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  1. #1
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    The Green Thing
    A retired friend sent me this but I am old enough to remember these:

    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 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.

    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 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?

    Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person.


    Remember: Don't make old people mad.


    We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Love it, Chuck. There are quite a few of us here, I'll bet, that remember the days of "real" green things like this.

    (I would love to get a good, reliable push lawnmower. Only thing I've found are some light-weight, flimsy looking things that actually cost more than gas powered mowers.)

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  3. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    You will have to go to an antique shop and I am sure they still work.

  4. #4
    Fighting the good fight... Convergence's Avatar
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    I can remember, as well...

    As a kid in Miami I can remember pulling my wagon full of collected soda bottles to the 7-Eleven. Ah, 2 cents a bottle. With a wagon full you could get a soda, some hard ass bubble gum packaged with some baseball cards, and some candy. Then the next weekend you would do it all over again.

    Remember the freshness of linens when hung out to dry. Or the stiffness of blue jeans, lol. Now our HOA doesn't allow clothes lines.

    The good ol' days
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  5. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I told my 12 year old that he can have the change in my console in my Jeep or ask me what change I have in my pocket. He gives back the pennies! I still pick up pennies I find on the ground due to habit.

  6. #6
    Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    One can pick and choose such things, but there were also these facts to consider:

    1. When I was a kid, we burned most of our trash in a backyard incinerator (legal and necessary in Los Angeles till the late 1950s). Air pollution? No worries;

    2. There were no standards for gasoline mileage or emissions. 5 gal/mile was the norm, and unregulated car and bus emissions poisoned the air;

    3. There were no restrictions about smoking. I'd go to dinner at nice restaurants with my parents and when we finished eating, my father would sit back and light up a cigar, spewing deadly smoke throughout the dining room full of other people still eating;

    4. There was tremendous waste of food in restaurants back then; no one would ever think of taking leftovers home. If you did have the gall to ask for a "doggy bag" it WAS for your dog.

    Whenever I hear about the old system of "returning soda bottles to the store" I think back to when I was about 16 and had my first car. I did some part time work for a guy that owned a liquor store in Hollywood and he did a lot of business with people at nearby studios, and I would make deliveries for him, working only for tips. There were some nice people who tipped well, but the biggest cheapskate (and nastiest person) I ever ran into was Bill Cosby, who was then filming I Spy at Paramount Studios. I brought in a big order to him, and his "tip" was giving me a few empty soda bottles that I could return for the deposit.

    p.s. I have an old "push" lawn mower in my garage; it's only about 30 years old.
    phil@abestweb.com | Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  7. #7
    Fighting the good fight... Convergence's Avatar
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    My youngest will be 12 in February. Doesn't care for loose change at all. I take all loose change and put it in a container on top of the ice box (throwback term) - one day she wanted to buy a video game or what not and I asked how much cash she had. She didn't. So I said for some extra chores she could have the container of change. She just looked at me blankly and said, It's only half full and mostly pennies, nickels, and dimes.

    We took it to the store where they have one of those change cashing machines. She was shocked to see that it was $80+

    She rat holes her change now...
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  8. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    My 12 year old wanted to earn some extra money last summer so I gave him a list of 4 each worth $20. He started but never finished one so he got nothing. My niece is looking for funds to pay for a traveling volleyball league. I told her to go to each house with a fly saying she was looking for odd jobs. Bet her she would make $200 in a week, need to check to see if she ever did it.

  9. #9
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    I think Pop Shoppe was a Canadian thing, but I loved making the drive with my dad to return the bottles (which were refillable back in the 70s).

    Who knew Bill Cosby was such a cheapskate??

  10. #10
    Fighting the good fight... Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    Who knew Bill Cosby was such a cheapskate??
    Was he? Or was he trying to recycle
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  11. #11
    Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Was he? Or was he trying to recycle
    Let's see - he was the biggest star on TV, in streak of winning three consecutive Emmy's for Best Actor in a Dramatic series, he had numerous platinum albums, was one of the top draws in Las Vegas, and he wouldn't give a high school kid delivering his cases of booze a buck or two?
    phil@abestweb.com | Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
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    My 10 year old has been happily accepting my loose change for five years now. She has a 32" flatscreen TV, a BluRay player, a laptop, and a Wii in her room thanks to this... not to mention a bank account with around $1500.

    Bear in mind that I don't use plastic much and that the smallest paper denomination in Canada is a five. Those loonies and toonies certainly add up
    We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.
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