Mend and Make Do

Over the past year or two I’ve been both reading a number of books based the lives of women around the time of World War II, and also adjusting to having less “disposable” income. These things tied in with my desire to decrease the amount of waste I generate directly or indirectly (E.g. Throw away packaging VS resources used in making a product) has created some interesting and fun (yes, fun) activities (and experiments.)

Yesterday morning I went to paste a quote from my advent calendar into my diary (I sewed myself a calendar and filled it with quotes rather than picking up a disposable chocolate one. I still have chocolate in the cabinet though!) In doing so, I discovered that both glue sticks had dried up as a result of time. I considered dropping into the big box stationary / office store where I knew I could get one (or five) pretty darn cheaply. But then I looked at the packaging. All that twist-up, screw-on lid, hard, plastic packaging. Looking at it with newer eyes it just seemed ridiculous. SO, after pondering the idea, this morning I found myself a empty glass jar and made some old-school flour and water glue. It worked a treat for today’s quote. I did (and do) doubt just how long this glue will hold things together but WikiHow had several other suggestions (like Milk Glue) that should do a better job.

But all of this isn’t about glue. Nor is it about the new elastic I sewed onto my old fitted sheet to give it a second life, either (yes, I was proud of that one).

It’s about looking at what we use, how we use it, whether we need it and what the cost of it is (financially, environmentally, socially.) It is about making considered choices about what what we choose to consume and why.

The Ministry of Trade in England had a slogan that they promoted during World War II in the times of rationing:

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”

or the shorter:

“Mend and make do.”

This is not revolutionary. I am not being revolutionary. I’m just finally learning to live with some of the frugality my grandparents have and trying to make those “common-sense” choices a little more “common” in my life.

Join me if you like.




One response to this post.

  1. Thanks for the reminder Amy, i’d forgotten about flour glue 🙂


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