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For those of us who can remember those days, when GREEN was not the new color of communism.

Roberto Henry Ebelt


For those of us who can remember those days, when GREEN was not the new color of communism.

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags were not good for the environment. The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right, that generation did not have the green thing in its day. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed, sterilized, and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. Therefore, they really were recycled.

However, they did not have the green thing back in that customer's day. In her day, people walked up stairs, because they did not have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and did not climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They did not have the green thing in her day. Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they did not have the throwaway kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up hundreds of watts every month - wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; they didn't have the green thing back in her day. Back then, they 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 the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they did not have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, they did not fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they did not need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; they didn't have the green thing back then. They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn't have the green thing back then. Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they 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.

But isn't it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?

The above text, in italics, was not produced by me. I have no idea who the author is, but I found it rather interesting. As it has always been, since the beginning of the world, new generations never understand the generations that have preceded them. There is nothing that we can do about it, but to accept such fact. We know very well that sooner than they can imagine, they will be the “old generation”.

I feel compelled to confess that I never imagined that I would one day praise any deeds of president Roussef, but I was wrong. Her courage in defying what in the Portuguese- Brazilian language has become known as “ecochatos” is indeed praiseworthy (louvável). I am referring to her decision in carrying on the construction of the hydroelectric power plant of Belo Monte. It was, IMHO, an act of courage. Courage that former president candidate Marina Silva) a green crypto-communist candidate, certainly does not have, as she has already made clear in her statements.

Have an excellent weekend.

Tags: Roberto Henry Ebelt, ensino, inglês

Roberto Henry Ebelt é professor, escritor, escreveu uma coluna semanal para o Jornal do Comércio de Porto Alegre entre 2001 e 2013, e é diretor do curso HENRY'S BUSINESS ENGLISH desde 1971.

Seu mais recente livro, O QUE VOCÊ DEVE SABER ANTES DE ESTUDAR INGLÊS, pode ser encontrado nas livrarias Disal, Cultura e SBS ou à rua Hoffmann, 728 em Porto Alegre.

E-mail: roberto@henrys.com.br
Fone (51) 3222-3144
Página no Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/henrysbusinessnglish/?pnref=lhc

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