DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Green Energy and Sustenance Living > We never had a green thing in the old days

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating using the link above.
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-06-2012, 06:07 PM  
Contractor retired
nealtw's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Upper Fraser Valley, British Columbia
Posts: 23,436
Liked 2945 Times on 2581 Posts
Likes Given: 4851

Default We never had a green thing in the old days

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.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we
reusedfor numerous things, most memorable besides household
garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for
our school books.
This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use
by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to
personalize our books.
But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then
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
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 she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took thestreetcar 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 burger
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we older
folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish older person who needs a
lesson in
conservation from a smart *** young person....
We don't like being older in the first place, so it doesn't take much to
piss us off.

I just borrowed this from an email, don't know who wrote it.

nealtw is online now  
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 06:53 PM  
oldognewtrick's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 10,685
Liked 1383 Times on 1099 Posts
Likes Given: 403


Neal, good post. Thanks for sharing.

oldognewtrick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 08:42 PM  
Blue Jay
Senior Member
Blue Jay's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: La Rue, Ohio
Posts: 285
Liked 25 Times on 18 Posts
Likes Given: 30


All I can say is AMEN
Blue Jay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2012, 11:59 PM  
Junior Member
tull4ever's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 9

Amen is right, good time to get back in the forum, there's more then just help!!! A great and fun read...
Paul C.
tull4ever is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2012, 11:00 AM  
exportgoods's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Jackson, Mississippi
Posts: 24

I really enjoyed reading this. RIGHT ON!
exportgoods is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 07:35 PM  
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Clark, Pampanga
Posts: 12
Likes Given: 2


really true, i wish to be back in those simple days. I'm lucky to experience both generation and I want my kids to experience those past. This is a really good read
~ Skylights ~
sgeco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2012, 09:05 PM  
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 8
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 5


Nice commentary.

My cousin, 40 years my senior, had an electrical code book when he started out that was smaller than an i-pad, and no thicker. My NEC code book is big enough to be a booster seat.
In 1960 we still had 1 company in Hazleton PA that delivered milk in a horse drawn cart - the horse remembered where to stop so the "driver" would gather his order together and hop off as the cart slowed to a stop. Now I have an old milk box on the front porch just so people have a place to drop off a set of specs.

In the early 60's in McKeesport PA, you could still get ice delivered every other day for your ice box. Now the "Frozen Water Trade" is something you find in history books - if you look hard.

It's not the world it used to be.
Gib is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 08:57 AM  
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 171
Liked 29 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 6


I didn't live back in those days but good rant,, almost sounds fun (except for the lack of computers and micro electronics). I can't help but make one comment though but please don't take it personally, I just want to explain what she was trying to say but couldn't articulate respectfully. The generation from back in Those days (70 - 50 years older than I am I'd assume so 75-95) They didn't have to do the "green" thing but here's what she was actually trying to say, she just didn't have the thought process available to work through it.

Back in "those" days, (that age group's) parents hadn't pushed everything to China, they still had a place that made brown bags in the state/country, the could send your bottles back to the plant because the plant wasn't in China.

While the girl was right that you didn't have the "green" thing she was really trying to address, in her own disrespectful and lacking cognitive processes way, is what everyone sees. That our own country in "that" generation has put itself (and kids) out of business(work) and it's that generation that did it. A lot of young people love to apply blame to the previous generation and there is blame to be spread but they misdirect, often on recycling and thinking & designing green. There is ALOT of blame for being blatantly harmful to the environment but that's not the real problem, at least not the one they feel, it's an easy escape goat. Therefore not realizing that they don't get to the root of the problem to be able to fix it, it doesn't get fixed. If we would fix our economic model, being "green" on the things people love to harp about, would almost immediately fix itself.

Why is it cheaper to throw away a bottle than to recycle it? Because it's not made here it's made by someone in China where the QOL isn't as high. It also costs alot to ship our recycling to China (which is what we do and the Gov subsidizes). Last I read less than 10% of all recycling work is done in the US but almost 80% of all recycled materials come from here. We've been built over the last 50-60 years into a consumer nation with a service workforce, that's where the blame really lies, with the people who worked for and supported companies that did that to our children and our environment.

