My grandparents were masters at reusing everything. My grandma used an empty coffee can as a cookie jar. She never bought ziplock bags because bread bags were perfectly good for storing food. Why buy new clothes when the old ones are fine?
I am making fun of them a little, but I also think we need a little more of my grandparents’ common sense. We really have become a throw-away society, and I’m just as guilty as everyone else. For heaven’s sake, I barely had my washing machine for 11 years when it became more expensive to repair than to just replace it, so that’s what I did. When I was a child in the 70’s, I remember my grandma washing clothes with her old wringer washing machine in her basement. To wring out the wet laundry, she put the clothes between two rollers and turned the handle. She must have had that machine for at least 30 years!
Ed and I try to do our part. At least my new washing machine is a high efficiency machine, so it uses less water and energy than the old machine. While we do buy ziplock bags, we also try to use washable containers for lunches and leftovers. I avoid buying water bottles and instead we fill washable bottles. I take reusable totes to the grocery store, although sometimes I forget to put them back in the car when I’m done unpacking them! We recycle junk mail and cardboard boxes, cans and bottles. On my countertop is a shiny silver container where my kitchen scraps go. Last summer, Ed made me a large compost bin for my garden, and I’m really excited to be able to use compost in my garden this spring!