Make what you need

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

There was a time, and that was not even that long ago, when people – except for those with money to burn, as they say – did not immediately run out to the stores to buy something that they wanted or needed.

They first rather too stock and looked about as to whether they could not, actually, make what they wanted or needed themselves from something they had to hand. Reuse and DIY from scratch was the norm back then and this was good for wallet and Planet alike.

No one in their right mind bar the rich – and that should tell us something about their minds too, I guess – would go and buy a pencil bin or a glass storage jar when they could repurpose a tin can for the former or a glass jar from produce for the latter. They, as indicated, employed the reuse mode for this.

Nor did people go out and buy a walking stick. They made their own from a sapling cut in the woods.

It is almost beyond belief how, in a couple of decades only, people have turned out in such a way. Advertising has got a great deal to answer for in this department for sure.

On the other hand, and while it is true that people lead such busy lives today, though I believe that this kind of busy achieves very little of substance actually, in but a few decades we seem to have lost – the great majority at least – the ability even, it would appear, to think beyond being a consumer. We seem to have lost the ability to make things for ourselves and to see reuse potential and such like.

It is, obviously, quicker just to go out to the stores – or go online – and buy what we want and need rather than making things (for) ourselves, especially when many live so very busy lives, often far too busy, for no particular reason. There seems to be a belief, however, that you are unproductive when your agenda is not full to the brim.

Making things (for) yourself, especially things you want and need, is very satisfying and doing something with your mind (design) and your hands (make) is, in my opinion, also a way of relaxation and stepping away from busy. And when such things are then made from stuff that is otherwise considered waste it is an absolute win-win situation for you and the Planet.

© 2014