It does strike me as somewhat ’embarassing’ that it has been more than a year since this website was launched and the first ‘blog’ entry was posted. Just goes to show you that best intentions often go awry! Conveniently, however, this reality serves as a perfect segue into a whole topic area that I want to discuss in this space –
a topic big enough that I want to put this down in 2 parts…
Just recently, I came across a posting on Facebook that I am sure is a story that has been circulated around the internet for some time now, but it really struck a chord with me and does a great job of encapsulating some
of the feelings and ideas that we have here at Platinum Earth. Here’s the story in its entirety:
The Green Thing:
Checking out at Wal-Mart, 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 assistant 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.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soft drink bottles and
beer bottles to the shop. The shop sent them back to the plant to be washed,
sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. 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 elevator or
escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocers and
didn’t climb into a 200-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 diapers because we didn’t
have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling
machine burning up 2000 watts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes
back then. 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 not a
screen the size of Texas. In the kitchen, we blended and 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 post, 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 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 treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t
have the green thing back then.
When we were thirsty we drank from a tap instead of drinking
from a plastic bottle of water shipped from the other side of the world. We
refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the
blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor when 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 moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We
had one electrical socket 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
fish and chip shop.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful
we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish, grumpy old git
who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartarse young person.
Remember: Don’t make old people angry. We don’t like being
old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off!!!
Why is this story so relevant to me? At this company, we are ‘all-in’ when it comes to being ‘green’. There’s Platinum Earth’s part in facilitating a sustainable built environment through the LEED standards. We fill two 26 gallon recycling bins to capacity weekly versus a single waste bin that is maybe half full. What isn’t collected in the recycling bins we take separately to two different facilities – white paper, large cardboard
boxes, and waste/hazardous chemicals as well as old electronics. Our President Heather Ane is the current
Chair for the State Chapter of the USGBC and Connie Torres was instrumental in founding the State Chapter and continues to serve diligently today. We consider ourselves pretty ‘green’…
But the story above, although fictional, made me really rethink how green we really are. Let’s face it,
we’ve all more or less adopted this notion that the older generations dumped on and polluted this beautiful planet of ours with abandon and left the current and future generations with a smoldering pile of refuse to deal with. As civilized and educated folk, we of modern day Earth now adopt ‘green’ practices to reverse this undoing in an effort to save our children!
It turns out this might be just as big a pile of p*@p as the one we are trying to allegedly clean up. Kind of like the whole ‘having a salad’ thing at the restaurant doesn’t constitute a healthy lifestyle but rather a concession for the 32 oz steak dinner from the night before and the fact that the most walking some people do is from the couch to the fridge for a beer…