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Old 05-23-2013, 02:38 PM   #1
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We didn't have the green thing in the old days

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the me the
other day, that I should bring my own grocery bags because plastic
bags weren't good for the environment.

I apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in
my earlier days."

The 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, 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.

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 school
books. 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. 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
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
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 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 burger joint. But
isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we older
folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

I guess I'm just selfish older person who needs a
lesson in conservation from a smart**s young person.

We don't like being older in the first place, so it doesn't take much
to make us mad.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
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Don:

Thanks for sharing that. An interesting perspective.

But in those days we HAD to do those things because the alternatives didn't exist or we couldn't afford them. We didn't do them by choice. And that is what I think that the clerk meant by not having the green thing then.

Today we can afford to do all of the things that are bad for the environment and we do.

Did we have the green thing in the "olden days"? Well we certainly didn't have an awareness of how we were harming the environment then.

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Old 05-23-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
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David, I'll have to agree that 'back then' we probably were harming the environment in some ways. But look how much cleaner the environment was 'back then'.

We didn't have a country littered with Mickey D's wrappers and plastic bottles that takes an army of workers to clean up and landfills to hide. There was no 'island of garbage' floating around in our oceans. We played ball in the street until dark then went in and did homework; we didn't spend the afternoon on a video game or in front of the boob tube. We didn't get an allowance; we shoveled snow and raked leaves and cut lawns to buy a new baseball glove or bat.

We walked to the movies on Saturday morning with $.50 and that was enough to get us in, buy popcorn and a pop and a candy bar. An All American (hamburger, fries and a shake) at McDonald's was $.45 and we threw the wrappers in the trash before we left the parking lot.

Bikes were the only form of transportation because Dad had the family car at work. We never thought of asking for a ride somewhere unless it was snowing or raining. And we rode those bikes without helmets, knee and elbow pads and we played dodgeball in gym. And if someone got a black eye from football they wore it as a badge of honor. If we broke an arm or got hurt some other way our parents didn't sue anyone because that sometimes happens when you're a kid.

Many of the things we did to protect the environment we did not because it was the green thing to do, we just did them without thinking about it. We did it because....well, it was the right thing to do. We did it because that's the way we were brought up.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:28 PM   #4
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Well, David is quite right about a few things here. Yes, we did things because alternatives didn't exist or because we couldn't afford them. Now, air conditioning, cable TV, large flat screen TVs, and never doing without are necessities. Boy, they sure weren't when I was coming up. If you had a TV on the street you were considered rich. School buses? What school buses? We walked or rode our bikes to school. No air conditioning there. No fancy class rooms or labs, but we learned or failed. Yes, those were different times. I'm glad I was there. Remember when there was one family car? Remember taking the bus or trolly to town? Remember live/work neighborhoods with workers carrying their lunch pails as they walked to work?

. . . . . ..but that's all history, and they don't teach much of that anymore.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:11 PM   #5
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Dear Lord! You three are old as dirt
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:23 PM   #6
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Jhank You

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Old 05-23-2013, 09:26 PM   #7
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Guilty. Didn't even mention ringer type washing machines, real ice boxes, ice cards hung on the porch post to let the ice man know how many pounds, milk in glass bottles with the cream on top delivered to your door, or the family gathered around the radio. How about telephone party lines or telling the operator you want 202 please. Yeah, we're old as dirt.

Everyone had someone off in the war, and victory gardens in the yard. There was food, tire, and gas rationing. We're just antiques that don't know nuttin'.

Oh yeah, no computers, cell phones, video games, or calculators. We used slide rules, and actually worked complicated formulas. Some how we managed to hold the country together.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:34 PM   #8
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Funny thing is though I'm probably close to half you guys age I remember most of that stuff well myself. My kids on the other hand don't remember life without iPod's and video games.

