When the clerk advised the lady to start bringing her own bags for grocery sacking since plastic is not good for the environment, the woman replied that in her younger days she didn’t have the “green things.” She went on to explain what she did have:
“Back then we returned milk bottles and soda bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed, sterilized, and refilled, so they could be used over and over. They were really recycled!
“We walked up the 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, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up electricity – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers, sisters, or cousins, not always brand-new clothing.
“Back then we had one TV or radio in the house, if we were lucky - not one in every room. In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric mixers to do everything for us.
“When we packaged fragile items to send in the mail, we used an old wadded-up newspaper for cushioning, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
“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 an electric treadmill.
“We drank from a water fountain in public places or a dipper and water bucket at home instead of using water from plastic bottles.
“We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
“We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. 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.
“No, back then we didn’t have the ‘green thing.’ Guess we didn’t need it.”
I’ll bet readers over age fifty can agree with the older shopper, and I imagine you can even add several other things to the list. It’s hard to believe how many things have changed just in my 45 years of marriage, and I don’t dare think about what may change in the next 45.
…So I think I’ll just try to enjoy today – whether I feel like “going green” or not!
(Lora Ann Huff is a Wenasoga resident and special columnist for the Daily Corinthian. Her column appears Friday. She may be reached at 1774 CR 700, Corinth, MS 38834.)