The Green Thing; Is it new or just renewed?

You’ve heard people tell you to use your own bags at the grocery store because plastic isn’t good for the environment. I have used my own cloth bags over and over for the past 15 years before I knew anything about “going green.” I like not having so many paper or plastic bags around.


Let me tell you that green has been around a lot longer than you think. The younger generation today tells us we did not care enough to save our environment, well here are a few facts about green that will make you aware of what you can do without thinking about going green.


Remember returning milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store? The stores sent the bottles back to the plants to be washed, sterilized and refilled so we could use the same bottles over and over, isn’t this called recycling?


Walking up the stairs was common practice because escalators were not in stores or office buildings. We walked instead of getting into our powered vehicles today no matter how far we had to go. Now it’s all about convenience. Are we thinking about pollution now?


Washing cloth diapers was a standard; there were no Huggies to throw into landfills. Drying clothes was done outside on the cloths line; we weren’t using dryers powered by 220 volts and electricity – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes back in the day. Hand-me-down clothes from brothers, sisters and cousins was not a question but a must. Brand new clothing? Forget about it.


One television or radio in the house was normal, not a television in every room. And remember how small those screens were? They were nowhere near screens today, which are the size of a U.S. state. The kitchen did not have electric appliances to blend or stir things. We did that by hand.


Fragile items we sent in the mail were protected with waded up old newspapers not plastic bubble wrap or those darn static Styrofoam peanuts that stick to your hands.


A push mower was how you cut the grass, not a gas engine mower. Think of the exercise we got doing this, and we didn’t have to pay for a health club or spend money for the gas to get there. Exercise was something we all got when we worked hard doing physical labor.


We drank from a fountain or a “bubbler” as it’s called in my state when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic water bottle every time we needed a drink of water. Taking a bus, riding bikes or walking was how we got places instead of having mom’s 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not a bank of sockets or power strip to power lights, phones, iPads or computers.


But all of these examples weren’t called green back then. It was just how we lived.


So the moral is that what we do today as “being green” is in some ways more wasteful than resourceful.


What does green mean to you? I’m just sayin’…