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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Make Do and Mend

During the second World War, the British Board of Trade issued these posters. The first, on the left, encouraged Britons to grow their own food. Quite a good idea at the time, but these days it may be cheaper (depending on where you are) to traipse down to the local grocery shop and purchase necessities instead. I live in an apartment now, so it is not logical to grow vegetables in my balcony. It would be a viable idea if I had land to grow vegetables.

The poster on the right says, "Make Do and Mend". This was a splendid idea and one that sadly isn't taken seriously these days. Most people will just choose to throw away what they have because cheap substitutes are readily available. To these people, I say: if you bought disposable items, perhaps it makes sense to throw them away, but even "disposable" items have a shelf life. They can be recycled a few times before being consigned to the rubbish bin. 

If you purchased something expensive, you would certainly think twice about throwing it away after one or two uses. Even if that something expensive has spoilt, you would think about whether you can repair it. For example, my parents' television set was struck by lightning during a recent thunderstorm and would not turn on thereafter. It cost them a bomb and sadly, three months after the incident, their home is still bereft of a television set that works. It's not that they cannot afford a new television set, but they are looking (and still looking) for a repair shop that can fix their TV up. It is thus a choice between deferred gratification and immediate gratification (at the expense of a new TV set).

Given the scenario above, which option would you take?