When recycling was a way of life

‘This pencil is too small to hold and sharpen,’ the little girl would extend a two-inch stub of lead pencil to her elder brother. After solemnly inspecting it, he would pull open a drawer that held odds and ends and push it into the barrel of a broken fountain pen. ‘There you go! You can use it at least for another week!’ he would smile at her disappointed face as she wistfully looked at the long new pencil on his table.

Looking at her crestfallen face, he promised her, ‘After you run through that one, I will give you a new pencil, ok?’

For the next week there would be one busy little girl who would write and write to finish the lead in her ‘extended pencil’!

That little girl was me and the extended pencil was only one of the many such economizing measures adopted in our house as in many others. The other day when I was unable to fall asleep, I harked back to those days of childhood and suddenly remembered the lead pencils and fountain pens we used in those days and the conversation with my brother before dozing off.  (I had written about how such reminiscences always relax and put me to sleep here)

stub

Nothing was to be wasted. It was a cardinal rule and applied to a whole lot of things including school books. A whole lot of elders siblings and cousins passed on their old books, dog-eared and dirty to the younger lot. The sole criterion for discarding a used book was its missing pages. It wasn’t till my high school that I got new text books and fresh copies to be used as rough note books. And then too, it was only because I had left Nagpur and in the new city there was no one from whom I would have got the hand-me-downs! Did I tell you about the rough copies? These were made up of unused pages from the copies of the previous school year and sewn together by one of my elder siblings.

Likewise, if you were a younger sibling, you had to make do with hand-me-down clothes. These were  first were worn outside the home when ‘new’ and as they deteriorated, at home and finally were turned into a mop or duster, depending upon the fabric and the condition they were in. Sometimes when such rags were in abundance, we would cut them into tiny bits to be stuffed into pillow cases and used as a spare pillow when needed. New clothes were reserved only for Diwali or birthdays. So the number of dresses were limited too. Mother’s nine yards silk saris were cut and made into a sari for my elder sister and a lehnga for me. These were precious  addition to our meagre wardrobes.

Want to know what we did with those soap bits in those days? Detergents like Surf and Det had not made their appearance in middle class homes yet. We used to get ‘soap chips’ instead, which we used for soaking clothes. So what did our mother, the eternal economizer do? She would have us make the chips at home to save even that money! That brought to mind  the soap knife. Made of cast iron it was the poor cousin of a Swiss Army knife with a screw-driver, a bottle opener, a corkscrew and of course, a blunt knife which couldn’t have cut anything except soap.  When we had enough soap pieces, one of us would sit and make tiny slivers out of them and voila! We had a bowlful of colourful soap chips! Sometimes the old bit was stuck to the new bar and used and sometimes we put the bits in an old sock and used it to scrub the collars and cuffs. (See picture below).

Oh, those were the days when we recycled things as a matter of course. Not a scrap of anything was thrown away or wasted. Not like today when recycling is a ‘concept’ to be adopted with awareness campaigns running into lakhs and crores. The problem is that we think it is below our dignity to do some honest recycling or prevent mindless wastage of things. It is a measure of the times we live in that it is only when marketed properly, these ideas are adopted as either being ‘cool’ or as contribution to the society from a responsible citizen!

There were so many such wonderful recycling ideas that I grew up with, which might sound archaic in today’s world and probably even be out of place in a use-and-discard culture. But whatever you do, please don’t brand them as cheap. Tell me, is there any harm in preventing needless waste? To my mind, cheapness begins only when one starts counting pennies while spending on necessities or sharing things with others —  even when one doesn’t need to and can well afford it. From there is it is all downhill.

Coming back to the post, I wish I had some creative ideas on recycling discarded stuff to share, but alas! But wait! I do have my own ways of preventing waste, even if it is a few drops of oil.  Feel free to classify the following into thrifty/cheap/wow! ideas.

