Sustainable Thought Summons a Childhood Memory

Cruising to work, listening to an NPR special on zero-waste operations, I found myself replaying a vivid childhood memory. I was visiting with a friend, helping to prepare a potato casserole in her grandmother’s kitchen when I was reminded of a lesson I’ve yet to forget.

Young as we were – about 9 or 10 – we were tasked with peeling and dicing the potatoes. After completing our project, we headed for the trash with our scraps and peelings. Seconds later, we were stopped and scolded by my friend’s Bubby who proceeded to send us from the kitchen.

Confused at the time, it wasn’t until my friend’s mother picked us up that an explanation was presented. You see, people have different reasons for their dislike of waste. For some it’s a focus on the environment, for others it’s history, and for even more, it’s out of need. For my friend’s Bubby, it was because she was a Holocaust survivor.

Wasteful habits were neither a luxury she enjoyed as a child nor a habit she adopted as an adult. Now, years later I’m reminded of her lesson as I read about more restaurants and homes moving toward less wasteful practices. For many, their goals are focused on future generations and their bottom line but for a second’s time, I’m taken back to reflect on a strong woman’s legacy with great potential for the future.

Whether your efforts are learned from generations past or an adoption on behalf of generations to come, follow along with our series on reducing waste in your kitchen and learn how a few intentional steps can make a great impact.

Want to learn more?

Check back soon to learn how one Chicago restaurant is operating on a zero-waste policy and to learn more about composting your commercial or home kitchen waste.

Save your scraps folks. They have a purpose.

Chelsea B. Sanz
Chelsea B. Sanz

Chelsea Sanz has lived in East Tennessee since her family moved here from South Florida just before she started high school. While she initially begrudged her new home state, she eventually realized she had come to not only love it, but to “bleed orange” as University of Tennessee Volunteers fans here like to say. She and her boyfriend Hunter, a trail worker for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, enjoy exploring the nation’s most visited national park and coming up with their own farm-to-table recipes.

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  1. June 14, 2014 at 3:47 am, Rose Madera said:

    Thanks for sharing Chelsea! Love ya! Great article.