Friday, July 22, 2011

So You Kids Know....The 'Green Thing' Really Isn't New To Us.....

I received an e-mail early today from a friend and coworker that had me smiling and nodding as I read it.  I looked like the village idiot because I was walking through a store, but no one noticed.  They thought it was my usual look.  Anyway, I thought this was too good not to share and that we need to let the younger generation bemoaning our need to "Go Green," that we already have.  As a matter of fact, we grew up that way.  As you're throwing the stones (firmly ensconced in your glass house) about our generation ruining the world, let's take a step back and examine this.  When we're done, I want a show of hands as to how many of you are REALLY READY to Go Green.  We can do it...and we know it.  My challenge to you is, "Go Green OUR way for one month."  I'm betting you couldn't do it.  As a matter of fact, I would wager my house, my friend's house and car...and every red cent you can get your hands on that you cannot do this.  It's not that I am doubting your determination or perseverance, it's just that you've become far too accustomed to living life your way that you could NOT do what we did as kids.  What examples do I have, you ask?  Well, for one thing, our milk was delivered in glass bottles that were returned to the dairy to be washed sanitized and refilled.  So were our soda bottles.  Even beer bottles came in returnable cases that, when finished with a beer, you placed the bottles back into said case and returned it to the distributor.  Eww, gross?  No, I don't think so.  We didn't get sick and no one got harmed in the process.

We spent time going places, too...and we did it by walking.  There were no escalators eating energy so we could save our legs - we walked up stairs.  When we went to the store, we walked there, too.  We walked to our friend's houses and to see family.  No one, when going a few blocks, hopped into a 240 horsepower gas-guzzler and wasted energy.  Want a really good one?  We didn't use disposable diapers!  Remember those things?  That's right, they were washed and used again.  It might sound horrific to many of you, but our parents did it, too, and they survived!  Why, when they did laundry, they didn't have an energy-zapping electric dryer for the clothing, either.  They hung the clothing outside on the clothesline.  The clothes air-dried.  No, we didn't have them in an hour...but we knew how to deal with it.  Our parents didn't buy everyone new, fashion-designer clothing, either.  We had (you're going to absolutely FREAK on this one!)...hand-me-downs!  That's right, folks - we had to wear the same clothing an older sibling wore.  If you didn't have an older sibling, mom usually had a friend that brought clothes to the house that, "Mikey outgrew these.  Will they fit Dave?"  Yep...going to the store for a new pair of jeans or three new shirts happened once a year, usually - just in time for the new school year.  THAT was when you got new clothes.

You know what else, Mr & Mrs "Time to go Green"?  We rode our bikes.  Mom and Dad were not taxi drivers for us.  We actually got on our bikes and rode to a friend's house, to baseball practice, to the store.  Again, hard to believe but it didn't kill us.  As a matter of fact, we enjoyed it!!!  When Mom wanted to back cookies, she didn't pull out every electrical gadget in the kitchen.  Her 'gadgets' consisted of whisks, wooden spoons, bowls, baking tins, and cookie sheets.  We helped...and loved it.  We weren't zapping every energy source we could find.

Want to hear a really unbelievable fact?  One TV.  Yes, one.  Better yet, it was black and white.  I remember watching the moon landing in black and white on the only television we had in our house.  My grandparents were the first to 'move up' by getting a color television...years later.  Oh, and we played 'Pong'.  Two 'paddles' - one on each side of the TV screen - and the 'blip' bounced back and forth as in a tennis game.  We were ROCKIN'!!!

No, we knew nothing about Going Green, did we?  How about cutting the grass?  No, we didn't have gas-powered lawnmowers.  Push mower.  Yeah, I know, most of you young 'uns are saying, "We had a push mower."  Again, not the type you pushed after pulling the cord to start the engine.  I'm talking the kind that had blades that needed sharpened routinely.  You'll dig the picture of it below.  Yes, that was, indeed, how we cut the grass.  Ask your parents or grandparents.  I'll guarantee they had one.  it was the biggest pain in the ass, too.  Every time a twig got stuck in the blades, you had to stop, remove it, get a band-aid (I did, anyway), then start again.  It might have been a pain, but we did it.  Ironically, all these things kept us in good shape, too.  There was no need for health clubs and to walk on a treadmill that sucks energy.  We pushed a mower to cut the grass, walked up stairs, picked things up and carried them - we were in great shape and wasted little precious energy.
Listen, we didn't use styrofoam or bubble-wrap to ship things.  We used wadded up newspaper.  Everything arrived just fine.  We didn't drink water out of plastic bottles or styrofoam cups, either.  Everyone remember drinking from fountains or a water hose?  Yes, we lived.  It killed NONE of us!  Our parents refilled their ink pens rather than disposing of the whole plastic stem and they used disposable razor BLADES...not disposable plastic razors.  We didn't have electrical outlets everywhere in the house for all the items that exist today and we could get the phonebook out of a drawer to look up the number of the nearest pizza joint.  Going out to eat was a treat...not an everyday occurrence.

I have to admit, I understand the feelings of today's youth.  As I have said many times, we've given them everything and they DO have more than we had.  Are we satisfied with that?  Are we glad they are sitting indoors playing video games rather than playing baseball or kickball?  Are we glad they are doing nothing but exercising their fingers because they only know how to text each other?  it is killing the art of conversation, not to mention spelling.  "How R U?" they ask.  "I M fine.  Can't W8 2 C U L8R."  Really?  REALLY?  What the hell are we doing and, as I always say lately, "What have we done?"

So, who in today's youth wants to take my challenge?  Who wants to bet they can go 30 days living like this?  Who thinks they can put down the plastic Aquafina bottle and drink tap water or from a hose?  Can you get rid of the energy-sapping gadgets like your curling irons and straighteners?  I'm ready for anyone that wants to challenge me and prove it.  This, I gotta see!

Until next time.............

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