"Waste not want not" was a phrase lovingly instilled to me by my dear Grandma.
We have always been very "waste conscious" family. From hand-me-downs, veggie patches and recycling, it was all part of growing up. Nothing went to waste in our household, my mum made sure of it. It’s been a useful practice I learnt, especially during my years as a yacht chef sailing from island to island, conserving the produce through storing it carefully, preserving it, being resourceful and making it stretch for weeks to feed the hungry crew. Unfortunately, with the way the world is now, this is no longer an option. Our environment is suffering because we’re not looking after it. It’s time we all had an honest look at our habits and ways of "doing our bit" and just try to do that little bit better. It all starts with the individual – "Be the change you wish to see!"
Here are some of my top tips to live by!
Use all of your veggie scraps from cooking to create nutrient rich soil for your garden. Complete the circle of life for that banana peel! Composting fuels plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil; it’s free, easy to make and good for the environment. Give it a go! There are great resources online to help you on your way. Your veggie patch will be in heaven!
Invest in your purchases
Stop spending your money on crap! I know this sounds harsh, but we, as a society, are overwhelmed by products that simply are little more than throwaway items. I try and find brands that take pride in their products and I will spend that extra premium for something that will last the lifetime not just the fad. Not only will you get to use better designed products, but your wallet will thank you in the long run.
Op shopping/Garage sales
Living in Byron, I have the luxury of weekly garage sales where you can buy preloved goods every weekend. The benefits range from finding vintage one-off gems to cutting down on manufacturing demands (It’s recycling after all!). Not only are you helping the environment, you are saving money and your wardrobe will be consciously cool!
Buy local/ Farmers markets
What’s better than buying food that’s fresh? Support your local farmers market and I guarantee you that you will see the difference in the longevity of all your produce. Supermarkets keep their food in cold storage for months on end before it is finally allocated its store. Buying directly from your local farmers is not just a lovely way to connect with your community, but it also ensures you to eat with the seasons and consume the best produce around you!
Keep cups, water bottles, cutlery and straws
I now am the proud owner of a kit that I take everywhere with me. It’s little more than the size of a pencil pouch, but it is packed with all of the essentials and it ensures that I am picnic ready at the drop of a hat! Having your own cutlery kit and straw means saying no to using single-use plastics. It also enriches your al fresco dining experience- knowing you haven’t added waste that’s going straight to landfill makes that vegan triple chocolate cheesecake and smoothie taste a whole lot more satisfying!