DSCF8137

Here you go:

  • I pour hot dal or sambar into the refill packs of cooking oil or cut them open and wipe them with dry atta to remove every drop of oil. What is the point of throwing a teaspoonful or two of good oil in the garbage?
  • …rinse the milk sachet with a couple of spoons of water to get all the milk out.
  • …add water to the empty shampoo bottle and use it till the foam can cleanse, which is usually two to three washes.
  • …stick the soap bar that has become a sliver to the new one. If it is the same soap, it becomes a large bar, but if it is of another brand or colour, then it becomes my own colourful and multi-fragrant bar, albeit haphazardly stuck together as in the picture above? After all soap is just a cleanser and not a status symbol, right?
  • …roll the toothpaste tube tightly to take out the last dollop of paste. I have heard that running a comb over it is even more effective, but I have not tried it.
  • …cut small squares of one-sided papers and use them as scribble pads to make lists, etc. A remnant from the ‘used’ rough note books of my school days, perhaps 🙂
  • …have an odd-and-ends box that holds everything from pieces of string, rubber bands, bottle caps, gift wrappers and what have you. It is most useful, I tell you!
  • ….use plastic containers to store random things. I still have a 20-year-old Brylcreem container, which holds loose change and has travelled with me across the country and through dozens of house shifting. The other day, the younger one was thrilled to see it. I am sure it had set him off on a trip down memory lane!
  • ……do many many more such little and big things.

I might be no good at making art out of waste but I am sure many of my friends do. Do share them, as also any thrifty ideas  with me! I promise to be suitably awed by every one of them and even adopt some 🙂 I am sharing Indu’s post on how she recycles for relaxation.

Pic courtesy – Homepage: www.lushome.com This page top: www.wordsandpics.org

62 comments

  1. Zephyr ma’am I absolutely adored this post. It is so similar to how I view the terrible waste of resources in today’s times. Wilful waste, woeful wants huh?! Totally relate to the tiny ways in which we can reuse, recycle old stuff. Your site is a cornucopia that I plan to unravel and savor at leisure. Best wishes for 2017.

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  2. […] Today on vacation. Recycle chosen as just an excuse to finally introduce Cyber Nag after all these weeks. A kindred spirit on this topic and others too. “Waste not want not “, words my own mother would oft say and so I live my life. Here Cybernag’s thoughts, https://cybernag.in/2015/01/13/when-recycling-was-a-way-of-life/ […]

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  3. i can relate so much for to this post! esp the pencil part. You are right, recycling must be a way of life. lovely post 🙂

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    1. Welcome to Cybernag, Hummingwords 🙂 There are commercial pencil extenders today! And to think we made free ones and out of waste materials 🙂

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  4. I have used pencil stubs duly stuffed into old fountain pen cases. And when the case got cracked, tying it up with thread to hold it together.

    Rough notebooks of stitched pages from last year’s copies still get used in my home. While I was growing up, I used a stone slate to practice my math sums on. There was no point wasting paper. Unfortunately, they dont sell stone slates anymore. My eldest one used one though.

    I collect the soap stubs and add them to a muslin string bag, which I use as soap. As for toothpaste, I cut the tube open. So there!

    Not a bit gets wasted in my house. I detest the use of plastic and always take my own shopping bag. I tell the vegetable vendors not to give me any plastic bags. It makes a job sorting out the veggies at home, but that’s fine with me.

    As for hand-me-downs, I have no siblings but my mother was the eldest of six sisters. When I tell you that I have even worn my mother’s clothes duly passed down the line, you’ll know serious the ‘recycle’ thing was to my family.

    The list is endless….

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    1. Tying up the fountain pen barrel with a thread? That is beautiful 🙂 Economising is often confused with cheapness and that makes people waste perfectly good things. I carry my shopping bag and also the fridge bags so that when I buy the vegetables, I put them directly into those bags. All I have to do then is to put them away neatly in the fridge. Height of ingenuity or laziness?

      You know, my mother wore the nine yards sari (Tambrahm style) and she would cut the silk ones into a six yard sari for one of my elder sisters and stitch a lehnga for me with the remainder. Good to have you in the community of ‘recyclers’, Dagny 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carrying fridge bags makes sense! I’ll do that too now.

        And, I’m naturally a thrifty woman. Waste hurts me with a pain which is almost physical. 🙂

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  5. I grew up in a family where we used a product, re-used in about 3 to four times for some others purposes which it might serve and then only after deciding that nothing more can be done with it, we throw it away.

    And I’m really proud of the way the elders in the family re-use things even now (earlier it was not an option, today it is. But out of habit, and a little eco-friendliness, we do re-use a lot of stuff).

    I really dont mind reading old books, because as long as the content is there and the book is in a normal condition, it shouldn’t matter.

    I remember reading a post where a person days, in previous generations relationships were strong because they did not throw something if it did not work, they tried their best to make it work (unlike the use and throw or throw if it doesnt work generation).

