Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pretending 'this may be my last' saves me money

In the Great Depression, people learned to "Make Do, Make Over, Do Without" because when there's scarcely enough money for food, everything else becomes a luxury. Though most of us reading this don't worry about where our next meal may come from, consciously trying to make things last still helps our budgets and our planet!
   So, I play a little mind trick on myself before tossing/re-buying anything. I ask, 'What if this _____ is my last?" If this were my last pencil, I'd make do with a dull point to use all the carbon before sharpening it again. If this were my last tea towel, I'd durned well make it over instead of tossing it into the rag bag.
   The more I learn about the environmental impact of the products we use, the more I'm motivated to apply the 'this may be my last' mind trick. This past weekend I discovered a fascinating series produced by the Sundance Channel called Eco-Trip, and its episode about the impact of a cotton t-shirt really got me thinking. Evidently the use of pesticides in growing cotton make it the world's 'dirtiest' crop. So, I'll be looking for organic cotton, I'll be trying to buy from companies with ethical practices, and I'll be working even harder to make sure anything made of cloth that I do buy is well cared for.
   And if there's anything to this Peak Oil business, the ole ditty "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" will really come in handy.
From rags to riches
   Did I mention I have an amazing mom? She revamped these years-old kitchen linens of mine by sewing like-colored lace and little patches over the holes. Don't know where she got the "moda" ribbon that she repurposed to make some patches from, but at least four of my kitchen towels now sport this new "logo." (Including the one I accidentally burned recently!)
     Patched kitchen towels suit me fine. I'd much rather buy new clothes than new kitchen towels, wouldn't you? Sporting any patches over at your place?


Anonymous said...

I play the same game"this may be my last"...because until things are actually in shreds.. why...throw things away...Thanks for sharing...~~HUGS~~

Lace up and Walk said...

I'm definitely a use it up and wear it out gal. Once a group I belonged to was given permission to use an old community center for our meetings in exchange for cleaning it. We all showed up with cleaning supplies and old rags. I got a good laugh when I looked at my friends old rags and they were in better shape then the ones I use in my kitchen!

Practical Parsimony said...

I don't ever think about this being my last of anything. It's a really good thought that I am sure I will never erase from my However, pencils never die around here. I use the stained dish towels instead of relegating them to a rag bag. I get the last bit of use from everything I own. Earlier today, I decided to quit wearing a pair of pants that had a split from the pocket to the calf, along the seam. The hens did not mind if I wore them. They were breezy. I do think about "what if I cannot ever buy another one of these?" That is sort of along the same line as your game. Excellent post!

Dmarie said...

@Blessings, I'm the same, except when it comes to clothes. Can't seem to shake that old adage about not wearing holey underwear in case there's an accident...
@Patti, what a HOOT!
@Practical, I LOVE thinking of you out with the chickens in your breezy pants!

Thanks for sharing, you guys! I've got a big ole smile on my face right now! :-D

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

patched teatowels mean they have seen a lot of love :-)

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