Friday, 24 May 2013

The Green issue

I'm inspired this week by an article I read recently from America. It concerned the hard time an elderly customer was given at a supermarket by a cashier in her 20s. The elderly person hadn't brought her own bags and so was told by the cashier she was contributing to damaging the environment. The cashier added that this is the problem today, because past generations didn't care enough, didn't understand the green issue.

Well, I thought I'd write my own take on an appropriate response.

When I was a kid, every morning a glass milk bottle would be placed on the table for breakfast. Once empty it was returned, sterilised and reused. Repeatedly. Real recycling. But of course, we didn't understand the green issue back then.

My school was just over one mile away from home, and every morning I met my friends on the way there while I walked to school, along with all the other pupils. Our parents wouldn't dream of driving us to school in their fossil-fuel-consuming vehicle. But  they didn't understand the green issue back then.

When I got home from school my father would be on the back lawn of the garden, pushing and pulling the lawnmower to cut the grass. Good exercise and less polluting than the latest petrol or electric powered mower. But he didn't understand the green issue back then.

In the evening we might watch TV as a family. One TV. In one room, not one in every room! And a screen the size of a cornflake packet, not Belgium!

In the evening I would be outside playing with friends, getting fresh air and keeping fit so that in later life I wouldn't have to pound a treadmill, driven by electricity, in a brightly lit gym, to work off the excess from being sat in front of a game machine, using electricity while munching fast food.

Our neighbours, who had recently had a baby, would be outside bringing in the now dry nappies after they had been laundered, instead of filling a landfill site with disposable ones.

Our leftovers from meal times were put into the fridge and another dish would be created from this the following day, not emptied into the bin.

There was one telephone in the house, the original one from when the phone company that had installed the line several years before. If it broke it was repaired, not replaced by the latest version after just a few months because of a new colour or one extra button that did something you never needed to do before.

But of course, back then, we never understood the green issue.

1 comment:

Pauline said...

Well said, Graham.