"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Waste Not

I grew up in a home with grandparents who had lived through the Great Depression in Canada. It was a time when very few had luxuries. People learned to appreciate the little they had and how to extend the use of things that seemed to be used up, or worn out.

A Darning Egg like the one we had - Available online
One of the things learned as a child was how to darn socks. I would put the darning egg inside and use wool to weave a patch to close up the hole in the toe or heel of my McGregor "Happy Foot" socks. It meant the toe or heel had a slightly thick spot, but it let me use the socks for much longer. Socks weren't cheap. We didn't throw things out until they couldn't be fixed. K tells me that part of her Brownie training was to learn to darn socks. That was in the 1960s!

In Canada, World War II rationing ended not long after the war did. Nobody talked about that sort of thing as I was growing up, but I know people who live in Britain and they remember it all very well. 

The one on the right isn't really smaller
I still have a glass jar of Vick's rub somewhere, but now it comes in plastic. Those jars were great for getting at the very last bit of contents, and the glass was perfectly recyclable or better still, reusable as a container for other things. 

Many hand and body creams can come in plastic tubes that make it impossible (or at least inconvenient) to get at all the contents. 

still a lot in there! 
My esthetician showed me a way to get at it all. By cutting across the middle of the seemingly used up tube, you can get at the rest. If you cut a small slit down two sides of the plastic, you can then put the 'top' back on to protect the cream from drying out. 

Slip it over like a lid

This isn't about longing for the old days. In my humble opinion (ok, I'm not really humble), we should all be concerned about getting rid of single-use plastics. I really like these creams. My hands and feet both get so dry that the skin cracks without attention, but how much longer can I ignore the planet and support this dangerous misuse of plastic? 


  1. Very interesting. As I recall, my mother had a vortex-shaped object onto which screwed a dome-shaped cap. It could therefore be used in two ways, with or without the cap. Don't tell anyone but Lucy still darns, often in pretty little patterns, just for the fun of it.

    I wholeheartedly agree about the use of plastics, and other one-use throwaway objects. I could hardly believe my ears recently when a campaigner said on UK TV, a good place to start would be for young women to go for one month, ONE MONTH, without buying throw away clothes.

    1. It saps one's energy to see that sort of thing ... a whole month of ... WHAT??? ... THROW AWAY CLOTHES!!!

      Lucy is at the front of a new trend it seems! K tells me that she saw an article suggesting that darning can be decorative. Stitch a flower or some such thing over a hole in a dress or slacks. I suspect some men might object to that for their favourite old shirt.

    2. Here is a video K found that Lucy might get some ideas from; just leave the sound off.


    3. Here's picture of my mended shirt sleeve....


    4. Creative and suitable. Well done Lucy.

    5. Hi Halle,

      Thanks for that video, I love it and will pin it to my 'creative mending' board! The whole visible mending movement is very popular now, I'm very drawn to the Japanese traditions, boro, wabi-sabi etc, but really mending is just what I've always done and enjoyed, and now I feel less and less interested in buying new things (except yarn!). The shirt sleeve actually had paint splashes on it rather than holes, so the darning was a bit gratuitous, but fun.

      It's disheartening the amount of single use plastic still being used, in spite of increased awareness of it. We try to avoid it but it's not always easy.

    6. At least we are feeling guilt when we can only get an item in a single-use (and sometimes non-recyclable!!) plastic wrapper, but that really isn't enough for the health of the planet. It is going to take a boycott of such products - hard to organize in a world that has a very high proportion of people who don't seem to care.

      To avoid ending on a down note, thank you for the Japanese topics I will now research. Youtube is so great for learning new skills!