I loved Barbara Seaborn's Feb. 28 column about saving tinfoil and Baggies. We didn't have Baggies, but we sure had tinfoil. I grew up in England during World War II and afterward. We saved everything!
My mother was a smoker and she would put her cigarette ends (no filtered cigarettes in those days) in a tin box, and when there was enough it was my job to take the cigarette paper off the tobacco and then roll her some new cigarettes using rolling papers and a little rolling machine.
When I first came here in 1976 I got a job in a 7/11 and they had all these different flavored rolling papers that people were buying. I thought it was wonderful that all these people were being thrifty and rolling their own cigarettes. Imagine how dumb I felt when months later I found out what kind of cigarettes they were really rolling!
She also saved the good stocking (again, before pantyhose) if one of a pair got a run in it. When she had several odd 'legs' she would boil them all together in a pan on the stove and they all came out the same color, giving her several recycled pairs of stockings.
She did the same with lipsticks: Saved all the worn-down ones, then pried what was left out of the case, put all the leftover lipsticks in a tin lid, melted them together on the stove and put the resulting liquid in a lipstick case - voila, a new lipstick.
Our first Christmas together, my new American husband was horrified when I started smoothing out and saving Christmas paper! I don't save the paper any more (I daren't, he'd do me in!) but I do still save the bows!
I'll bet Barbara stands bottles (shampoo, soap, handcream, etc.) upside-down to drain out the last dregs. And how many people roll up the toothpaste tube to squeeze out the last bit? I get so upset to see people who are so wasteful with everything. They have never known what it is to have to do without and to treasure the few things that you do have.
I really look forward to Seaborn's weekly columns. I can so relate when she talks about her days as a military wife and the time she spent in Germany.
Keep up the good work.
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