I’m also glad to see ‘single-use’ as the Collins Word of the Year, highlighting our throwaway mentality which needs challenging for the sake of our planet – aimed, particularly, at our use of plastics.
Also on the shortlist this year was ‘plogging’ which refers to jogging and picking up litter at the same time – so a similar environmental theme.
Others on the list were: backstop, floss, gammon, gaslight, MeToo, VAR, vegan and whitewash – see the recent Independent article for the definitions, if you don’t know them already.
On the subject of plastics, as you go out to buy your Christmas decorations and wrapping, maybe (re-)read my blog from last year: ‘To Wrap, or Not to Wrap’ – that is the question… and think about what’s going to happen to whatever it is that you buy after Christmas…
My parents grew up during and immediately after World War II when resources were limited and they were used to mending things or finding different uses for them – ‘make do and mend’ was the catchphrase.
My Mum used to darn my Dad’s socks well into the 1970s – who does that now? Do you even know what I mean when I use ‘darn’ as a verb and not an expletive …?
I inherited some of the ‘make do and mend’ attitude as a child but, like a lot of things, it’s rather worn off over the years. And now my first instinct, when something breaks or stops working, can be to throw it away and replace it. I’m trying to challenge that now.
I already do simple sewing repairs to my clothes, repairing seams and sewing buttons back on, but I’m sure there’s a lot more I could do if I refocused my attention, my energy and my time – not to mention, my finances.
So I’m encouraged by the movement of repair clubs that are now springing up to help people (safely, with help of experts) to mend their toasters, kettles lawnmowers etc instead of immediately throwing them away and buying another one – see, for example, the restart project.