I grew up on a farm, and my daddy would save the nails from one use, straighten them, and use them again. And then again. He saved everything, and used it until it fell apart, something he learned from his daddy, who learned from his daddy, the one learning from the other through endless generations of not having much more than the dirt beneath their feet, and my daddy never even had that. He was a sharecropper.
My grandparents sold earthworms to fishermen as part of their living, and that meant they saved cans. They used the rusty cans as temporary storage for the counted worms, 100 to a can, until someone bought them. At that point, Papa would move the worms from the can to a clean paper cup with a lid.
Along the way, people fell out of that way of thinking and behaving. I suppose a little money from public work can make that happen, and I've long thought that generations ahead would mine our landfills for the natural resource we wasted. Later, no one had to convince me that recycling was a good thing to do, and that seems to have been passed on a little as I watch Lil and Josh intentionally move things from trash to recycling.
Fast forward to now, and a peep at work sends out an email. Someone left a Coke can in the trash by his desk. He had noticed more cans in the kitchen trash, and he wanted to remind us of the recycling bins all around. He even mentioned reusing the back sides of scrap paper. What do you suppose he'll do with the card I'm mailing today?