Waste not want not. I remember my grandmother saying this to me when I was growing up. She was of Scottish descent and I think that contributed to her being thrifty.
My mom told me how that thriftiness helped them during the depression and World War II. My grandmother collected dandelions from their backyard and made a wilted salad. They kept chickens for their eggs and later when those chickens didn't produce anymore they ended up as Sunday dinner.
She and my grandfather would take my mom and her brother out into the countryside to pick wildflowers to add to the flower arrangements in their florist.
They grew the rest of the flowers in their greenhouses.
My grandmother made beautiful quilts and of course cooked all of their meals while also working in their business.
I think that sense of thriftiness was passed down to me, although I honestly can't say that that I have always adhered to it. I now realize I should have paid more attention to the things my grandmother taught me. I did listen to her advice to save my spare change and there have been times when I have needed that and was grateful for the advice.
Going through this pandemic has made me think more about the things I do and how wasteful our society has become. Back in the 1970s I was aware of climate change and knew we could not go down the path we were on forever. Somehow I lost sight of much of what I believed in when life got in the way.
In recent years I have become more of an advocate for climate change and have tried to be less wasteful. Still, I indiscriminately used all of the paper products I wanted and I wasted food.
I had made some changes, like using reusable bags for shopping. My daughter and son-in-law gave me mesh produce bags for the grocery and reusable storage bags to replace plastic bags in the refrigerator.
Now I am trying hard to be more conscientious. I don't have my own washer and dryer, so I can't switch to using cloth napkins like I want, but I have a large stack of dishtowels to use, which has cut down on paper towels, and I am stretching TP out more.
I am also being much more careful about food waste. My freezer is packed with leftovers and baked goods and Tuesday I used apples which were way past their prime to make homemade applesauce. It is so easy and I had forgotten just how good it tastes.
I hope when this pandemic finally ends that we will remember some of the lessons we have learned. I hope that we will never take the opportunity to hug our loved ones for granted again and I hope that we will remember to protect our earth by not indiscriminately using up its resources.
Waste not want not. I'm working on it Grandmother.