Once, the most virtuous families were ashamed of being so in public. Those families that at home warmed the bread to be able to eat it even when it was already a bit dry, added a little water to the shampoo when it “seemed” finished, and found a way to use the leftovers transforming them into an omelet the day after. When they went to restaurant, they could not afford to do behave like that. This is when “the dog” popped out. With the excuse to take restaurant leftovers home, they asked an envelope and what had not been consumed ended up on the kitchen table. Yet, the excuse needed to be credible, thus, in addition to pasta and meat, they asked also the bones: that’s what ‘dogs’ eat, don’t they?
We have gradually lost the idea of saving that had accompanied the families in the post-war era. We throw away food and waste water, leaving taps open for tens of minutes just to rinse our teeth, or lights on for hours. No one felt like we were travelling on a double track: waste in the face of those who cannot afford those meals and consumption of energy, which inevitably has a cost, let alone the danger of running out of energetic resources all together.
The idea that we are all in the same boat has never occurred to us. Today we have face it, because the alarm raised by those who study the availability of global resources is high. The consumption of 250 trillion gallons of water in the use of 1.4 billion hectares of arable land and 3.3 billion tons of CO2 introduced into the atmosphere each year, are not random numbers, but data reported by FAO. This is as far as resources are concerned.
As to wasting, in a year around the world are wasted amounts of food for 1,000 billion dollars (while more than 900 million people, especially in poor countries, die of hunger). We cannot go on like this. Therefore, here is some news: Supermarkets whose area is over 400 square meters are compelled to devolve unsold food to charity. Besides, has been introduced the Family bag (wanted by the Ministry of Environment), to take away food that has been ordered but not consumed from the restaurant. Soon it will become a habit visible in every local, and there will no longer be a problem to be ashamed of.
On the other hand, in the encyclical “Praised Be”, Pope Francis has not merely stated this principle, but asked to do everything in our power for the sake of the worldwide environmental balance, starting from little things. The beginning is 100 restaurants and we hope the time has come to change our culture, and start to be ashamed of wasting, not of saving.