The term “waste not want not” probably originates in Yorkshire and means exactly what it says, never wasting anything results in never wanting anything. For example, only serve enough food at a meal that you know will easily be eaten, leaving no waste. Do not spend your hard earned cash on things you do not really need or want. Think before spending – “waste not want not”.
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 rather than waste the idea, I thought I should put it into action. As my husband will tell you, it is something that I have been ‘talking about’ since I emerged from a stint of voluntary work in the Central American jungle, my western lifestyle conscience well and truly pricked. That was where I learned what it was to live on limited resources, and do you know what, I actually found it incredibly liberating! I am also for my sins, of German heritage with a strong tendency towards order, organisation and and efficiency – these days you might call it OCD, but I do believe that with a little bit of organisation people can make the most of their lives. And of course, I was brought up by a thrifty stepfather, born and brought up in the East End of London, a host of grandparents, great aunts and uncles, who all had stories of hardship and suffering from the war, but always talked fondly of making ends meet! And that’s where Waste Not, Want Not really comes from. That and Blue Peter – I still can’t throw a cornflake box away without thinking twice!
These days, it’s fair to say that society has never been more throw away, at a time when it is becoming clear, that we have less to throw away than ever. Things may not be as hard as in the 1940s perhaps, but people’s pockets are empty, their lives lacking purpose, and our planet is showing signs of the strain of being continually called upon to give up its resources. Society is strained to the max by inefficiencies in administration and wasted opportunity and it is my belief that so much can be done to improve the lives of everyone with a little bit more thought and creativity.
Last year I was lucky enough to meet a like minded individual in Emily Cooper, who not only agreed with me, had all of the knowledge, wherewithall and enthusiasm to make this thing a reality. So after 6 years of thinking, it’s time for us to take action. We are both mothers of small children and this I think has crystalised many of our ideas. We can now see how we can make reducing waste a reality for all, without putting any pressure on anyone, and without costing anybody money! Not only with the planet benefit, not only will our pockets benefit, but countless charitable organisations can benefit, and society as a whole will benefit. One man’s waste is surely another man’s treasure. That’s becoming a more fashionable idea, just like baking and dressmaking, and it’s time to make it a reality.