Why buy what you can make yourself?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Often it is just a case of putting your mind to it and reusing, repurposing or upcyling some bits of waste into just the thing that you want and need. At other times it is using ingenuity and some tools to make things from natural materials.

However, more often that not, people cannot think in that fashion anymore and that even applies to those in the “green movement”. All seem to have been brainwashed, and it is a case of brainwashing for sure, to buy, buy and then to buy some more.

While, at the same time they have also been brainwashed to throw everything that could be reused, repurposed and upcycled into the recycling bin for, well, recycling.

Despite the fact that the mantra that everyone was taught, almost, is “reduce, reuse, recycle” it has become a brainwashing into “recycle, recycle, recycle” and people have swallowed that hook, line and sinker.

Reusing and repurposing was the way of our forefather and foremothers – no one ever seems to mention those, the foremothers (and I know I have just invented that word) – and everything that could be used in that way was.

No tin can that could be reused, no glass jar, no piece of paper, no rubber band, or whatever else, was ever thrown into the trash if there was just the remotest of use for it.

But that was and is only half the story for, aside from using items of trash they also used, as can we, the things that Mother Nature provides. They did.

Reuse and repurposing can give us lots of the things that we would otherwise go out and buy and many, even many in the green movement, do not manage to see and understand that.

An empty tin can becomes a pencil bin, or a bin for cutlery. A glass jar that once contained food or spices a storage jar, a drinking glass for different purposes depending on type and size.

Coffee jars can become vases for flowers, and many other items of “waste” can be upcycled into things we want and need. Paper printed on just one side can be made, with little effort, into notebooks. Card stock from packaging, cut to size by using a guillotine, and then printed by means of a rubber stamp, can become business- and visiting cards or, cut to different size, e.g. index card size, and then without any print, become, well, index cards.

And this is just a very small selection of ideas what can be made from and with things that others would consider “waste”.

In addition to that there are so many other things that we can make ourselves such as from natural materials with a little ingenuity and some tools.

Tree offcuts are, with some skill and a couple of tools, easily made into wooden spoons, spatulas (easier even than spoon) and other kitchen utensils. Offcuts from tree pruning can also be fashioned into other things such as, when they lend themselves to it, coat hooks, walking sticks, and much more.

Our grandparents and great-grandparents still had this mindset of making things they wanted and needed for themselves in this fashion, at least those that did not have money to burn, but today most cannot think further than going to the stores and buying what they want and need.

Nowadays a great majority, it would appear, have more money than sense and that can also be seen by what they throw away and things that they lose and never come looking for it again.

How one can lose a hat, whether wooly or other, that costs ten, fifteen or even twenty Pounds to buy and not try to find it again is a question to which few, if any, who grew up with little money will ever understand. Our grandparent and great-grand parents certainly would not.

© 2013