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  #1  
Old 07-23-2011, 03:16 PM
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The Green Thing

An old friend of mine Dirty Boy posted this on another forum, and I thought it needed to be posted here.

That Green Thing

Here is an old-timer's response to the incessant inundation we get on the "Green Thing" and "Sustainability."

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because 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."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He 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 the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old 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 a wadded up old newspaper 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 smart tail young person.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2011, 03:28 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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heh!

all true.

the huge use of plastic has bothered me for a long time. going back to returnable glass containers would be a great plus to me.

we didn't get a tv until i was about 12.
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2011, 01:02 AM
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Back in the early 60s, I remember "recycling" the soda pop bottles I found BEHIND THE PIGGLY WIGGLY store until THEY realized I was bringing the bottles I FOUND BEHIND THE STORE back to the front counter.

(It took about two weeks...and I had "cashed" in enough bottles to end up suffering from a semi-severe "Milky Way Poisoning" on a pre-adolescent scale!)

They THEN decided to keep the bottles INSIDE the back of the store.

It was fun WHILE it lasted...
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:31 AM
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We also hung our clothes out to dry, waited until fall to get apples instead of having them shipped across the globe, washed ziploc bags, wrapped our pop cans in newspaper to keep them cold, had roast chicken one night and chicken noodle soup the next out of one chicken, walked to school in the snow, uphill...
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:37 AM
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True stuff here.

We don't have a dryer here at the lake house. Everything the wife washes gets hung out on the line. Getting clothes off the line is something we do together.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuan View Post
We also hung our clothes out to dry, waited until fall to get apples instead of having them shipped across the globe, washed ziploc bags, wrapped our pop cans in newspaper to keep them cold, had roast chicken one night and chicken noodle soup the next out of one chicken, walked to school in the snow, uphill...
Both ways right?
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2011, 04:21 PM
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I was raised on a farm; a real working farm, and we just didn't throw much away without using it twice or three times. We always had a stack of old lumber in one corner of the barn that we had to pull nails out of (kids job). Dad and grandpa would use that lumber all the time and never really bought much new lumber at all. We also used old nails that had been pulled out of that lumber. My grandpa always had a few old nails in his bib overalls just in case. If that man ever used a new nail, I didn't see it.

We didn't have regular garbage pick up either mainly because there wasn't all that much garbage. Our hogs and dogs ate table scraps - food was never, ever wasted. While our farm wasn't self sufficient, we did a lot of work all summer long putting up all manner of garden products, even though they were available at the store.

The amount of packaging in our garbage cans today really bothers me. Seems wasteful; on the other hand, if you're going to ship something 10,000 miles across sea and land, it needs to be protected. But overall, I think recycling is a mixed bag, some things are recycling no brainers like aluminum and glass and paper, other stuff, the plastics mainly, aren't as simply handled.

BTW, I do believe there will be mining of our landfills in the future. Lots of stuff there that should be recycled and it will be cost effective some day to get it.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlssmith View Post
The amount of packaging in our garbage cans today really bothers me.
Slap a 250% tariff on anything made in China. Consider it compensation for the fact that their lack of environmental regulations will result in them poisoning areas outside their borders eventually.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:33 PM
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I actually think recycling is hard to do. Lots of stuff that qualifies as garbage is not easy to identify as one thing or another. Take plastic glued to paper or aluminized plastic bags. What am I supposed to do with this stuff?

My suggestion would be that manufacturers should be inclined to make packaging that more obviously belongs in one bin or the other.

BTW, and back to the green theme here. 99% of the time you hear someone talking about greenness on tv or advertising, it is just marketing. I call it the big green lie. Sort of like the compact flourescent bulb as green product - biggest lie ever when you consider the amount of mercury in those things that is finding it's way into our landfills - which are btw, not designed for it.
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87 300D latest project!
11 GLK 350 So far, so good
08 E350 4matic, Love it.
99 E320 too rusted, sold
87 260E Donated to Newgate School
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12 Ford Escape, sold, forgotten
87 300D, sold, what a mistake
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2011, 04:37 PM
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Florescent --behind the curve--its still fuel hog , LEDs use a fraction but they are just coming in on the stationary applications.
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2011, 04:40 PM
The Clk Man's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlssmith View Post
I was raised on a farm; a real working farm, and we just didn't throw much away without using it twice or three times. We always had a stack of old lumber in one corner of the barn that we had to pull nails out of (kids job). Dad and grandpa would use that lumber all the time and never really bought much new lumber at all. We also used old nails that had been pulled out of that lumber. My grandpa always had a few old nails in his bib overalls just in case. If that man ever used a new nail, I didn't see it.

We didn't have regular garbage pick up either mainly because there wasn't all that much garbage. Our hogs and dogs ate table scraps - food was never, ever wasted. While our farm wasn't self sufficient, we did a lot of work all summer long putting up all manner of garden products, even though they were available at the store.

The amount of packaging in our garbage cans today really bothers me. Seems wasteful; on the other hand, if you're going to ship something 10,000 miles across sea and land, it needs to be protected. But overall, I think recycling is a mixed bag, some things are recycling no brainers like aluminum and glass and paper, other stuff, the plastics mainly, aren't as simply handled.

BTW, I do believe there will be mining of our landfills in the future. Lots of stuff there that should be recycled and it will be cost effective some day to get it.
Did you ever get your hands all dirty when cutting corn off the cob for canning?
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