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  6. Nothing was to be wasted well said one should always try this recycle or reuse

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    1. Thank you sm, for reading 🙂

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  7. Recycle and reuse is necessary so is sustainability. I request you to post something about India as in how energy self reliance in oil and gas sector lead to India’s economic growth.

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    1. Thank you for the comment, tanimaraghu. I am afraid, I am not qualified to write such a post 🙂

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  8. We came all this way to realize our parents and grandparents way of living was always right. Not just recycling, but having freshly cooked meals, not relying on processed food, having healthy fats.
    So much for evolution 🙂

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    1. Going back to the future is what is happening now 🙂 So much for evolution, indeed!

      Hey, my comment on your post vanished into thin air after getting published and me commenting after so long 😦

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  9. A wonderful post that has great pointers for all of us. As a person, I think I am frugal. I don’t buy too many clothes, shoes or handbags. We try to recycle clothes, but of course we don’t have the need to wear tattered hand-me-downs. I do keep the good clothes of the elder one for the younger one to wear. All the clothes are given to the househelp. We do a lot of recycling at home. I had done a post on that when I wrote about SwachhBharat. We stopping using plastic bin liners. We use water for washing vegetables to water plants and many other such measures. I agree that recycling and not wasting should be a way of life and not tom-tomming measures. More or less I see that most Indians do at least make an effort to avoid waste. What I see some foreigners do makes me sick. All that wanton wastage!

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    1. Talking of wearing tattered clothes, I know of many well to do women who cling to their faded and threadbare stuff despite having wardrobes overflowing with new clothes, just because they are cheap enough not to give anything away! We wore hand me downs, but never tattered stuff. There were other uses for those! You have shared the tips for water conservation, I remember. We need small steps to make a difference. Preventing waste is the first step. Those who have not known want will never appreciate the need to stop wasting.

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  10. I could relate to many things you have said.As a young boy,I would have the frayed collar of shirt stitched the other way and use the shirt for longer time.The value of money was regarded high those days as the incomes were low and family size big.

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    1. The frayed collar turnaround was something that we did till some time ago. Now we give the shirts away before they become frayed or old — a different form of recycling in times when we don’t need to economise so much. The bundle of clothes is very large every year when we find a good charity and donate them.

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  11. Nostalgia time for me. Lived quite a similar life, live quite a similar life – since I too seem to be doing most of what you do – water in the milk-packet -tick; sticking slivers of soap on the next new bar – tick etc. etc. 🙂 AND nodded all the way through about recycling having to be made cool by being touted as a concept 🙂

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    1. You know Suresh, many of us do a lot of the things I have listed and others have added in their comments. But increasingly, this generation feels that the practices are cheap. What they understand is the grand ‘recycling’ ideas that are advertised or are part of some such campaign. But those of us who understand the value of things, continue doing so and finding new methods of doing so with changing times. For instance my mother rinsed the milk bottle (glass) with water and I do the same with the milk sachet, see? 😀

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      1. I do not know whether they find it cheap or not. What I have found is that grand gestures are easier since they are mainly one-offs – like candle-lit marches for one day – and the sort of things we do require everyday efforts, which seems to be a bit too much for them. 🙂 For example, it is easier to be green by avoiding crackers for Diwali than to be green by switching off unnecessary electrical appliances every time, walking to the neighboring mall every time you need to shop etc.

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        1. That is a very pertinent observation, Suresh. In times of media and social media publicity, it makes sense for them to be ‘seen and heard’ than actually do something in a sustained manner. But whenever these kids come from homes like ours, the message seems to have seeped in somehow and remains dormant till it is time to manage their own resources. Ask me, I have seen it in my own home 🙂

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  12. ohhh….why didn’t you tell me what this post was about? We would have had an hour long discussion 😀 I realised I was very good at recycling and not anymore after reading your post. I don’t roll my empty paste tube…I literally cut it and lick the scrapes with my tooth brush 😛 I learned to get rid of things slowly. Otherwise, I keep all the old stuff and the clutter just piles up…have to start doing the soap thingy again…not doing these days. I was thinking what is it that I have the longest in my house…haaa…the vibhuti dabba a small one…had it from 2001. I will tell that story on the phone..how I got it. That actually inspired me to write a post which had been in drafts for long…sigh..

