Green thing

While waiting at the billing counter of a store, the cashier informed an old woman that she should have brought her own grocery bag because plastic bags aren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The cashier replied, “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 we could use the same bottles over and over again.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We climbed up the stairs and didn’t have to think about escalators and elevators all the time. We walked to the grocery store. We didn’t have to take a 300-horsepower machine to get two blocks away.

We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed our babies’ diapers, for we couldn’t just throw and use another one. We dried the clothes on a line. They didn’t need an energy gobbling machine that was burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power dried the clothes. Kids survived with hand-me-down clothes given away by sisters and brothers. We didn’t shuffle malls for clothes for every day of the week.

Who’s Television? We had one radio at our house. The odd guy had one TV shared by everyone on the street, with a screen the size of a handkerchief.

We blended and stirred by hand to cook. We wrapped and smothered fragile items in old newspaper to snail mail them. We pushed around a mower to tame our lawns. And we didn’t need treadmills or electricity to stay fit!

I don’t think we had the green thing back in our days.

People took the train, maybe the bus or a tram. Children rode bicycles or walked all the way to school. The nearest pizza joint wasn’t found using a computerized gadget receiving signals from satellites 2000 miles away floating in space.

But it’s true we didn’t have the green thing back in our days. Isn’t it sad that the present generation laments at how wasteful we were just because we didn’t have the green thing in our hay days?”


This email forward is a good look at how actually the great uncontrolled boom of technological and industrial developments has increased our impacts on the environment today. However, it will never be a possibility that all six billion people forget televisions, computers, telephones, airplanes, satellites, escalators and elevators. It’s not that we were not exploiting the environment back in those days. We just simply didn’t know that we were and anyway continued to try making things easy for ourselves. It’s the couch potato dream, where every human fights the fight with humans and money and industries and institutions, just for the sake of this ultimate life where everything is served on a platter, and with each generations the choices on that platter will increase. We love laziness, ignorance and bliss as a species.

What are you thinking about?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s