I believe in saving and recycling.
I grew up in China when the country was very poor and people didn’t have much. Back then the motto of daily life was “To Save is Glorious and To Waste is Shameful”.
I remember growing up wearing hand-me-down clothes from my older sister. Only at New Year’s time I would get one piece of new clothing. If this year I got a pair of new shoes, then I had to wait for next year to get a new sweater. However, I was very lucky that my older sister sawed, she could create very unique clothes for me altered from one of her old pieces.
I remember how I looked forward to grow big enough to fit in one of her shirts, yet she didn’t have many either. I had a pair of pants that had been mended so many times the front portion of the legs was completely covered with patches. Through the years, I only had about a dozen new clothes until I graduated from high school.
Years later when I came to study in the United States, the habit of saving and recycling followed me. I tried to live a simple life so that I could survive on a monthly scholarship of $500, which had to pay for rent, food, clothing and other things. Therefore, instead of buying a car, I bought a used bicycle which took me to grocery stores and nearby places.
To save money, I would use the plastic grocery bags to hold trash. Even to this day, I will not drive to any place within two mile radiance. If I can walk or ride my bicycle, I will not use my car. The dishes and silver wares I use were bought 20 years ago at a yard sale. Some of my furniture came from an apartment I moved into 15 years ago.
I am a teacher and don’t make a big salary, by saving what I have made the following possible: I have sent home about $80,000 to support my retired parents; I’ve traveled to more than 10 countries; I bought my car with cash; I don’t owe money to anyone, and have no credit card debt either. Recently I bought a foreclosed house with cash.
Saving and recycling have given me freedom, and has also made it possible for me to help others. Last year some of my college friends and I started a fund to help the Chinese earth quake victims, I am able to support three college students with their yearly expenses.
I believe in saving and recycling, and I am very proud to have helped save our planet.