
Lie Down in Darkness, William Styron;
Desirée, Annemarie Selinko;
From Here to Eternity, James Jones;
The Caine Mutiny, Herman Woulk;
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

Color television introduced; first color broadcast transmitted from CBS in New York
The King and I opens on Broadway
Robert Frost and Carl Sandberg both publish collections of poetry titled Complete Poems


  1. Even though disposable diapers are a big polluter; they are wonderful. I could stand rinsing and washing baby diapers. But adult diapers are better than wonderful.

    1. I washed my own baby diapers, but the adult diapers I wouldn't be able to handle.

  2. That green thing is well done and makes a good point, however, we did toss crap out of the car, and bottles in the ocean, and burned leaves and even garbage is some areas. For the most part though, our parents who went through the depression did not allow waste.

  3. I love this posts perspective and I agree whole heartedly. I missed the brown bags when it came to my daughter's books. Those horrible book sacks that never fit and are now in the landfill.
    If I Only Had A Time Machine

    1. I wonder what they would find, if they dug up some of the landfills - just to see how much of the useless trash is still there.

  4. Hell yeah we didn't have the green thing back then

  5. Every generation seems to think they are doing it better. And maybe they are. But discounting what happened before is not fair and that is what p----- me off with the young-uns.

  6. This is such a fantastic article!
    But you know? I think many things our elders used to do are coming back now. We are learnign to be less wastefull, and to be more mindful. It's still a long way, but I think we will get there :-)
    Because you know, younger people might have the green thing... but somethime that's all they have ;-)

    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

  7. Oh my gosh, I remember so much of this stuff. With my first child, I washed and dried the diapers, I covered my school books with brown paper bags, I drank from the water fountain, and I rode my bike all over! These are great memories, thanks.

    It was nice catching up on your posts tonight, Debby.


  8. Amen! Dom Deluise' brown paper bag chicken! Turned off lights every time we left a room. Daddy had no power tools. All hand tools. Plowed a garden with a jenny. No air conditioning, fans and open windows in summer. One space heater and your clothes in winter.


Comments are good - I admit, sometimes I don't respond back, in time for a dialog. I bad! I will TRY and do better. Thanks for understanding.

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