Living sustainably is a vital part of protecting our earth and the species who inhabit it – but how easy is it to start living sustainably?
The statistics about Australia’s current food wastage are incredibly alarming. Australians throw away $8-10 billion of food every year wasting up to four million tonnes of food per annum.
New research, which was part of the IKEA Australia People and Planet Positive Report, has found that 63 percent of Australians have a desire to be more sustainable, yet half of Australians don’t know where to start. And sadly, more than one in three Australians find sustainability completely overwhelming.
OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn, passionately spoke about sustainability and food wastage to thousands of people at this year’s recent Think Eat Save initiative. From food and cooking to heating and cooling, Ronni encourages people to not feel overwhelmed by sustainability and to start making simple changes to your daily routines. If we start making simple changes, we start to change behaviours and ultimately bring much needed change to the world.
Ronni says that sustainability is easy. Here are her four simple steps to living a more sustainable life:
1. Always make a shopping list
“The first thing people can do is make a shopping list. When we walk into supermarkets or to do our shopping without a list, we do a lot of impulse purchasing and we also tend to buy stuff we already have.
“We’re not sure if we have a packet of pasta or a tin of tomatoes so we rebuy and our pantries go full. And after a year or two years go by and we think ‘We must throw this out’. Don’t ‘stock up’, simply buy what you need.”
2. Learn to read labels
“There’s absolutely no doubt that people don’t understand labelling. We’re working on trying to get standardised and clarity around labelling because currently someone will throw away yoghurt on July 25 if that’s what it says without tasting it or smelling it, and therefore without knowing if it was perfectly good.
“Our grandparents didn’t have labels on yoghurt or milk. They smelt it, they tasted it, and that’s when they knew if it was good or not. So much food is being wasted because of labelling that is unclear.”
3. Start a herb garden or get a compost machine
“Herb gardens can be made for tiny little balconies and so can composting. There are home composting machines that can make it so simple for people to make sure that good food doesn’t go to waste. There’s nothing nicer than when you grow something - you absolutely look after it and treasure it, instead of something you have bought without any connection – and it tastes way better!”
4. 'Pledge a Plate'
"We have launched a campaign called 'Pledge a Plate'. The idea is to buy a plate for $10 through OzHarvest, take it home, get food from your fridge that you might have wasted - like a quarter of an onion or egg white – whip up something gorgeous, put it on the plate, photograph it with the hashtag #pledgeaplate and hopefully it will go viral."
If you would like to donate to OzHarvest or find out more information visit www.ozharvest.com.org.