How green was Grannie?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ghrit, Mar 28, 2011.


  1. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    This is for those of us that remember those days and for those that only heard
    about those days.



    In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she
    should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the
    environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the
    'green thing' back in my day."

    The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former generation did
    not care enough to save our environment.
    " (Red emphasis mine - g)

    He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

    Back then, they returned their 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 they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's 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 was 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 handkerchief, 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 a wadded
    up old 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
    their writing 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 or a bus 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 isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks
    were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?
     
    Tracy, VHestin, Seacowboys and 5 others like this.
  2. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    And some of us still pump water by hand 'cuz we don't want the 'grid'
    And some still wash clothes by hand or with a wringer washer when we run the 'Genny' and do all the power stuff at the same time.
    Some still return cans and bottles and compost stuff 'cuz we do, not 'cuz it's "green"
    or PC.
    Gee, some have not TV nor hair dryers, mico wave things, electric oven, dehydrators, I phones, or other gadgets. I do have a PONG game hidden for the 'dull times'(?)
    Hmmm no elect, water, trash or cable/satilite bill....
    The cans and strings didn't work too well so there is the phone bill and the 'net hook up bill..........
    I am not a frog, don't call me green, call me frugal or cheap... ha ha
     
  3. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    Great post and very true.
     
  4. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    I remember having to peel labels, wash the can and then flatten it before disposal when I was at Gram's house. She re-used every jar that once held some purchased item. She "composted" long before I knew that was a word. She came to be in 1906 and left this world too long ago. Was she really that far ahead of her time... or is our Going Green really a recycled idea from a few years back? I don't think I recall anyone of Gram's generation being wasteful.

    Great post, g!

    Re-reading your emphasis, I might agree with the clerk, based on time-line. IMO: The former generation (recent) didn't seem to be as environmentally conscious as their elders were.
     
  5. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    I grew up in rural America in the 50s and 60s so I remember some not so green practices also.
    The uses of pesticides was really out of hand. I grew up in orchard country and every Spring kids from the orchards would miss a day or two of school from sick from spraying.
    Spraying oil on dirt roads to keep the dust down or on lakes to kill mosquito eggs or larvae.
    On the farms dynamite was used to fracture rock so a slow well would flow better. Some times the fractures leached animal waste from the barnyard into an underground stream.
     
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I shamelessly stole that from another place and time. It wasn't attributed or I would have so noted. What got me was that it fit pretty closely to how I was brought up in a New York bedroom community along the shore in New Jersey.
     
  7. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    As they didn't recycle I have often wondered why they crushed tin cans. We burnt our garbage.
    I was raised on a 40 acre farm in the redneck area of western Md, northern WVA, south central Pa. At the time it was "God and gun" country so it was very different than a NYC bed room community.
     
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    More reflective of the culture of the time than the the place? [monkeyeating]
     
  9. TxLoneWolf

    TxLoneWolf Monkey+

    Growing up on a small farm in East Texas we flattened our tin cans in order to get more in the garbage bin. This meant fewer trips to the land fill which was 12 miles away. We burned what we could in a "burn barrel" out back, returned glass bottles and reused jars when possible. I've drank a lot of tea out of old jelly jars and snuff glasses as a kid.
     
  10. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Where I grew up I hunted in the "back yard" for small game and in summer I shot groundhogs.

    That is a true catch 22.

    You can tell by the old appliances on the porch. LOL

    Everyone returned glass bottles to avoid paying deposit on the new bottles.

    The dump was quite a drive from home so we didn't go often. I thought jelly jars were glasses until my teens. :D
     
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