Things have changed a lot in forty years, not exactly for the better either.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:34 AM   #9
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One of the worst things about the modern situation, and it makes me sad, is that all this gee wiz techno-gadgetry is forcing kids to grow up too quick on the one hand, yet not have the actual living experience, because of that, to deal with life's stresses, on the other. Just in our paper today was the tragic case of a 14 yr old lovely girl who suicided because of cyber bullying, (as they term it now), because of attacks on her via Facebook. We just did not have this sort of stress, and we weren't bombarded with sex and graphic violence every day of our young lives. I love my iPad, but boy, I'm glad I never had one when I was a teen.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:01 PM   #10
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A funny memory I have is from the early 50's (yes, I am that old.). On Saturday mornings my sister and I would load up a case of PBR long neck empty bottles into our wagon and walk about a mile to the neighborhood store to get more beer for dad. They'd credit the $.02 per bottle deposit against the deposit on a new case of bottles. We'd buy the new case of beer and load it in the wagon then head for home.

Our reward was that we each could get a candy bar and a pop from the change leftover from buying the beer before we left the store.

Oh, did I mention we were about 6-7 years old at the time?

Can you imagine that happening today? Not likely.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
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Thanks Don and GFC,

You brought up some great points and we need a bit of perspective now and then.

Actually, David, we (or really our parents) were naturally green because we did not waste things.

Just look at the amount of garbage that even the most green household produces nowadays. The whole bottled water thing is the best case in point. IN NYC we have numerous water fountains in every park, (the kind you drink from) but you will never see an affluent "green" person using them.

my two cents

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Old 05-24-2013, 01:35 PM   #12
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This thread got me thinking of what all these modern conveniences cost. This is my list with monthly costs:

Cell phones and Internet - $206
Internet Provider - $11
Security Alarm - $43
House Phone - $24
SiriusXM - $16
Cable TV - $88

Total - $388

This is more than I made 50 years ago and I may have forgot one or two additional conveniences that I pay for every month.

Ron
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windmist View Post
This thread got me thinking of what all these modern conveniences cost. This is my list with monthly costs:

Cell phones and Internet - $206
Internet Provider - $11
Security Alarm - $43
House Phone - $24
SiriusXM - $16
Cable TV - $88

Total - $388

This is more than I made 50 years ago and I may have forgot one or two additional conveniences that I pay for every month.

Ron
WOW thats crazy

For that money i have:

2 cellphones with free talk-texts-internet

30/30gb internet

200 tv channels

Power and heating cost covered for my house...
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:58 PM   #14
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[Q On Saturday mornings my sister and I would load up a case of PBR long neck empty bottles into our wagon and walk about a mile to the neighborhood store to get more beer for dad.
Oh, did I mention we were about 6-7 years old at the time?

Can you imagine that happening today? Not likely.[/QUOTE]



GFC,

In the early 60's my sister and I would walk down the hill to J&G Market chanting Pall Mall and Chesterfields (sp?) so we would not forget which brand of cigs to buy at $4.50 a carton. We were the same age.

Rob
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:35 PM   #15
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I remember barbeque potato chips costing $.25 for the big bag...
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:52 PM   #16
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I remember buying gasoline for my lawn mower for 35 cents a gallon.

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Old 05-29-2013, 05:38 PM   #17
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I'm so old ... I can remember pumping gas for $0.25/gallon. I'm so old I still remember being devastated when Gino's increased the price of french fries from $0.09/bag to $0.10/bag, and there I was with only 9 pennies in my pocket.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:48 PM   #18
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I'm so old ... I can remember pumping gas for $0.25/gallon. I'm so old I still remember being devastated when Gino's increased the price of french fries from $0.09/bag to $0.10/bag, and there I was with only 9 pennies in my pocket.
The really sad part is that you know what Ginos is...

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Old 05-29-2013, 08:04 PM   #19
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Anyone else remember McDonald's $.15 hamburgers, $.10 pop and an All American (burger, fries and a shake), was $.45?
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:09 PM   #20
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Anyone else remember McDonald's $.15 hamburgers, $.10 pop and an All American (burger, fries and a shake), was $.45?
And they were made with real ingredients...
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