Friday, January 31, 2014

Waste Not, Want Not

I've been reading a fictional account of life in the south during The Great Depression and how communities cared for each other during such difficult times.  My parents both grew up during the Depression.  Living in such desperate times as young people shaped them as adults.  They were among a generation that grew up reducing, reusing and recycling.  The phrase attributed to Ben Franklin, "Waste not, want not," was a way of life for people who lived through that era.  As late as the 1960s, my paternal grandmother saved aluminum foil, wiping it clean and reusing it. She also hung paper towels over her towel bar and reused them.  My dad saved pieces of wood from previous projects, often being able to find just what he needed from his stash. My mother remade some of her clothes for me, including her nurses cape that eventually became one that I wore.  In today's throw-away world, it's good to be reminded that our wants need not trump our needs, that doing without isn't always a bad thing, and that reducing, reusing and recycling are good legacies to pass on to future generations.

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