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The Green Thing
Old 01-03-2012, 12:35 AM   #1
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The Green Thing

I got this in an email today and thought it was amusing. Enjoy!

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older man that he should bring his own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The man 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.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:59 AM   #2
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Not to mention homes were much smaller. Nothing more hypocritical than a 5000sf "green" home. Great post.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:30 AM   #3
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Sounds more like a rant than an amusing story.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:52 AM   #4
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And get off my lawn!

Of course, hauling empties back to the store/warehouse/factory, and the water and energy used to recycle bottles isn't inconsequential...

Today's 300hp car probably gets better mileage, and is more reliable...

As well, today's big screen likely is no worse than a vacuum tube powered set from the past.

Appeals to my old, curmudgeonly self, but upon closer inspection...
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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And get off my lawn!

Of course, hauling empties back to the store/warehouse/factory, and the water and energy used to recycle bottles isn't inconsequential...

Today's 300hp car probably gets better mileage, and is more reliable...

As well, today's big screen likely is no worse than a vacuum tube powered set from the past.

Appeals to my old, curmudgeonly self, but upon closer inspection...
Yes, there are some good points in there, but I also recall cars pumping out clouds of billowing smoke, and the stuff you couldn't see was probably worse. Catalytic converters and under-the-hood computers have worked miracles on this front. It wasn't all rosy.

IMO, the real message should be that we ought to merge the best of both worlds.


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Sounds more like a rant than an amusing story.
So anything that questions anything about the 'green movement' is a rant? We should just blindly follow the advice of the 'limousine greens', who gave us things like ethanol, and more dirty coal plants through their fear of nuclear? No thanks. Healthy skepticism is important.


-ERD50
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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So anything that questions anything about the 'green movement' is a rant? We should just blindly follow the advice of the 'limousine greens', who gave us things like ethanol, and more dirty coal plants through their fear of nuclear? No thanks. Healthy skepticism is important.


-ERD50
Huh? The first line in the OP is
Quote:
I got this in an email today and thought it was amusing. Enjoy!
All I said was it sounded more like a rant than an amusing story. All that other stuff came from you, not me.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:51 AM   #7
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Hehehe - some good points veremchuka. I've thought many of the same things - was reading an article yesterday about Thomas Edison being a great proponent of renewable energy sources. This "green" thing is definitely not new, though it's heartening that it seems to have become much more mainstream.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Healthy skepticism is important.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
All I said was it sounded more like a rant than an amusing story.
Reminds me of a similar email/FB post about how we used to ride bikes without helmets, ride in cars with no seatbelts, eat lead paint chips for breakfast, play with mercury, and lived to tell about it.

Well, some of us lived to tell about it...
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
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My local observation, when walking the dogs in the morning -

Next development over (where the homes are 3-4x larger in size, and price), you will see 7 SUV's parked in a row, with one child in each waiting for the school bus.

If it's cold, the 7 SUV's keep their engines/heaters on to stay warm.
If it's warm, the 7 SUV's keep their engines/AC on to stay cool.

I understand the concern of "child abduction/abuse" in today's world, but this is a bit of an extreme (in our relatively crime-free) part of the world.

BTW, after the bus comes, the "soccer moms" return to their homes (few, or any travel to a j*b; they may/may not wo*k, but may also do so at home), and each drives less than two blocks to park the SUV in the driveway (can't use the 3-4 car garage - it's stacked to the ceiling with "stuff")...
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Huh? The first line in the OP is
All I said was it sounded more like a rant than an amusing story. All that other stuff came from you, not me.
Well while the email is a rant, and I'd agree with it but that's not my purpose for posting it, I did not create it. I passed it along only because I thought it was amusing, there are some funny points in it. Maybe we shouldn't take ourselves so seriously?
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:05 PM   #11
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The only thing that struck my curmudgeon-bone was the crass smugness of the younger person's remark. Back in my day, we didn't scold old people.

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Old 01-03-2012, 06:14 PM   #12
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The only thing that struck my curmudgeon-bone was the crass smugness of the younger person's remark. Back in my day, we didn't scold old people.

Amethyst
I'm sure it's not an actual event. I doubt that check-out people in stores are allowed to scold customers about using too many of the store's plastic bags, intimating that they buy re-usable bags that are on sale at many or all check-outs these days.

I did see an interesting topic discussed on a quiz show on youtube (QI, hosted by Steven Fry), the other day. When cars first arrived on the streets of cities like New York they were considered very 'green' as horse poop was an enormous problem, and the millions of tons dumped on the streets every year was a terrible health hazard.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
My local observation, when walking the dogs in the morning -

Next development over (where the homes are 3-4x larger in size, and price), you will see 7 SUV's parked in a row, with one child in each waiting for the school bus.

If it's cold, the 7 SUV's keep their engines/heaters on to stay warm.
If it's warm, the 7 SUV's keep their engines/AC on to stay cool.

I understand the concern of "child abduction/abuse" in today's world, but this is a bit of an extreme (in our relatively crime-free) part of the world.

BTW, after the bus comes, the "soccer moms" return to their homes (few, or any travel to a j*b; they may/may not wo*k, but may also do so at home), and each drives less than two blocks to park the SUV in the driveway (can't use the 3-4 car garage - it's stacked to the ceiling with "stuff")...
+1 - same observation
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:30 AM   #14
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veremchuka - I loved it! Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
I did see an interesting topic discussed on a quiz show on youtube (QI, hosted by Steven Fry), the other day. When cars first arrived on the streets of cities like New York they were considered very 'green' as horse poop was an enormous problem, and the millions of tons dumped on the streets every year was a terrible health hazard.
I had seen that before (during the 1960's, I think) and realizing that I had never considered where they put all that manure, or who had the unlucky task of moving it around.

