Bend over backwards with soap
NANA didn’t waste anything.
Every skerrick of food was utilised. The tiniest remains in jars were extracted and poured into smaller jars or fed to the chooks.
Leftovers were eaten or souped and souped again until the last morsel of chicken flavour was extracted after which they were fed back to the surviving chooks.
Old clothes were patched and resewn or quilted and reused until they were the barest of threadbare before being recycled as rags, washed and reused until they too were fed to the chooks.
Living in constant drought, water was rationed within an inch of her grand-childrens’ lives, well two inches actually, the depth of our daily baths, the water of which was shared among three of us before being left for the chooks.
However the piece de resistance of Nana’s resistance to wastefulness, was her approach to soap which still stands as a model of sustainability.
Every last little, scrappy, slimy bit – homemade from fat scraped off the casserole that wasn’t turned into lard or fed to the chooks – was collected in an old stocking and used in the laundry.
Imagine how much this would save the world’s resources if we all did that, instead of washing the slippery nuggets carelessly down the plug hole, the gaps of which have become bigger over the decades, a result of soap and bathroom fitting manufacturer collusion.
All that’s needed is a cleverly designed ‘old stocking’, a million dollar marketing campaign and the world would be transformed.
You could call it something clever like ‘Soap Catcher’, redolent of the hippie, native North American inspired ‘dream catchers’ used by people called Montana and Dakota.
But that’s just a start. there’s myriad ways we could save the planet from our rampantly wasteful selves, although, admittedly, many would involve chooks.
They say an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and ditto the soap from the soap holder, perhaps we could work on leftover wine?
No matter what’s left in the bottle, I feel compelled to keep it, thus ending up with millions of half-full (or half empty?) bottles in the fridge.
Maybe I could pour them all into one and give them to the chooks?
Surely Nana would approve.