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    1. I have heard the cutting open of tubes of cream/paste, etc too. I have to begin doing it too and not waste one day’s paste the way I am doing it 🙂 Do finish the post on the vibhuti dabba. Should be interesting to read! As for not telling you about the post, I thought you’d have seen the title, which is self explanatory 🙂

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  13. A gem of a post which create social awareness! Thank you and kind regards!

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    1. Glad you liked the post. Isn’t it sad that we need to create awareness about things that came naturally to the older generations including mine?

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  14. I need to learn to do all that.. I think i waste too much…
    bad bad bad ME

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    1. Oh you do, do you? I think it is about time you remember your good old Chandigarh days and your grandma and other folks around you then 🙂

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  15. Apart from making pillows with old clothes and cutting paper to make a scribble pad, I do all that you have mentioned here. I believe saving and valuing every penny is the best way to secure yourself financially. Our generation is living on the edge – spending beyond their limits and pilling up debt. I use Starbucks cups to keep old toothbrushes (I use them to clean bathroom/kitchen tiles) and takeaway boxes to store things. Actually I never throw plastic products, there is always a use for it.

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    1. I am sure you have more thrifty ideas than I have, Saru! I agree with you about plastic containers — even the take away ones. They come handy when you need to give something to the maids and those travelling. I agree that if we lived sensibly and saved, we would not want in future. Didn’t the wise say, ‘waste not want not’?

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  16. Such an interesting post! I was doing everything you have listed here!I still have got steel dubbas purchased with an exchange of old clothes! Old rough note books were from the unused pages of test note book or other note books. Sometimes we were getting brown coloured very cheap rough notebooks for 1 10th of the cost of normal note books. It was like blotting paper. We could write only with our pencils!

    My mother used to keep hing in water in the snow/cream plastic bottle. I think my brother’s wife is still keeping hing water in it. Even now, I am sticking old soap on the new soap. Son laughs at me! I can’t throw away good plastic covers even now. I collect them and one day I reluctantly give them to my maid!

    I might remember some more! Will come back and continue the list! Your post has activated my mind now!

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    1. Oh yes, the saving of plastic shopping bags! I have dozens of them which come handy when you have to send something for someone, or even give old saris for charity and all. I collect the paper carry bags that have replaced the plastic ones in many large stores, too. When your son laughs at you for sticking the old soap bit to the new, show him my grand bar with its multicoloured bits of soap 🙂 I remember the rough note books with paper like blotting paper too. That was a treat actually, but sometimes i used to look enviously at the new copies that some of the well-to-do classmates used for their rough work. Waiting to hear more of your ideas, Sandhya!

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  17. Zephyr i come to your blog to learn nice things about me–thank you ever so much.
    Here is the link
    http://jeeteraho.blogspot.in/2014/04/relaxing-really.html

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    1. Thanks Indu. I don’t give compliments unless I mean them and so you are most welcome 🙂 Adding the link.

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  18. Am also guilty of soap extraction by adding water to liquid soap, dish liquid, laundry detergent – yes I do that. I also roll the reverse side of a comb to get the final tooth paste out:) I donate kids’ outgrown clothes, books, and toys – also a form of recycling.

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    1. Oh so, you roll the comb over the toothpaste tube do you? I thought one inserted the tube between the teeth of the comb and pushed the paste out 😀 Donating clothes, toys and books are the best form of recycling.

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  19. I loved this post, Zephyr. More so since it resonated with how I was brought up, and I have carried on the torch of recycling via my mom 🙂

    Although, dunno if my kid will pick it up from me since when he sees me do all this…he just shirks his shoulder’s and jokes, “Mom its finished, let it go!”

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    1. It is good that your mother’s wise ways have percolated to you. And don’t think your son is not imbibing it all, despite his sardonic comments. They grow up with everything well dinned into their heads and when they run their own homes, they pull them out and put them to use 😀 My sons, who used to be exasperated by my constant admonishments to switch off the lights, remind me today to do it, if I forget to do it 🙂 So continue shaking out the last drop of oil from the sachet and then wipe it clean with atta or do whatever else you do with them!

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  20. jaishvats · · Reply

    I too grew up like that I guess….I will not discard something until I am absolutely sure it’s not require d ..
    I roll the toothpaste and stick the soap bars too 🙂 … My sons feeding bowl (of six yrs ago) I use it now to place dishwashing soap ….cereal boxes can be used for kids art s and crafts …

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    1. Oh, you have a six year old dish-wash bowl! That is impressive, almost as impressive as my Brylcreem jar of over 20 years!I am sure your son, like mine, would one day be thrilled to see his good old cereal bowl still in use 😀 Cereal boxes are so good for crafts, aren’t they?

