Tackling the War on Waste

Don’t worry I’m not being slack, I haven’t disappeared or given up.

In a minor deviation from the Netflix documentaries, I started watching The War on Waste which has become some what of a phenomenon here in Australia over the past couple of weeks.

The first installment of the three part series, talked about food waste and the high supermarket standards put on farmers, resulting in a large proportion of perfectly great food being thrown out simply because it wasn’t pretty enough.

To be honest, I couldn’t actually believe what I was seeing. Tonnes and tonnes of bananas just being thrown out.

I felt anger and sadness and frustration all at the same time.

I understand the farmers are in a tough spot. They are isolated in far north Queensland and shipping bananas that aren’t going to sell costs a lot of money. So what are the options?

I felt pretty helpless.

I could start avoiding the supermarkets and shopping at grocers but that’s not going to help much. I live in metro Victoria, the bananas get shipped from Queensland to Victoria, we aren’t seeing any of the “ugly” ones at any stores, they are staying on the farms and getting turned into very expensive mulch.

I could stop eating bananas but again that isn’t going to help anyone.

It’s a difficult circumstance and I don’t know what the answer is.

Another feature of episode one, was household waste.

I didn’t think as a family of 2.5 (two adults, one part time child) that we were generating that much waste until I saw what much larger families were throwing out.

It really got me thinking about what I was putting in the bin and I realized that a lot of it could probably be composted or recycled and the rest was plastic.

Plastic around food items, plastic shopping bags, general plastic waste. It seemed to be everywhere.

Until I started having a closer look at my rubbish bin, I didn’t even know what could be recycled. It was all too hard. Only certain items, must all be washed out etc etc.

Too hard basket, into the waste, well not anymore.

A quick google search told me what I could and couldn’t put into the recycling bin and I was surprised at just how much, it wasn’t as strict as I thought.

Ok I can hear you all saying, yeah yeah you watched a show big deal what did you do about it?

Well…

  1. I haven’t taken a single plastic bag from any store since I watched it. I’m carrying around a folded re-usable bag in my hand bag
  2. The compost bin is back up and running
  3. The recycle bin actually has stuff in it other than the weekly pizza box!

I’m pretty happy and I feel like I’m making some sort of conscious contribution.

Can’t wait to watch the episode on coffee cups. I might need a new handbag by the time I add a re-usable coffee cup, a re-usable shopping bag, a re-usable drink bottle!

Until next time folks,

Think a little

Mel

 

The True Cost Challenge- Hurdle 1

Bugger.

My ‘True Cost’ challenge this month has really been about thinking more about where my clothes come from and the ‘true cost’ for humanity and for the environment of the choices that I was making.

Honestly I’m being doing really well.

I’m not going to lie and say that in the last 9 days I haven’t purchased anything. But I have done a lot of thinking about it first, rather than the impulse buy.

On Friday I hit my first really challenge, hurdle one. I went to see Green Day at Rod Laver Arena, here in Melbourne.

You guys don’t really know me much but one thing that I love almost as much as my dogs is Green Day.

So off I went with my brother and his wife to Green Day and the first thing I was faced with was the merchandise tent.

A few things came to mind.

  1. Bands make money from touring and merchandise, not record sales (hello justification for purchase!)
  2. You said you weren’t buying unnecessary stuff, do you really need this? Where did it come from?
  3. If you don’t buy something you like now, you won’t ever have another opportunity.

So I didn’t buy anything. I looked from a far and felt happy about my decision.

Until I woke up the next morning, after having one of the best nights ever, without my souvenir purchase.

So the following night (Green Day were playing two sold out shows), I went all the way back into town (1 hr drive + 1 hr walk) to buy my canvas Green Day tour bag. Satisfied and I kinda feel like I earned it and it wasn’t an impulse purchase.

Enter hurdle two.

Late last month, I purchased a dress which I was going to wear as a wedding dress. It cost me about $450 AU, which is a lot for a normal dress and not much at all for a wedding dress. I bought it having tried on a different size in the store and ordering in the right colour.

The rookie error, I hadn’t tried on the colour I liked in the size I needed. So I went back today when it had arrived in store only to find that it wasn’t really the wedding dress that I had in mind and that I couldn’t get a refund.

Knowing I would never wear a white dress for any other reason, I exchanged it for a grey one. It’s perfect for the next wedding I am going to but retrospectively I should have thought more about the purchase and just got it ordered in and not actually paid for it until I tried it on. The last wedding I went to I wore a dress that cost $35 from a discount outlet, now I’ll be rocking a $450 beauty. Safe to say I’ll be making sure I get my moneys worth on this one.

Think a little,

Mel