Environmental Sensitivity vs. Political Correctness
From: Thomas Lofft (tloffthotmail.com)
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 10:05:23 -0700 (PDT)
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that 
she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the 
The woman apologized and explained, "You know, 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."    
The woman responded, "Actually, our generation didn't have the green thing in 
its day or didn't call it 'green'. We reused everything, including our paper 
grocery bags for book covers for the kids so they didn't wear out or soil their 
books which were passed down from class to class. Our motto was, 'Use it up; 
wear it out. make it do, or do without!"
"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 ... We didn't need 
politicians to make laws about it. 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 built two story home with stairs instead of rambling flats 
so we used up less land for sprawling neighborhoods. We walked to the grocery 
store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go 
two blocks. But 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. Kids wrote thank you letters to their relatives every time 
they received a gift, not a gibberty flippant quip on an expensive electronic 
gadget. But you're right.  We didn't have the green thing back in our day. 
" Way back then, we had one or maybe two radios in the house - not a TV in 
every room, and maybe no TV at all. And if we had a TV, it had a small screen 
the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of Montana; it only showed 
black and white pictures and didn't use much electricity. In the kitchen, we 
blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have a different electric machine 
to cook every snack or to do everything for us including brushing our teeth. 
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we reused wadded up old  
newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap made from 
petroleum.  We unwrapped our Christmas and birthday presents carefully so we 
could reuse the wrapping again. 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, and the boys started using it at age 10; the girls started at age 12. We 
exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on 
treadmills that operate on electricity. We saved money by only cooking what we 
needed and eating every meal that was just the right size so we didn't get fat. 
But you're right.  We didn't have the green thing back then. 
"We drank from the kitchen faucet or a school fountain when we were thirsty 
instead of using a throwaway 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 because 
we lost the other one, 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 walked to the grocery, the movie, to church, or 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. We read 
books and newspapers to learn new information. 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. We knew who was in our 
neighborhood and whom we could trust to give us good service,
"But the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because 
we didn't have the green thing back then? 
"I hope you can remember this from another selfish old person who doesn't need 
a lesson in conservation from a smartbehind young person that never mowed a 
lawn or washed their parents' car. 
"Remember:  Don't make us older people mad!  
We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to tick us 
Yours in Community,
Tom Lofft
Liberty Village, MD

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