The Green Thing

The Green Thing
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 environment.
The woman apologized and explained, "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."
She 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 our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young 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 wadded up old newspapers 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?
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On Tue, 22 Nov 2011 23:15:32 -0500, "Robert Green"

I think this "green bag" thing is funny. After the local news ran a few stories about the bacteria count in these bags after a few uses, people are asking that almost everything gets put in a plastic bag, then it goes in their green bag and they walk out feeling like they are saving the world.
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On Tue, 22 Nov 2011 23:42:29 -0500, gfretwell wrote:

I've often wondered the "greenness" of making the things in China - where environmental concerns don't seem to be particularly high on anyone's priority list - and then shipping them huge distances to us.
When stores start offering "green" bags that are made within 50 miles of where I live, I'll start buying them.
cheers
Jules
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that's called a business opportunity
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Jules Richardson wrote:

What's magical or important about "50 miles"?
This "buy local" business - whether to promote the local economy or, as in your case, minimize earth-destroying pollution - will, when taken to its logical extreme, limit you to buying from your next door neighbor!
Obviously, there's a distance line somewhere.
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which would mean everyone would be self-sufficient, which is a terrific result

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On Fri, 25 Nov 2011 02:25:58 -0600, HeyBub wrote:

Nothing, it's just "more than right on my doorstep, but not in China". I should have explained that better though (or, indeed, at all ;-)
Distances to point of manufacture are obviously always going to be different for different products, and that's only talking about assembly and sales anyway, not taking into account where raw materials come from.
It's just irritating when something's made halfway around the world in places with questional environmental policies and marketed as "green".
cheers
Jules
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wrote:

yeh, those big tags on those bags that say "wash in warm water" are so damn inconvenient
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Robert Green wrote:

I would have slapped her so hard her mother would feel it.
Well, I wouldn't REALLY have slapped her... but I would have told her to mind her own business. Actually, I think I would have expanded on that minding-you-own-business theme for several minutes, ending with "If plastic bags are so bad for the environment, why are you not only making them available but are actually GIVING them away? Don't you bear the ultimate responsibility? Aren't you ashamed?"
Pompous twit!
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as long as you have your god, what do you need the other stuff for?
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On 11/23/2011 8:27 AM, Frank wrote: ...

And the mining and manufacturing inputs for producing the replacements????
I don't think so, no...

No, there's no comparison there overall, particularly when you count in the landfill and disposal hidden costs. That's _purely_ a convenience to the user (the user being the changer here, not the wearer).
Been there, done that, the cost is no comparison.
...
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It's actually quite disgusting that people are allowed to put used fully filled disposable diapers in landfills. in every way they qualify as toxic waste
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In my day, soda bottles were "redeemed" at the store you bought them from and they were then taken to the factory, crushed and made into new bottles.
anything would consume more energy than just "throwing them away" unless you are using a gas powered trebuchet to chunk them somewhere
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Malcom "Mal" Reynolds wrote the following:

Aren't you 'in my day' now? :-) In the early 1940s when I was a kid in the Bronx, NY, (during WWII) the redeemed bottles were not crushed, just cleaned and refilled. Much of the soda we bought were in bottles that were all scratched up from the repeated recycling.

--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

That was the way things were when I was a kid in Holland as well, with the exception that there wasn't much that we now call soda. The milkman came with his hors/pony-drawn wagon by each morning. If you ran out, you had to go and beg him in his home/farm whether he had any left for you.
--
Best regards
Han
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In the late 50s, I was a teenager, and worked part time in a grocery store in the bottle returns counter. In those days just about everything came in a glass container. Soda pop came in small and large bottles, refunded at 2 cents and 5 cents. Javex came in brown glass jugs refunded at 25 cents. Sour cream came in glass containers at 10 cents. Milk came in a number of bottle sizes. My memory fails me on other products that you paid a deposit on the bottle and got refunded when you brought it back. In those days I could recall all the prices and add them up in my head as we didn't get to use an adding machine or cash register.
Here, I note with interest that wine and liquor are refunded and then destroyed, beer bottles are recycled. A local boutique grocery store carries milk in glass bottles that are refunded and sells "crme brule" in ramekins that you pay a deposit on then return for refund.
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Robert Green wrote:

And today, when the clerk asks "Paper or plastic?" I usually respond:
"I don't care. I'm bisacksual".
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snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

I've got a U.S. map. It has pins in every state except North Dakota.
Your idea of "closets" has given me an idea for a new goal.
Thanks.
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