Letter to the editor.
The discussion on waste disposal continues
I do feel that Cyril Masters has wandered off the point a little by arguing that just because one form of 'waste', i.e. advertising etc for the latest gadget is wasteful, that it should prevent us from eliminating waste in other areas. I disagree; I feel we should cut out waste in all areas, and for my money, now is as good a time as any to start. I still maintain that the extra waste of producing the basic tools and materials for however many million new gardeners that will be needed to make a dent on commercial food growing, is horrendous. I have not worked out the extra tonnage of the steel needed to produce these tools, and as we tend to make fewer of these items at home (thanks to the 1980s), they may well also have to be carted half the way round the world before they get delivered to the garden centres of the U.K.
From my own point of view, I agree with Cyril that there are far too many similar gadgets to be had, and many, we know, wind up in the skip after just a few weeks/months/years. However it is the packaging that goes with this and virtually all other purchases is really my pet hate, but I'll save that for another day.
I fully respect Cyril's wish not to use any growing aids or pesticides on his garden, but the rows and rows of these products in Garden Centres would lead me to believe that many existing gardeners do use this stuff, and I would think it highly likely that enthusiastic newcomers to gardening may well read the same packets and think that using the contents was a good idea.
My comments were not meant to be disparaging about the Dig for Victory campaign, merely to point out that the 4 million acres of additional farmland released by the government to be used for growing food, and the converting of parks, open spaces and council land to arable land, produced far more food than the myriad of small suburban flower beds dug up by home owners.
I'm also pretty sure some of the scrap collected was used for the war effort, but I am reliably informed that it was mainly used for 'standard' products, thus freeing up basic ores for the higher qualities of materials needed for guns, aircraft, ships and bombsights, etc. Metal railings from the 1880-1920 period, I believe, were of a very low quality material. However these were all, at least in part (according to papers I have read from that era,) morale boosters and done to make everyone feel part of the war effort.