A Nurse With Attitude

Where Dark Cynical Humor, Nursing Issues, and Politics Seem to Merge

How we “saved the Environment” back then

Yes, contrary to what you may think… I am concerned about the Environment!

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to that I should bring my own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.  I apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my youth.”

The clerk responded, “Yes, because of your irresponsibility, it’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 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 again. So they really were recycled.

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.  Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line in the sun, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts.

Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

Back when I was a kid, we had one TV, and one radio, in the house, Not a TV in every room.  Our TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a “big-screen” the size to cover the whole wall.

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 doing  hard work so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We had refillable writing pens instead of buying a brand new pen every time.  We replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

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 driving them everywhere. 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 how 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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