Holey Socks and a Few Elephants

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My mother darned socks with a light bulb.

If you don’t know what I mean, envision an incandescent light bulb pushed into the tattered heel of a sock until the squiggly General Electric logo pops into view.

Mom would sit in her favorite recliner beneath the milky flush of a floor lamp and dutifully stitch the chasm closed in a crisscross pattern of heavy thread. Dad’s Sunday socks. Brother’s tube socks. My colorful knee-highs. Why buy new when they could be repaired?

It was a philosophy lived by many during the Depression. Make the most of what you have. Reuse.

Mom would recycle bread bags, aluminum cans, jars, greeting cards, boxes, tin foil –you name it. Nearly everything could live a second life.

I thought of my mom when hearing about NPPD’s recycling numbers for 2013. We recycle all sorts of stuff every year as part of our environmental stewardship. Being a statewide utility with dozens of industrial, commercial and office facilities, one can imagine it is a big elephant of parts and pieces. And when one considers the average weight of an elephant is 6,600 pounds, our results are pretty good.

NPPD Facility Recycling in Elephants

Our philosophy is three-fold:
1) We don’t produce or generate waste if we don’t have to.
2) If we do, we minimize what we produce; and
3) We recycle or dispose what we can in a proper and respectful manner.

My mom would be proud.
And then she’d say, “Now, get back to work.”


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  1. Doug Curry says

    Nicely done! Closing my eyes brings visions of beloved Grandmothers sitting beneath table lamps darning socks, aided by an electric incandescent bulb. Cherished memory. Electricity has always been an important part of my life, thanks for this reminder that it is important for more reasons than just what flows through the OUTLET.

  2. Jeanne Schieffer says

    Sharing childhood experiences connects us, and, I agree, there is so much more to electricity than the commodity itself. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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