Of Excesses and Being Economical #AtoZChallenge

“Economical”- the dictionary explains this word as being efficient and prudent in the use of resources. Surely, the essence of this word may not make much sense to many in today’s generation. We are what you would call a generation of excesses. 

We buy more, thanks to the influx of online shopping portals and far too many brands and stores. We trash more, very often without blinking an eyelid. No wonder our closets are almost full to the brim, with clothes that we might not even wear. Not to forget the overflowing garbage bins in our cities that are loaded with trash of all kinds- plastics, synthetics, metals and others.

Growing up days

But things weren’t like this a decade or so back. Life was far simpler, with fewer wants and needs. Growing up in the eighties and nineties, I witnessed my mother being prudent in many a ways. Shopping was restricted to festive times and, when a need actually came by. Things were trashed only if it had been used to its fullest capacity, and not because one was bored of using it. There was always an attempt to recycle and reuse.

Books from calendar sheets, pots and pans

Way back then, calendars would come with a blank side. At the end of every year, she would cut out the sheets into appropriate sizes, and pin them up to make little notepads. These pads would be used by her to jot down household expenses, menu plans, shopping lists etc… Old jars and bottles would be cleaned inside out, and then painted with poster colours. Seeds of little flowering plants would be put in them, which would adorn our garden wall. At the end of every academic year, the remaining pages from our notebooks would be ripped out and stitched together make a notebook. We would use these notebooks for rough and maths practice at home. She was excellent in sewing and would use scraps of old cloth to make rugs for our home.

Ever heard of recycle and reuse?

Mother believed in using everything to its fullest capacity. She was economical and avoided generating much of waste and trash. There were two concepts that she stressed on- recycle and reuse. It was only when an item had become totally unusable, would she actually discard them.

So how economical and prudent are you? Do you put that effort to recycle and reuse stuff lying around at home?

*Image Source: Pixabay


  1. A walk down memory lane, Ramya. Unbelievably I was discussing this with my Mom for the past few days!
    I have started feeling guilty for all the crazy buying and trashing:(
    Your post just reaffirms my guilt. Thank you for writing it.

  2. So nostalgic Ramya, my mom also did the calendar book. She would also take the left out pages from note books as the year ends and make a huge rough book for us. each one of us had all types of ruled pages in the book.
    Launching SIM Organics This April
    *Menaka Bharathi *

  3. This took me back in time. Our mothers were such experts at recycling. Now when the trends are moving to towards following a minimalistic lifestyle, I feel our mothers knew the advantages of being minimalistic way back then.

  4. You are so right, Ramya! Earlier, there wasn’t so much of wastage as much as it is today! This post took me to old days reminiscing how things worked in our family!


  5. You really took me back to the childhood! Those calendars with the blank side was often used to cover books! Those days!

  6. I dont know if I come under the recycle mantra simply because I rarely throw things away 🙂 I have plaques I bought 22 years ago sitting on my door even today, for example. 30% of The stuff in this house is probably older than me, now that I think about it so definitely it is a familial thing!

  7. I used to do that too… stick all the blank pages together and make a rough copy. To this date I can never waste a half written notebook. Yes, we were very economical… and we respected the things we have. Now with numerous choices and availability, I wonder if people care or are grateful for the things they have.

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