Week 20: Waste not. Want not.

seedsPIN ITIf you look around at our societies, in our stores, in our homes – we already have everything we could possibly need. We don’t need more. Not for a long, long time.  The Nothing New project is not just about changing the way that we see our own stuff, it’s about changing the way that we see resources across the world.

It’s about having some social responsibility by participating in the movement that is happening across the country – by getting involved in something that we should all give a shit about. Our planet. Once you get your head around the idea of waste and the incredible affect that it is having on our environment – you cant help but take more responsibility for the way that you manage your waste. Not just your green waste but your unwanted goods, furniture, toys and clothes. There is a responsible way to move all of these items that keeps them out of landfill and reduces waste, recycles products and has a positive affect on the environment and our communities as a whole.

Recycling is the  most basic of activities that we can choose to partake in, but it’s one that we manage badly. We are throwing stuff away every day, stuff that we don’t use, stuff that we don’t need any more… stuff we just don’t like. Almost everything can be recycled or reused. If it can’t, we need to be looking at that product as a society and demand that it should be redesigned. We have so many great innovators in our country there is absolutely no excuse for creating products that cannot go back into the system once they have been used and reused.

Our society has the entrenched notion that to be successful we must consume. Without consumption, how do we prove our success? Isn’t that what success is defined as in our media and across our country – success is the big house, the shiny car. Success is defined by all the things. But is this really what success means to most of us? What is success anyway?

Every choice we make when we purchase anything from food to home wares has a consequence. The consequence might not be one you can see… but don’t let it fool you. It’s there. It’s in a sweatshop in Bangladesh, it’s in a factory in China, it’s in the rivers in South East Asia, it’s in the air. The consequence is there.

Isn’t it time that we take a good hard look at the way that we treat ourselves, and each other, and our environment. Isn’t it time that we take a good hard look at the way that we define success and happiness? I think maybe we are getting the whole message wrong. Progress isn’t about going backwards, and it’s certainly not about going forwards in the same state that we are now in. It’s about finding a community approach that is respectful to each other and to our environment. It’s about working together to find a positive way forward for all of us. It’s about remembering that success is about so much more than big televisions and fancy cars.

Isn’t it time that we stop talking so much about what people are wearing and start talking about what we are thinking, how we are behaving. Isn’t it about time that we start spending a bit more energy focusing not on people who are famous for doing nothing, but instead learning from those who are doing incredibly powerful things to change the way we look at our food, our clothes, or world… people inspiring us to be better, instead of on media articles that inspire us to buy more shit we truly don’t need.

Isn’t it time we stop wasting so much, and started giving more back? A lot of people are afraid of changing, I get that. People think that to live a more sustainable responsible life they will have to give up some creature comforts that they have become so accustomed to. But these changes aren’t about giving things up, they are about gaining. Our quality of life is not less now, it’s more.

Waste not. Want not. Live more.

Want to read about some people doing inspiring things with the less is more approach to simple, responsible living? Check out Rohan Anderson’s blog Whole Larder Love, he’s sure to get you fired up one way or another, I’ve been told you either love him or you don’t – I think his perspective is excellent and his blog is a really important conversation that everyone should engage in in some way or another. Little Eco Footprints is less controversial, but full of some great ideas none the less. Milkwood  is an excellent introduction to permaculture and full of tips and valuable information to help you transform the way you see your world and your place within it.

Looking to buy something new for your home, instead of going new, look at the Reverse Garbage Cooperative, Reviva centres and Tip Shops. These are excellent places to donate your goods and pick up something that you are looking for for your home. There is something like it in most areas in Australia, they may not be widely advertised, but they are there for you, making a difference everyday to the way our waste is being processed.

If you’re interested in learning some of the skills, growing your own food, foraging, engaging in positive outcomes for people and the environment in your community getting involved in your local permaculture centre is a really great place to start. If you’re interested in learning how to reduce your waste and turn garbage into treasures, there are places popping up around the country to teach you these skills and help you find a way forward.

It’s so easy to throw something in the bin and forget about it, but the truth is, it’s never really gone.

It’s time to start thinking about these things differently.

Isn’t it?

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  • May 22, 2014 - 3:01 pm

    Linda Uzubalis - YES! YES! YES!!!!!! Gosh, this is a great post. I think so many people miss the point when it comes to being ‘green’ and a friend of the Earth. It’s not just about recycling your boxes and glass, it’s about questioning what you really need to begin with.

    Nick and I have great discussions about anything we purchase. We weren’t always this way – sure, we always cared about the environment and did what we thought was enough until we moved into our new home. Where we live we need to dispose of our own rubbish, and holy moly, what an eyeopener it was. I could go on and on about how we have made significant changes to how we live, but I won’t block up your comments (maybe I should just take my anger and write my own post ha ha!)

    I get so infuriated with so many corners of the internet, people I know, tv programs etc who are all just shilling some crap. That’s not to say I don’t think we should completely quit buying (after all, it’s important to support our local economy) but we do need to reconsider how we purchase. I’ll bet if people stopped and thought about it, they’d quickly realise they A) don’t need it, B) can get it secondhand or C) perhaps spend a little more by supporting a local manufacturer who is just trying to keep it real in Australia.

    Cheers once again for an excellent, thought provoking post. Linda. x

    P.S. I love the blogs you linked to… Little Eco is my kid hero!ReplyCancel

  • May 24, 2014 - 7:08 pm

    Jess - Have you heard about this place that’s opened in O’Connor?http://www.garbologie.com
    I’m looking forward to visiting & is very in line with what you just wrote.ReplyCancel

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