Back in my Day

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 nappies because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling dryer – 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 Tasmania. 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 styro foam 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 bubbler when they were thirsty, instead of buying 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 bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their mums 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 isn’t it sad that they didn’t  have the green thing back then?

By Anon.

I have no idea who the Author was on the piece above, I assume it was an Aussie as Tasmania was mentioned.
But I thought is was so well written that I would share this so others could have a read as well. It was sent to me (Thank You Campbell) and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and for me it certainly brought back some memories. 🙂

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14 Responses to Back in my Day

  1. gitwizard says:

    Anon makes some very good points.

  2. Jill says:

    Well written, and all of it true. I remember when I was a kid, we used to take all our glass bottles back to the shop, I can’t recall how much we got per bottle, but that is how we used get our lollies, we would do this at the end of the week. Now we only have plastic bottles for most things, no refund for those.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Jill,
      Oh yes, I used to also take the glass soft drink bottles back to the shop for a refund, (also for the lollie hunt 🙂 )as I said the piece above certainly brought back memories.

  3. malc50 says:

    Thrupence for a large Tristrams soft drink bottle, return 4 of these to the store, and then over the road to buy a Phantom comic book from the newsagent’s for one shilling. It doesn’t seem like more than fifty years ago! How time flies when you’re having fun!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Mal,
      Oh yes a Phantom comic book lover, my Husband still likes to read them, we have a friend who still buys them, and then lends them to Hubby to have a read on the strict instructions that he must return them ASAP. Actually our friend has a fantastic collection of these comics, and they are very much looked after.

      Isn’t it funny how all the kids in the past brought something from the refunds of the glass bottles, not much so called pocket money back then for a lot of kids, but it really didn’t seem to matter to anyone. But refund day as I used to call it always seemed like a lot of fun, there used to be 3 sometimes 4 of us together with our bottles that our parents gave us, it also didn’t seem to matter if someone had more bottles either. I remember we used to get the lollies, and evenly divide these up between us. 🙂

      • gitwizard says:

        It wasn’t so long ago that wine (ordinary table stuff) bottles could be returned for a refund in France, and I’ve just been reading JohnC’s blog where he writes about doing the same with empty bottles of tea (I think that is of the iced variety – Liptons) in Germany.

  4. travelrat says:

    There was a time, too, not so long ago, when you didn’t have to ask if your food was ‘organic’ … AND you didn’t have to pay through the nose for it.

  5. EternalForms says:

    Oh, I thought you wrote it – until the very end! I was agreeing with Anon on all of the points. The green movement is really nothing new, just a return to the basics and slowing down the consumer-driven, throw-away mentality that is choking our planet and polluting our bodies. I’m happy that we have recycling centers now so that we can recycle our bottles and such – even though we’re paying for that service as opposed to being paid for the raw materials.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Eternal Forms,
      I wish I was that clever. 🙂 But whoever wrote it, it was very well worded, yes it would seem everyone was “Green” back in the day and didn’t even know it. 🙂

  6. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Anonymous has amazing critical thinking skills – thanks for sharing this, the point made is brilliant!

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