So much for the "good old days". I am named after an uncle who died at the age of 3 from an infection from a scrape on his knee. A shot of penicillin would have fixed him right up but that hadn't been discovered yet.

Yearnings for the good things of the past tends to leave out stuff like that.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
I did see an interesting topic discussed on a quiz show on youtube (QI, hosted by Steven Fry), the other day. When cars first arrived on the streets of cities like New York they were considered very 'green' as horse poop was an enormous problem, and the millions of tons dumped on the streets every year was a terrible health hazard.
QI is our favorite TV show. Every week when my SO comes over, one of the first things we do is to watch the new episode. Stephen Fry's love of knowledge and language is so infectious. The scoring system is wonderful too - giving points for being interesting instead of merely being correct. The first time I ever watched QI I learnt that in the past, it was thought that blowing smoke up someone's bottom was an effective cure for drowning. There were numerous bellows hanging on nails by the side of the River Thames for this purpose. Apparently, a man had been pulled out of a river once. His lungs were full of water and for some unfathomable reason, someone blew smoke up his bottom and he recovered, hence the ensuing belief that this was a good cure.

After that, we watch "Have I Got News For You" and "Never Mind The Buzzcocks". I don't know what I'd do without the BBC iPlayer.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
My local observation, when walking the dogs in the morning -

Next development over (where the homes are 3-4x larger in size, and price), you will see 7 SUV's parked in a row, with one child in each waiting for the school bus.

If it's cold, the 7 SUV's keep their engines/heaters on to stay warm.
If it's warm, the 7 SUV's keep their engines/AC on to stay cool.

I understand the concern of "child abduction/abuse" in today's world, but this is a bit of an extreme (in our relatively crime-free) part of the world.

BTW, after the bus comes, the "soccer moms" return to their homes (few, or any travel to a j*b; they may/may not wo*k, but may also do so at home), and each drives less than two blocks to park the SUV in the driveway (can't use the 3-4 car garage - it's stacked to the ceiling with "stuff")...
A lady in my neighborhood already made a small step for her, but one giant leap for all parents in those SUVs being observed, by parking her big SUV literally next to a stop sign at the end of a street with only one lane for each direction.

The end of her driveway may be only about 250-300 feet away from the stop sign. For a couple of weeks when I went to work in early winter morning, still dark outside, I had to make a very difficult 90 degree sharp right turn at the stop sign to pass her SUV by driving on the opposite direction lane. When I was finally ready to check if there was any incoming traffic at the intersection, I was literally blinded by her SUV's strong headlights because my car was just in front of hers, almost at a 90 degree angle. Fortunately I didn't have any accident so far, and this lady now parks her SUV at the end of her driveway instead. Maybe the school bus drivers or some other people complained (to the police)?

It would be interesting to observe what today's kids, who will become parents after 20-30 years, will do for their kids and parents. Maybe grandpa Simpson will be waiting in SUVs instead, and telling his grand kids: "Would it be all right with you if I just laid down in the street and died?".
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:58 PM   #18
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Interesting posts and takes on the environment. Some of my own thoughts as follows:

Living in a large retirement community like Sun City Center, it stands to reason that conservation, recycling, etc. would be important. I'd venture to say that most people here recycle newspaper, plastic, aluminum and glass items. The county provides the containers for recycling and on Wednesdays you see them at the end of everyones driveways. Makes me think what percentage of older adults recycle vs teens and young adults. From what I've seen, I don't think kids give a damn. I think adults care more about "saving" the environment for them then they do themselves.

Paper or plastic? WalMart being the giant that it is, is probably one of the biggest providers of plastic waste in the country. Gazillions of plastic bags for your groceries. One of their concepts is that if an item is in a bag, that must mean it's paid for and noone has to check. A loose item like a twelve pack of Coke bears checking as you go out. "May I see your receipt?" So, everything goes in a plastic bag and so as to not overload
them, use as many bags as possible. Looks like you got more for your money. Publix Supermarket used to ask, "paper or plastic?". Now it's
"is plastic OK?".

I'm not putting these business down, but I just can't understand how this goes on with all the talk about recycling and the environment. The shopping bags they provide at the stores for you to reuse are great but there is no promotion about this feature. No TV ads. There are a couple of stores like USave and ALDI where you bag your own groceries and pay for the bag you use. Good for them.

Without taking the time to check this out, I remember plastic recycleables had to have the number 1 or 2 on the bottom in order to be called a recycleable. I throw all the plastics in the one container. If this is still the case, why not make every manufacturer of plastic containers use the #1 or #2 material. I did look in my fridge and noticed that most containers have a 1 or 2 on the bottom but butter, cream cheese and those types are 4 and 5. Now worthy of recycling. Lets get serious!

Sorry for the long post, but had to get in my 2cents worth.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:37 PM   #19
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This post reminds me of the emails that my elderly uncle just loves to pass along. There seems to be quite an industry creating and passing along emails like this - some of them look like they were forwarded 10 times! Much of it is from the point of view that "weren't those the good old days" and "this modern world sucks". Most of it comes across as curmudgeonly grouching or just being cutsey in a very patronizing way. I sometimes wonder if when I reach his age I'll have the same attitude.

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Old 01-04-2012, 08:03 PM   #20
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Without taking the time to check this out, I remember plastic recycleables had to have the number 1 or 2 on the bottom in order to be called a recycleable. I throw all the plastics in the one container. If this is still the case, why not make every manufacturer of plastic containers use the #1 or #2 material. I did look in my fridge and noticed that most containers have a 1 or 2 on the bottom but butter, cream cheese and those types are 4 and 5. Now worthy of recycling. Lets get serious!
In July 2011, my community switched waste haulers. At the same time, we were allowed to start putting plastics #1-7 into our recycle bins (used to be only 1 & 2).

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