A friend of mine sent me something the other day which I have modified a bit but present to you today.

It starts when an elderly woman is checking out at the supermarket and the young cashier suggests that in the future she bring her own shopping bags because plastic ones are not good for the environment.  The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my day.”  The clerk then responded, “That’s the problem today.  Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

The surprised shopper than thought for a moment about the green thing:


  • Back then we returned milk, soda and beer bottles to the store where they were sent to the plant to be washed, sterilized and then refilled so they could be used time and time again.  So they really were recycled…but we didn’t have the green thing in our day.
  • We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an elevator in every store and office building.  We often walked blocks to the store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go around the corner.  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-eating machine burning up 220 volts but we didn’t have the green thing in our day.
  • 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 not the size of Montana.  In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.  But the girl is 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 wanted a drink.  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 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 didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza place.

Isn’t it sad that the younger generation laments how wasteful older people are just because they didn’t have the green thing back then?