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The Green Thing

A friend sent this along, and I found it really interesting – I’ve edited and changed it around just a bit to suit the realities of my childhood and youth. 


Checking out at the shop, the young cashier suggested to the much 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 soft drink bottles and beer bottles to the shop or pub. Or we sold them to the local kabadiwala. The shop/pub and the kabadiwala 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. 

Milk came from a cow, and not from a plastic pouch or a tetrapak bottle. 

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day. 

Grocery stores put our groceries in jute bags that we reused for numerous things. We bought our jute bags and used them a few thousand times. And we had no plastic bags with somebody’s branding on it. 

We didn’t do the “green thing” back then. 

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have a lift in every home, store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 200-horsepower machine every time we had to go to the bazaar. 

We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day. 

Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 240 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 no TV, only a (1, single) radio, in the house — I got our TV in my 30s. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of Maharashtra. 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 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 refilled writing pens with ink refills 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. 

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 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest coffee shop. 

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then. Perhaps we should just go back to the old days – seems to me that what we were doing was actually pretty green. 


About thecrestedjay

I am passionate about football, jazz, classic rock, classic movies, crime, science fiction and P G Wodehouse. And also about NBA, western and Indian classical music. Since the wife will also read this blog, I cannot reveal my other passions in public. Have one son who plays the guitar, spent some time as an animator and now works for a digital marketing and advertising company. I also have one (1) wife. I spent a lot of my time on my music and books collection. I also have a passion for travelling but not a great deal of time and money to spend on this. Hopefully, in the future, I'll be able to do so.


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