Pass it on…

This made me smile, in a ‘Grumpy Old Man’ sort of way, so I thought I’d share it with all of you…


At the store checkout desk, the young cashier suggested to the much older woman, that she should bring her own shopping 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 day.”
The young checkout girl responded, “That’s why we have a problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save the environment for future generations”.


Was she right – did we not have the ‘Green Thing’ in our day?


  • 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. This way, it could use the same bottles over and over again – they really were recycled.
  • Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, which we reused for numerous things, most memorable, besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribbling.  In fact, we were able to put whatever graffiti we liked on the brown paper covers instead of using railway bridges and canal tunnels and everywhere else the young people of today decide is a suitable place to display their ‘art’.


But we didn’t have the “Green Thing” back in our day, did we?


  • We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building.
  • We walked to the shops and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to travel two streets away.

But we didn’t have the “Green Thing” back in our day, did we?


  • Back then, we washed (heaven forbid) the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts of electricity – wind and solar power really did dry our clothes.
  • Children had ‘hand-me-down’ clothes from their brothers or sisters, not the brand new, ‘branded’ clothing they get every time their current wardrobe starts to stand up on its own.


But we didn’t have the “Green Thing” back in our day, did we?

  • We had one TV or radio in the house, not a TV in every room. The TV had a sensible sized screen, a screen the size of a pillow perhaps, not a screen the size of Wales.
  • In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electrical machinery to do everything for us.
  • When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used screwed up old newspapers to protect it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
  • In our day, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn fuel 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 brightly lit health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But we didn’t have the “Green Thing” back in our day, did we?

  • We drank from a water fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a plastic cup or bottle every time we had a drink.
  • We re-filled pens with ink instead of throwing the old one away and buying a new one.
  • We replaced the blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor.

But we didn’t have the “Green Thing” back in our day, did we?


  • In our day, people took the bus to work or the shops and children rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their parents into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s £50,000 ‘off-roader’, which incidentally, is the same price as you’d pay for a small family estate in our day.
  • We had one or maybe two electrical outlets in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power the dozen appliances that nobody can possibly do without these days.
  • And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest ‘fast food’ takeaway.


But we didn’t have the “Green Thing” back in our day, did we?


I actually find it rather sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we, the older generation were and all because we didn’t have the “Green thing” back then.

Furthermore, I suggest this must be especially disappointing when confronted with a tattooed, multiply pierced, ideological, tree hugging, dread-lock sporting, going to put the world straight all on their own, smarty-pants, who has to get the cash register to tell them what change to give.

Oh dear, how sad, what a shame, never mind – as a close chum of mine once said!

This has been another Captain Corbett’s Adventure.  If I’m not on Jersey teaching a private tuition Day Skipper theory or Yachtmaster theory course, then I’m either spending time with someone on their boat, giving them the confidence to take their boat out with their family and friends on board or I’m off somewhere exotic delivering a boat. Either way, I’ll write it up and put it on the Blog for you all to see, so keep popping back to see my most recent adventures.


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