Sorry she articulated it so poorly but please forgive her, her parents obviously didn't teach her any better.
10/11: Bought the perfect house, 11/12: 10k & 200 hours,08/13: 30k & 400 hours into the perfect house, 12/13: 35k & 500 hours,02/14: 37k & 550 hours, 08/14: 38k & 650 hours
05/15: 40k & 700 hours and I think it's done, Home appraised +40k!!! 1 to 1 ratio achieved!
03/16: Filed small claims court on contractor for siding + all of previous
gottodo1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 10:59 AM  
Fixer Upper
bud16415's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Erie Pa, Pa
Posts: 4,355
Liked 1447 Times on 1107 Posts
Likes Given: 779


I never “liked” a post over a year old before but just did. The paper or plastic question always makes me laugh at the checkout like there is a correct answer. I once tried to explain how much the energy consumption was to make paper compared to plastic that is really a waste product of the petroleum process and is easily returned to fuel or what I do with them reused. Even though everyplace I go uses the plastic shopping bags now I had a heck of a time finding a trash can that tightly fit one so I could reuse the bags as liners and not have to buy trash bags.

When I go (rarely) to McDonalds for a 15 minute meal I’m left with a tray full of waste materials. I read where they were forced into going to the cardboard boxes for the sandwiches after they had switched to the foam boxes. The foam was shown to be better in all ways. Less energy to make, cleaner, insulates better, breaks down better in landfills and is even a good amendment to soil for water retention. But didn’t fit the green model. I would have to think a greedy company like McDonalds would use glasses and plates if it was cheaper to clean and reuse them than pay to throw all that junk away. After all they reuse the trays but don’t really clean them.

Plastic bottles are made in this country as they would be far too bulky to ship from china and the process is so automated there is no labor incentive in making them anyplace but close to where they are filled. The fuel to return bottles and the energy to clean and refill far outweigh the cost of the plastic bottle. The really amazing thing is that people who complain about the cost of gasoline will pay 10 times that amount for a bottle full of water.

It’s IMHO mostly about the playing field. Having been to many foreign countries applying and viewing manufacturing processes right or wrong. We are regulating ourselves out of business. China, India, Mexico and the list goes on are playing on such a different playing field than we have to. They are burning coal like we did in the early 1900’s and we are being forced out of burning it like we did in the 2000’s. Some of it is regulations and some of it is perception. Very little of it is based on logic.

An interesting comparison to Google is the fuel mileage of European diesel cars compared to the same car sold in this country. Our emission are measured by what comes out the tail pipe and not by how much comes out to go one mile down the road. We burn something like 30% more fuel and with cleaning it up in the process end up no better in net pollution per mile.

Another is ask anyone that’s a proponent of electric cars where the power for zero emissions comes from. Or if they know how much power is consumed thru transmission power lines etc. When they suggest solar or wind see if they know how much power it takes to make a solar cell or wind generator and what it takes to maintain then and or replace them. The same is true for batteries and battery life. No one ever seems to give the full story or if you are old enough to remember Paul Harvey the rest of the story. And Paul might have finished his rant with “Economics”.
bud16415 is offline  
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2013, 11:46 AM  
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 171
Liked 29 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 6


I too stumbled on this old thread but felt like expressing a different view point.

I'm not sure who WE are you're referring to, but if you'er talking about the USA we have less regulations for environmental pollution than China, Turkey, Europe, India or Korea, the problem is, the laws we do have, we actually make our people adhere too, over there.... not so much, at least on national companies. However if you're a US company you better adhere to it or they'll force you out of the market. If they were enforced over there on their own companies we'd actually have the advantage, except mexico they're still a free for all, if it doesn't instantly kill people (and sometimes even if it does) it's still usable there.

10/11: Bought the perfect house, 11/12: 10k & 200 hours,08/13: 30k & 400 hours into the perfect house, 12/13: 35k & 500 hours,02/14: 37k & 550 hours, 08/14: 38k & 650 hours
05/15: 40k & 700 hours and I think it's done, Home appraised +40k!!! 1 to 1 ratio achieved!
03/16: Filed small claims court on contractor for siding + all of previous

Last edited by gottodo1; 10-10-2013 at 11:48 AM.
gottodo1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
Can anyone identify this thing? Speedbump Plumbing Forum 21 05-25-2011 12:23 AM
What is this thing in my basement n8greene Plumbing Forum 19 04-08-2010 12:52 PM
Removing the knobby thing from the stopper - HELP! WouldRatherBeRenting Plumbing Forum 0 02-24-2009 09:46 PM
What is the best thing to fill a concrete porch? derrick27 Bricks, Masonry and Concrete 3 12-04-2008 03:24 PM