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  21. O this was a wonderful post, Zephyr. I appreciate and value all these little tips you list at the end. In fact I do many of them myself at home, but some I should try (like pouring hot dal in the oil sachet – that is a good one!). Really, we live in times when it has become so ‘cool’ to use and discard. There is such value in recycling and using/re-using things most efficiently. Our traditional lifestyle actually encouraged valuing and living such so-called ‘new’ ideas and it came so naturally to our older generations. Sad that somewhere along the line many of us seem to have forgotten the good old ways. Thanks for writing this very important post.

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    1. As you have pointed out, these traditional ideas are being peddled as new ones. Today ad and awareness campaigns are run to make recycling ‘cool’ as opposed to being cool by discarding 🙂 I think we should thank god for small mercies like this. The younger generation and the so called educated classes are so busy junking traditional wisdom that they don’t realise the harm they are doing not only to their lives but also the environment.

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  22. Yes- even in our family when we were kids, recycling was a way of life! 🙂

    I still do many of the things you’ve mentioned. I usually add water in the empty shampoo bottle and use the resulting liquid to clean sinks or kitchen counter. Old and discarded toothbrushes facilitate cleaning in hard to reach corners of the bathroom.

    Slivers of the old soap stuck on to the new is an old favourite. I once collected several slivers and then created a rainbow soap bar. 🙂

    Great post as usual, Zephyr!

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    1. Oh yes, I forgot the toothbrush trick. But the watery shampoo is good even for cleansing hair! My soap bar is like that because I don’t use the same soap every time and like to change and experiment with new ones 🙂 Sometimes I get impatient and stick a large one to the new one and then the result is what is shown in the picture.

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  23. Recycling was a way life for people of our generation for sure….
    I certainly do all the things mentioned in your list and remember doing all the things you mention in your post, while growing up..
    Remember those days the grocers used to pack groceries in newspaper and use to tie them with twines to hold it together ? Well my Ajji would untangle them carefully and roll into a ball and use it for varied purposes including for making flower garlands, “veni / gajara”.. ! She would make pickle out of the the squeezed left over lemon which used to be so tasty ! My mom still makes that pickle as did my Mama ! My grandmother was certainly Mother of recycling, come to think of it….we have imbibed little of the trait from her…

    Your post sure was reminiscence of my childhood days Zephyr….thanks !

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    1. Oh yes, the strings which I mentioned about was used for the very same purposes then and even today. My father used to neatly fold the paper in which grocery came wrapped after reading the news bits 🙂 These were used for assorted things around the house. The best thing about the recycling our mothers and grandmothers did was their innovation. It was like they were constantly wondering as to how to get more use out of something that has served its original purpose, right?

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  24. Why didn’t i write this post?It could very well have been the scene in my home.Even today i do all that you have written at the end.plus using kitchen and garden waste to fill my compost bin,making shifts out of old kurtas,making aprons and dusters and mops out of old clothes,growing plants in unused kettles and milk jugs etc.I tell you the list is endless.I derive pleasure from doing all this. It helps me to pass time fruitfully and lessens the junk stuffing the cupboards and store.It gives me more satisfaction than buying new stuff.Waste not,want not.

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    1. But I remember you doing a post about going off the net and doing all that cleaning up of the cupboards. You are another of the friends I was referring to in my post. Do send me the link to the post and I will share it here. you are lucky to be a good seamstress (or is it an archaic term?) And I have seen first hand how creative you can be, during the Indiblogger meet when I had first met you, remember?

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  25. It is just logical to recycle till it runs out of life.
    The youngest in the family wore clothes after each kid had done with..And then what ?Those tatters were exchanged with Utensils .Isnt that recycling to its fullest?

