A wasteful society is a relatively new phenomenon. I spent part of my childhood on a farm belonging to my Swedish grandmother and Scottish grandfather, and very little was thrown away.

The barn was full of used washers, bolts, wire and doodads. In the kitchen, every other plate was chipped, but the china never left the dinner table with food on it. Gravy and juices were mopped up with homemade bread, vegetable peelings went to the chickens, the eggs were eaten at breakfast, the eggshells were put into the coffee grounds, the coffee grounds were placed in the compost, the compost was tilled into ...


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