I have always struggled with waste. Waste of any kind, be it food, time, energy, money, or most particularly in this instance, ideas. Waste Not Want Not, is an idea I had some time ago and I don’t want to waste it by not doing it. Ever since I emerged from a stint of voluntary work in the Central American jungle a little niggle I had about waste in the back of mind, has become an overwhelming feeling of discomfort about anything being not utilized to its full potential. Living for a period of time with limited resources focuses the mind. I also happen to be of German heritage and naturally tend towards order and efficiency. Some call it OCD, but if you are little bit organized you can get so much more out of life. And of course, I was brought up in the bosom of great aunts of uncles with first hand experiences of World Wars – ooh, the stories they had to tell, but in a funny sort of way, always with a fondness and definitely pride at having made ends meet! Waste Not, Want Not..that’s what they would say as they scraped the last of the Sunday roast into a pot to make a hearty soup, or spread the contents of the roasting pan on to a slice of bread tucking in with absolute glee! And lastly, I was a Blue Peter child. So a cornflake box to me was never rubbish – it was a farm, or a castle or any number of other things, and a wire coat hanger…an advent crown of course!
Anyway, enough about me. What about the bigger picture. These days, it’s fair to say that society has never been more throw away, and this at a time when it is becoming clear, that we have less than ever to throw away. Things may not be as hard as in the 1940s perhaps, but people’s pockets are empty, their lives may be lacking purpose, and our planet is showing signs of the strain of being continually called upon to give up its resources. In these days of computerization it baffles me that somebody can’t just ‘run the numbers’ and work out how to run the planet efficiently, but as yet, that programme doesn’t exist, so maybe we can all do our bit.
Don’t worry though. None of us can do it all. Nor would we want to. I’m not hear to preach nor am I partial to hugging trees. I just want to give as many people as want them a few tools to help them reduce their own impact on resources or use others to the max. And I’m talking across the board, be it cash, energy, talent, things or ideas….don’t waste them. They are all precious, and others can benefit too. One man’s waste is surely another man’s treasure. That’s becoming a more and more fashionable idea, so it’s time to get trendy and lead a smarter life!