Waste Not Want Not

The phrase “Waste Not Want Not” – I’ve heard this all my life, but honestly never really understood how to interpret it. I was thinking it meant something like if you are wasteful in general, you’ll also be ‘in wanting’, like you’re not ever satisfied and this creates some vicious cycle. That still didn’t really seem like it was something somebody would derive from observation and a famous saying would come from it. I thought about it today and finally decided to just Google the darn thing. First description in the search result:

if you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance you will never be in need.

Aha. Ok. I get it now. Basically just being conscientious about your resources (which could be anything from money to food) is a good thing. I like to know the background and origins of things, so that dictated my next Google search of which I found the following answer given by the user Roaring Fish on Stack Exchange:

It [the saying “waste not want not”] was allegedly first recorded in 1772 but had an earlier willful waste makes woeful want version recorded in 1576.

Well that’s nice to know that awareness of the “woes” of wastefulness has been around for a while, although the fact that we’re still using this phrase means we haven’t got the lesson.

I wasn’t sure what to start my first blog post with because I would like to focus on reducing disposable cup use, but I think it’s good to start with something more general, like the idea of waste. Waste of anything, from time to material is one thing that rubs me so much in the wrong way that I’ve decided to shift my life focus and do something about it. I’m not sure the exact direction I’ll be going in, but invite you to come along for the ride and encourage you to reach out, ask questions, and raise topics for discussions.

My overall intention at present is to start a conversation on issues of waste and work on solutions that enables us to shift away from what I call a disposable culture (a “use once, throw out later” mentality). If waste brings woe, then eliminating (or at least reducing it) might be one way to improve our life experience, at least by a little, and if many of us join in this effort, we are not only doing good for ourselves but also for our planet and future generations.