Waste not, want not

Recently, I was travelling to Mumbai by train. As the journey was pretty long, about 23 hours, I made it a point to carry enough reading materials of my choice, to last the entire passage. One of such reads was the latest issue of the Speaking Tree, a weekly supplement/paper consisting of contents mainly on spirituality and religion, in a motivational style.

I was reading about a book on the three R’s of environmental conservation, namely, reduce, reuse and recycle. It was to inform and inspire children about various environmental issues, especially the three R’s, so that they may become friends of the environment in future.

I found it quite interesting, and felt I could use the idea in an article I was planning to write for children. I had a pen, but paper? I forgot to put a jotting pad in my bag. What to do? I started running my mind, and eyes looking for something to use. Suddenly, I recalled the envelope in which my travel agent had given me the ticket. I had discarded it, crumpled and dropped it in my bag so as not to litter the coach. I hate littering around, even at my home, and have a dustbin handy for the purpose. I instantly fished it out enthusiastically, straightened it, cut it open on all sides, and put down the useful notes, ideas in short, points form, on each side.

After the task was accomplished, it suddenly struck me, wow, I had followed what I just read/learnt about. I had reused the paper instead of discarding it, and reduced the litter by a small, token amount. Achieving two of the three R’s apart, I was especially happy, my purpose too was served quite well. The discarded envelope had come in handy when I needed a sheet badly. That’s why the old axiom says, ‘Waste not, want not’.


-Ashok Misra




One thought on “Waste not, want not

  1. Well done ! You did it as apart of your routine but how many of us are adept to systematic living.Reducing , re using and recycling are really simple to follow as you put an example.It is tbe need of the hour to conserve every prson should try to follw this dictum. Changing our habit pattern will bring something good for our society.


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