Knight Writer

We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day, or did we?

by Debbie | January 14, 2013

I don’t pay much attention to the majority of postings people put on Facebook – especially the regurgitated jokes, photos with cute sayings and the anecdotes that are passed back and forth ad nauseum. I don’t mind people sharing some of their personal milestones or interesting vacation pics – I recently put up my own news and photos about becoming a grandma – or even sharing interesting news stories. But what is the sense of re-posting other’s work? Maybe my distaste has something to do with the fact that a major portion of my day is spent originating new and fresh content in my capacity as a writer.

But given my propensity for “back in the day” type ramblings and the major sustainability initiatives we’ve got going on at Lynn that we’ve dubbed Going Green, I found a recent Facebook “share” rather clever and particularly relevant given the above two topics.

Before I share, however, I must give a shout out to what has been going on at Lynn this past week. Our students are involved in “Citizenship Project” activities during J-Term, many of which are all about sustainability and the impact on our environment. They’ve been cleaning up preserves and canals, planting native plants and an herb garden, and restoring our butterfly garden. Nine classes had a contest to see who could pick up the most trash at the beach. Now, that’s something we didn’t really do back in the day.

Lynn students collect trash during a beach clean-up.

This post though does show what we did do (maybe not by design, but just by the nature of our world back then) …
It’s all about how the younger generation gives the older generation (which sadly I guess is the category I am now squarely placed) a hard time for how wasteful and non-green we were back in the day. But this little ditty belies that. I couldn’t even find the original author, but everyone has seen fit to re-post it. You can read it in its entirety here (if you haven’t already seen it somewhere).

Using the running interlude … “But our generation didn’t have the green thing back in the day” … it makes mention of some undeniable and very green-of-us points:

Here’s how it begins:
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 young 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.

And it goes on to enumerate how we really were very green, while sarcastically chanting after each: But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Here’s the abbreviated list:
• We returned milk, soda and beer bottles for recycling.
• We kept the brown paper bags from grocery stores (no plastic then) to reuse for other things like book covers (remember that?).
• We washed diapers (okay, I admit I did have Pampers back then) and dried clothes on a line (and a dryer). Okay, maybe not me, but way back then.
• We had fewer electronic devices that sucked up power – one TV per household, a push lawnmower.
• We drank from a water fountain (no plastic water bottles to recycle or clog up the landfills).
• We replaced our razor blades and even refilled the ink in our fountain pens (what’s that, you say?) That was before computers, never mind laptops, iPads and smart phones.
• We rode our bikes, took the bus and dare I say it – walked.
• We had one electrical outlet, not a major strip to power several devices.

Anyway, you get the point … As our friend Billy Joel sang, “We didn’t start the fire!”

1 Comment

tabela 1/21/13 1:30 pm

People wonder what is going to happen if it is obviously on facebook :)