In this guide to conserving natural resources and protecting the environment, the author makes a case for old-fashioned thrift.
Kashinath Padhiary, a semi-retired medical doctor born in 1957, grew up in a remote village in India where everyone was poor. Consequently, they found ingenious ways to stretch every resource. “They did not waste anything,” he states in the Preface. “Each one of them was a mechanic. If they could not repair, they replace themselves [sic] with alternative things.”
If all of us similarly avoided waste, the author posits, the world could be spared the effects of pollution, species extinction, and depletion of natural resources. Buy only what you need, Podhiary advises. Take care of your possessions. When something wears out, recycle it.
While the book’s aim is worthy, it’s hampered by several factors. First, the prose is often awkward. For example, the author writes: “Shoes are often lost in places where several people meet and we have to put off our shoes.” In another passage, Padhiary uses a Sanskrit verse as a metaphor. The verse notes that the king has a higher place than his subjects and maintains the kingdom. “If the king cannot maintain it, the kingdom will collapse within no time. Similarly, out of acquiring new things and maintaining existing things, maintenance has been given more importance; because if a new thing is not maintained properly, it will be damaged within no time.”
The author also writes in detail about things most readers will already understand: how to keep glass items from breaking (“They should not be put on an uneven surface; they may turn over”); why losing things is a problem (Not only [sic] we have to buy it again, But also, we waste time searching for it.”)
Avoiding waste is an admirable goal. However, this book requires an editor to make it a smoother read for English-speaking audiences and ideas that go beyond the rudimentary.
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