That Green Thing.

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax

My Realtor friend Buck just sent this over.

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."
The clerk responded, " That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer 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 recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
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 throw-away kind. We 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 their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old 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 a wadded up old newspaper 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 electrical outlet 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 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza 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?




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Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections
IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581 - Canton, GA
Experience the IHI Difference

I think you found your passion in this blog. I also think we all need to be more mindful of "that green thing".  I just wish it didn't have to be a big commercial - rather a respect for our Earth. ~ Jennifer the IHI Home Inspections Girl

Jul 19, 2011 04:43 AM #1
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

I love your passion and your sarcasm. My mom says dumb stuff like that sometimes. I just brush it off as what I like to refer to as selective listening.  I personally avoid bottled water and just take my own refillable water bottle.  Thanks so much for sharing!  I will have to repost later.


PS I boomarked and suggested.

Jul 19, 2011 04:46 AM #2
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Steve...and we straightened out nails to be reused.  I personally hate the small bottles of water.  Ther are so many jugs that you can buy or even get free to refill, why are we buying 2 gulps of water and throwing away the container.  My rant fo the day.


Jul 19, 2011 05:39 AM #3
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Ah those were the days!  I realize that many of the conveniences were available when I was a kid, we didn't have many of them, but they were available.  I can remember picking up discarded soda pop bottles for pocket change or to buy candy or another soda pop.  I also remember that we had 1 vehicle that my father drove to and from work.  If wanted to go somewhere while he was at work, we walked or rode our bikes whether it was 2 blocks or 5 miles.  I also remember edging the lawn with hand operated sheers to clip the grass that the lawnmower missed.  I miss those days!

Jul 19, 2011 05:17 PM #4
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

David and Bonnie, this is a very true post even though I cannot take credit for writing it. If you want to see how strongly high school and college students feel abut their commitment to the environment, take their car and let them avail themselvescom of public transportation and carpooling :-) Trust me they are no more committed than the environmentalist movie star in the 20.000 sq.ft house who flies her dog to Paris on a private jet. Show me....then talk.

Jul 20, 2011 01:58 AM #5
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

Cathy, we try to do what is normal, sane and non-hypocritical. I seldom use pesticides since I do not want it in our rivers or in my air and other common sense stuff. But most environmentalists launch into what they can make OTHERS stop, while they live how they wish. That position irks everyone.


Ditto on the refillable water bottles Bill, that just makes sense. Yes and I occasionally try to unbend a nail...although I don't try very long :-)

Tony, yes I took a wagon around the neighborhood and picked up pop bottles for 2 cents return for the regular size and 5 cents for the big ones.... My parents would not give me money for candy.

One thing I do NOT want to give up EVER is air conditioning. We grew up without it and just stayed sweaty from June to September....hated it.

Jul 20, 2011 02:09 AM #6
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Steve  That is beautifully done and so true.  Not only are they contaminating the environment they are also contaminating themselves with all the garbage they eat and drink

Jul 20, 2011 02:10 AM #7
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