In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic
bags weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and
explained, "We didn't have the 'green thing' back in my day".

That's right, they didn't have the 'green thing' in her day. Back then,
they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the
store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized
and refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were
recycled. But they didn't have the 'green thing' back her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator
in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and
didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two
blocks. But she's right. They didn't have the 'green thing' in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the
throw-away kind. They 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, they didn't
have the 'green thing' back in her day.

Back then, they 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 pizza dish, not a
screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended
and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do
everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the
mail, they used wadded up newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or
plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut
the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised
by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on
treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right, they didn't
have the 'green thing' back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a
cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They
refilled pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced
the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the
blade got dull. But they didn't have the 'green thing' back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school
or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour
taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire
bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they 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 that old lady is right. They didn't have the 'green thing' back in her

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