#5: Wilful Waste makes Woeful Want.
This was one of my mother’s sayings. She was born a few years before WW1 exploded, remembered The Great Depression of the early 30s and was a young mother during WW2. She knew all about ration coupons, food shortages, stretching money and resources and making do; cheerfully. But this saying is much older than my mother; it has its origins in an old Scottish proverb dating back to the 16th century. The Americans would later shorten the saying to Waste Not; Want Not. Regardless of which way you say it, this pearl of wisdom is greatly needed in the world of today.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines Waste as an unnecessary or wrong use of money, substances, time, energy, abilities, etc. OR :to use too much of something or use something badly when there is a limited amount of it: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/waste so when we consider that we live in a finite world, simply every resource with which we are blessed needs to be valued.
There are lots of ways we can be wasteful and every single one of them will come back to bite at some stage. The saying is about wilful waste, the kind of waste that has no regard for others or the future, the type of waste that thinks “there will always be enough for me” despite the fact that millions are starving and homeless, despite that our primary producers, the people who actually provide the food we consume, are struggling because of droughts and fires and mismanaged water systems, despite the fact that we are literally killing our planet with our waste; the wilful waster will continue until the woeful want bites hard.
I want to touch briefly on three problematic areas of waste.
#1 Food. Did you know that In Australia: Over 5 million tonnes of food ends up as landfill, enough to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools. One in five shopping bags end up in the bin = $3,800 worth of groceries per household each year. 35% of the average household bin is food waste.
Food Waste Facts – OzHarvestwww.ozharvest.org › what-we-do › environment-fact
#2 Water. Without water we will not have food. To be sure governments must get real about water security but we each have a personal responsibility to manage our use of this precious resource in responsible, preservative ways.
#3 Waste. We must reduce our waste. Buy less, use what we buy; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We must be better stewards of our God given resources. Below is the headline from an ABC article written by Yara Murray-Atfield
Australians create 67 million tonnes of waste each year. Here’s where it all ends up
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-27/where-does-all-australias-waste-go/11755424Updated 27 Dec 2019, 2:50pmFri 27 Dec 2019, 2:50pm
Indeed Wilful Waste makes Woeful Want.
2 replies to “Pearls of Wisdom”
well said – please share some of the things you do to reduce waste.
Hi David. There will be a series of blogs based on ideas about walking lightly and conserving resources coming after I finish my Pearls of Wisdom series. It is in the pipeline.