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    1. As Rahul pointed out, those days purses were small and we did everything to stretch that rupee. Oh yes, I remember the bartanwali and the exchange of clothes for vessels. You are talking of youngest kid, Chowlaji! I know, I was the youngest 🙂

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  26. I still do a lot of these, especially the list you mentioned. The only thing my mum used to and I don’t is reuse old clothes to make other clothes. I just give away daughter’s clothes which sadly are in great condition but small, to charity and the rest to the clothes recycling bins. But otherwise, we reuse paper, daughter does her ‘rough work’ on any piece of paper and when full, it goes into the recycling bin. And every drop of handwash is milked by adding water 🙂

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    1. Good to see you here Smitha 🙂 I am so glad that I am not the only one doing all those economising. Stitching new things out of old clothes is not something I am good at but did help my mother and elder sisters in their efforts at making quilts out of old saris and dhotis etc. Why waste that spoonful of handwash or shampoo, right? I used to even stretch the handwash by diluting it when the kids were small and they complained no end about it 😀 As for giving your daughter’s good clothes for charity, it is an admirable thing. I know of mothers who have wardrobe full of clothes of their children, long since grown up and even married — because they couldn’t bear to give them away especially if they were expensive!

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  27. Coincidentally I was thinking of recycling only. Life was much simpler earlier. Now we are dependent on so many gadgets. When I see my students struggling with simple maths and having to use the calculator, I shake my head. These young boys and girls can master any gizmo in seconds but struggle with additions. We learnt counting with our mother…. count till the newspaper is 30 and then call the raddiwala. Collect milk sachets till 100 and then give it away. So many small small ways. Woollens which were small were opened up, mixed with some other wool and knitted into a new pattern and a bigger size. Old saris make into rugs etc.
    In those days guests were many and very few brought gifts, even if they did, it was some food or a book. Not like now where there is gifts galore which either you try to pass on or wonder where to accommodate it.

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    1. How true! Yes, I remember unraveling small woollens to roll and steam before knitting into a another one. Gifts today are a nightmare — both to give and get as you have pointed out. One doesn’t know what to give any child — they seem to have them all. Toy banks and toy libraries should be popularised to make use of the excess toys in most houses these days. Often people hesitate to give away expensive gifts. Don’t you think gifts have lost their value in terms of an emotional connect these days? How we cherished a pen or book which we got as a gift? They were not so frequent and so precious. We seem to have lost our sense of proportion somewhere along the way and are the poorer for it, despite having so much more.

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  28. Use of everything to optimize was the cardinal rule when people had large hearts and small purses! In today’s world people have small hearts and large purses so do not give a damn to use things till they feel happy with and discard them at first opportunity! Times have changed!

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    1. How well you have put it, Rahul! We never felt the pinch of money even when we used hand me downs and re-used things till they fell apart. did we? Times have changed but the need for recycling is felt now more than ever and so we have multi-million campaigns to educate people!

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  29. This blog made me smile as I am still the same…making gift bags with tea/ coffee cartons, decorating tin boxes for indoor plants, using broken mugs again for plants, wedding cards for envelopes….the list is endless. Our dustbin is actually empty for weeks together as green gold from my kitchen is converted to black gold. Even I find it funny that what was our way of life is now being taught via commercials, classes etc.

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    1. Hey Sunita, you were one of the friends I mentioned in the post. I have seen the beautiful plant holder with its painted coir makeover in Swati’s house 🙂 She has inherited your genes as she has converted empty bottles into plant and potpourri holders. Things that I can’t seem to find use for, she converts into something artistic. When I had a lot of potted plants I did the black gold thing too, but now that I don’t, they end up in the organic waste bin. There is a market for everything — even teaching recycling 🙂

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  30. Remember my mom. She is still the same recycler. In btw, I follow most of your recycling ideas. But more is needed. Like old footwear–to repair them. To use old clothes more effectively as my mom did. and more…

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    1. Today it is not as important to recycle old clothes as in those days when money was short and we had to make do with fewer clothes. Even in college I had just four saris which I carefully rotated. Today, we can donate them, as you can donate shoes too. Only as you had once written in a post — donate them when they are still good for some years. I didn’t mention the spoonful of tea that I press our of the strainer 😀 I am sure your mom must be doing it too!

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  31. That old brylcreem container! Its so indispensable. I used to have it. My father uses old Ponds’ Container instead. Loved this post. Gel both the soaps..yes! Use water and rinse the last bit of shampoo..yes! Rinse the last drop of milk! Yes ! And I’m proud of it! Must try out all the other things listed in this post:)

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    1. I had been thinking of this post for a long time and even got the soap photographed! But it was remembering my brother and the pencil stub that did it finally. I am so glad that there are others who do all the things I do as a matter of course 🙂 I use the jars of cream for kumkum, vibhuti etc. But the Brylcreem jar is for coins!

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