Often you hear, that once you have been to a poorer country, you realise how well-off we are in the first world countries. But if you really immerse yourself into the other culture, the only thing you realise is how much useless things we need in our first world countries in order to survive the daily life. It all starts with the luxury of 24 hours running water and ends with the small tool of a tin opener.
Yes, of course, you do need running water at some point during the day. However, in the morning some buckets are filled with fresh water and that water is used during the day. And just in case there might be a water shortcut, there will always be fresh water in the buckets. This water is used for almost everything: to clean the dishes, to wash clothes, to wash hands, face and teeth and to clean the vegetables. Do not be misled, though. You do not wash the things inside the bucket, or it will get dirty. With a smaller bucket you take out the water from the big bucket and wash everything normally in the sink.
I have always been wondering, if that is actually also an effective method to save up water. Nevertheless, if you have a dripping tap, it definitely saves you the dripping water. Because instead of the waterdrops disappearing directly into the drain, they are caught by the bucket which is located under your tap and you will use these sneaky waterdrops at some point later.
Another such useless thing are the topit ziplock plastic bags you buy in the supermarket to store your leftover food. Just think about it. You go into the supermarket to buy storage plastic bags and finally at the cash counter you even complain about the free shopping plastic bag they give you, because it contaminates the environment.
See, how ironically this is? Instead you can just leave the topit bags in the supermarket racks and use the plastic bags they give you at the cash counter to store your leftover food. Yes, because in the end it is all the same. It is just a simple bag made up of plastic. It does not have a zipper, nor does it have mega cells which increase the flavour of your food (anyway, who believes that actually), but a simple plastic bag just stores the food as well as topit bag. Maybe it does not look that fancy inside the fridge, but it does its job.
Plastic bags. It is incredible how useful they are. Reusable and recyclable in so many ways. Actually it is a real treasure the supermarkets distribute for free. And we, who have everything, even complain about it. Have you ever made a thread from a plastic bag? I guess not. It is a bit arduous to make it and it really needs some practicing until your first long and strong thread comes out. But yes. It is a normal thread, maybe one millimeter thick and you can use it to bind things together, to sew, to knit wristbands, and whatever you may need a thread for.
Anyway, it is incredible in what ways plastic bags are used in Nicaragua and Central America in general. I do not even remember how it was to get a take-away coffee in Europe and drink it from a paper cup. Over here the hot coffee just gets poured into a small plastic bag, a straw gets stuck into it and a knot is made around it. Ready, your coffee to go. That can be done with every imaginable drink to take-away: fresh juice, Coca Cola, water.
Yes, an environmental conscious person would say now, that this is environmentally unfriendly. Look at all the plastic! Of course, plastic needs more energy to be produced. However, in order to produce all these paper cups, trees are killed. Apart from that, every paper cup has also a plastic bag. So, both ways have their pros and cons.
More things you have at home, but actually do not need? What about your saddlebags. A very expensive biker equipment, but it is so easy to make them on your own. Just take two huge pillowcases, stuff them with everything you need to transport on your bike or motorcycle and bind them together, attaching them to your baggage porter. One on each side. Done. What more do you need.
A tin opener is another of these useless tools we have in our kitchen. oh, how we rumble around the kitchen, if we cannot find the tin opener. How do we open the tin? But of what does a tin opener actually consists? It is just a sharp knife with a handle, or maybe a rotary knife with a fancy wheel to turn and it cuts the tin open. So, why not just use a simple and normal knife to open the tins. It is just as easy as this: Stab the knife into the tin and do the rotary movement on your own. And tada, the tin is open. Just be careful to and do not accidentally kill yourself by opening it this way.