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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Waste Not, Want Not

The cover of the current Country Living proclaims: "ReUse, ReCycle, ReFresh."

I was into recycling before it was cool. During the 40s and 50s, everybody made do with what they had. We didn't even call it "recycling"—it was just what you did if you had good sense.

For instance, I wore hand-me-down clothes my cousin Marty had outgrown. When I outgrew them, they passed down to my cousin Judy. Once in a while I got a new dress—Mama made it on her treadle Singer sewing machine that she'd bought second-hand before I was born.

I don't ever remember a glass jar being thrown away. An empty jar was always good for something—a place to keep a collection of buttons (that were cut off clothes that were too worn out for wearing), a storage container for food, a vase, etc.

Worn-out clothes became rags. I remember Grandma Ruble had an impressive collection. Clean rags might be recycled into bandages or cleaning cloths. No one bought Band-Aids or paper towels. (Did they exist in the 40s?)

Back in the day, sensible folks didn't waste anything:
Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Do without.
That's what this blog will be about—living frugally (but well) by reusing, recycling, or refreshing.

1 comment:

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Becky, I take all our used socks out to the barn. And you know, the way they make everything so crappy nowadays, we go through socks like crazy. I use them for cleaning, for wiping the gunk in the corners of horses' eyes, for protecting my hands when I'm putting Kopertox on, for saddle soap, you name it. And I get so many, I just throw them away when they're dirty.

I think this is a great idea for a blog the way the economy is. We might as well be back in the 40s because this feels close to a Depression to me.