Ah the good old days when life was simpler and slower! Remember when every product you bought was quality made and lasted forever, no? Well in all fairness you may have to be 70 years old to remember this.Your parents or grandparents may still be using some of these illustrious products, Mum’s old Kelvinator fridge lasted us over 25 years without missing a beat and I am still using my nanna’s pots and vacuum cleaner which must be over 30 years old. I get it serviced occasionally and it still works perfectly, the vacuum shop salesman still tries to get me to upgrade every time though. It seems now that so many companies sell products that have a set life span to ensure you become a repeat customer, this means more wastage and inevitably more money out of consumer pockets.
Richard Girling’s book Rubbish tells us that 80% of products become waste within the first 6 months of their lives!
Mum tells me stories of how her dad used to replace the soles of her shoes, and how her mum would reuse the fat from the roast to fry other foods in the pan. They would dig the peels from their vegetables into the garden and clothing was always repaired, If something was beyond repair they would cut items down into something else or use them as rags for cleaning around the house.
Tea bags were reused (handy tip: white tea can be re stewed up to 4 times!) and food was never ever thrown out, if there were left overs they would make stews and bakes. They grew their own veggies and chickens, this gave them a complete appreciate for the amount of work that goes into growing food which instilled in them the no wastage stance. Now days consumers have very little appreciation of this as you can buy any fruit or vegetable at any time of the year regardless of whether it is in season or not, and all our meats come plucked, cut and pre packaged.
Some food facts from the Foodwise website:
Australians discard up to 20% of the food they purchase, this equates to 1 out of 5 bags of groceries.
Up to 40% of the household bin is food.
For the average household over $1,000 of food is thrown away every year, this could feed them for a full month.
Australians throw away a whopping $8 billion worth of edible food every year!
So maybe if we can take a moment to chat with some of our respected elders in our community to get some pointers on what they used to do to reduce, reuse and recycle we could all do our bit to help our environment and in turn our hip pockets 😉
Further reading and resources….