This new fangled idea about being green. Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Not as old as one may think, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Jan 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm
I was sent the following email by a friend. It is worth passing on to our green Palo Alto friends.
"Checking out at the supermarket recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. I apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days". the cler...k responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations". She was right about one thing--our generation didn't have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then?After some reflection and soul-searching on "Our" day here's what I remembered we did have.... Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop 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 repeatedly. 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 nappies because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 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 just like the one you always got for Christmas sometimes if you were lucky with your initial on ! (remember them?), not a screen the size of Wales. In the kitchen, we blended & 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 petrol 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 bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums 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 older folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?Please post this on your Facebook profile so another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smarty-pants young person can read this!!!"
I think this has done the rounds for sometime, but it is still applicable.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 9, 2012 at 10:13 am
Well, the cashier was TOLD to request customers to bring their own bags - I sincerely doubt she said that on her own initiative.
Also, I don't know what year is referred to in the "good ole days" longed for by the original writer of the story, but there were fewer people in the world then. However one feels about climate change, and what should be done about it, it's clear there are issues with resources (water for a great example) in this world now and in the future and paying some attention to them makes sense. Still, it does not justify any cashier being rude. I am not elderly, however if a store worker (cashier etc.) is rude, I am likely to not give them my business again. I would also consider discussing with the manager that respect is owed every customer. Also, this story has apparently been passed around, so there is some impact from that.
Aside from plastic bags vs. paper vs. re-usable ones, it is genuinely funny to see how many Palo Alto mommies run about this town in their monster SUVs (usually luxury-labelled with large insignia) to chauffer their one or two kids.
Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community, on Jan 9, 2012 at 8:24 pm
Thanks for reminding me of additives, Walter. Remember MTBE. A petrochemical product that the Greens loved. It poisoned our ground water and is responsible for all those former gas stations becoming EPA hazardous waste sites.
Once again the greens were duped, or were the creation of the oil companies.
Either way, in a rational world those responsible would be held accountable. But we don't live in a rational world, we live in a "green" world.
Posted by Marie, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm Marie is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I recommend this post be deleted - we don't need internet spam posted here. Clues that this is spam, is there is no date, no place referenced. Some wording isn't even American English (nappies instead of diapers, petrol instead of gas). Even in my day, and I'm a senior citizen, we used ballpoint pens, not fountain pens and I much prefer them. Etc., etc., etc.
Posted by Not as old as one may think, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Jan 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm
Interesting to see the comments here.
I never mentioned what community this came from as I think it is irrelevant as the green movement is all over the place.
The point being made is not whether we prefer ballpoints to fountain pens, but that at one time pens had refills and bottles of milk were returned to be refilled. It was nothing to do with the price of oil or from whence it came, just that we used to push a mower to cut our lawns rather than fill them with gas (or petrol).
In my day (whenever that was) it wasn't being green to recycle it was just the way things were done. We have a throwaway society which never used to be the case. Whether they are nappies or diapers, they used to be washed and reused, and hung out to dry rather than put into driers.
We are a wasteful society today, but we never used to be. And it was nothing to do with being green.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
The energy cost of a reusable diaper far exceeds that of a throw away, plus it is sterile, and no reusable can make that claim. If you really believe, how about washing out your mense cloths or laundering bandages for reuse?
$30 to $45 oil is about where it would be if we did not let OPEC control native production. And I will consider "proving" my assertions when the other side proves theirs.