How Green Did Life Really Used to Be?

Thanks to my pals Bonnie & Chris for sharing this.  So much of the Mrs. Green journey did begin back in the good old days. We wasted nothing, played outside til dark instead of playing video games, really did have only one T.V., wore lots of hand me downs & thought I had a pretty wonderful life. Because I did.  After reading this, I couldn’t help but wonder how hard would it be to turn back some of the hands of time?  And just think of the listeners Mrs. Green could have had on green talk radio! 

 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 diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They 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, 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 Montana. 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 styrofoam 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 fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or 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 streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms 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 they didn’t have the green thing back then!


3 thoughts on “How Green Did Life Really Used to Be?”

  1. Bonnie says:

    There is a mothers movement out there to get kids back to our earlier freedoms. It’s called Free Range Kids: http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

    Your post reminded me of it. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Tundrachik says:

    “they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull”

    Even greener, was the sharpening of the straight razor blade on a heavy leather strop.

    I think the strop was even a multi-tasker, as it was used as a warning to ensure good behaviour from children! No one wanted “the strap”.

    1. Mrs. Green says:

      Can you imagine if we put our collective brains together and thought of all the things we used to do that were so sustainable? We never wasted ANYTHING. And when did we start using plastic razors with pop off blades? And my Dad used a shaving mug and had a shaving cup – not some spray foam. And, yes, my Mom did hang a strap in a hall closet. Had not thought about that in quite some time. Thanks for your comment.

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