Sharing leftovers with neighbours? No thanks

AS it arrived on the first day of the month, I thought the press release may have been an April Fool s joke but on closer inspection it turned out to be deadly serious. In these credit crunch, worried sick about global warming, protect the world days we n

AS it arrived on the first day of the month, I thought the press release may have been an April Fool's joke but on closer inspection it turned out to be deadly serious.

In these credit crunch, worried sick about global warming, protect the world days we now live in, it claimed that the majority of people in the East of England believe that the country should once again embrace the wartime spirit in an effort to cut down on waste.

This is according to research from the Energy Saving Trust which is said to be the UK's leading organisation set up to help people fight climate change.

Take the best from the past to get tips on how to reduce waste and save energy, it urges.


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So what did people do in the dark days of the Second World War - and for some time after - all those years ago?

An incredible six out of 10 people questioned for the research thought that measures such as rationing or personal daily allowances were needed to help the British public cut down on excess.

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Sounds a little drastic to me. But then the Trust really gets into its stride, coming up with the statement that almost seven out of 10 people think local communities should work together more to help manage resources by, for example, sharing leftover food with neighbours or car sharing.

Now, the latter suggestion I think is workable, but as for the former...what planet are they living on?

There was a genuine camaraderie among neighbours when Hitler was threatening these shores but it has all but vanished these days. People mostly don't know their neighbours now, let alone talk to them.

Can you imagine the reaction if you knocked on the door of Mr Unknown next door and offered a half empty plate of sorry looking crusty sandwiches or the remains of a fat-encrusted stew from the night before.

The Trust, to be fair, says it is not advocating a return to rationing or enforced personal daily allowances.

But it says that if we could adopt just a few of the practices used during the war, such as recycling bath water for watering plants, then it would go a long way towards saving energy and reducing our carbon footprint.

Now, opines the Trust, we can see an age of "thrift being the new thrust" and "frugality the new frontier".

Not particularly catchy, chaps. I think you will need to burn the midnight oil coming up with something better. But don't use too much - it is no doubt becoming a scarce resource.

If all the talk about a dire future for the world is worrying you, don't fret - help is at hand.

Ever since bubble wrap was invented in 1960, people have taken satisfaction in popping the air-filled compartments between finger and thumb.

Now a company has come up with the idea of sticking said wrap in a cardboard container and marketing it as an anti-stress box.

It suggests bursting 25 bubbles if your computer crashes, 50 for a looming deadline and 100 for confrontation with a colleague.

There is no recommended number for ocean levels rising by 30 feet.

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