“We didn’t have that green thing, back then…”


When I was a young mother, we actually cooked food that did not come ready out of a plastic packet, from a can or plastic bag and we actually managed to wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad. BUT, that we when we did not have that green thing back then.

We took the tram or the bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their  mothers into 24-hour-taxi services.

We had one electrical outlet in each 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 a satellite 2,000 miles away in outer space in order to find the nearest restaurant or coffee shop. We knew where they were situated.

Isn’t it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks are, just because we didn’t have that green thing back then.

While I was checking out at the supermarket, the young cashier suggested that I bring my own shopping bags because plastic bags aren’t good for the environment. She knew that Iwas a senior citizen. I explained that our generation didn’t have that green thing back then. The cashier responded; “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save the environment for future generations.”

She was right. Our generation did not have to worry about that green thing then because we returned our milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store in turn sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled so that they could use the same bottles over and over again. In fact, what they were doing was recycling even way back then but we did not have a name for it. We refilled our pens with ink instead of buying new ones and we replaced our razor blades in the razor instead of throwing away the whole razor when the blade was no longer sharp. No, we didn’t need that green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed our baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line and not in energy-gobbling machine that burned up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes, in case you don’t know what I mean, natural wind and sun. Kids received hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not brand new clothing all the time.

But that young cashier was right.  We didn’t have that green thing back then.

Back then, we had one TV or radio in the house and not television in every room. The TV had a small screen, the size of a handkerchief: (handkerchiefs were used before tissues were invented) and not a screen the size of a room. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because there were no electreic machines to do it for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send by mnail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it and not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. In those days, we did not fire up an engine and burn gas in order to cut the grass. We used a push  lawn  mower that ran on human power. We exercized by working so hard that we had no need to attend a health club to run on treadmills that are operated on electricity.

We drank water from a water fountain or a faucet when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another  country. We accepted the fact that some food was seasonal and did not expect that to be flown in from thousands of miles away.

And so, we had no need to worry about the enviornment as it took care of itself due to the way we behaved and treated it.

This entry was posted in Senior Citizens on by .

About Jill

Author of books and articles on support and experiences of living with a mentally ill family member. My aim in blogging is to let others see how a loving family, with a father and husband who is able to give unconditional love, can help the family cope. Many call me the blogging grandma.'

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