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The ease of waste

June 3, 2013

We just spent the weekend on Tassie’s spectacular east coast, and did a day trip to Eddystone Point. While planning our picnic lunch, the question of milk storage came up. We ended up using a jar, which was perfect, but someone in the house we stayed at had a small container of UHT milk in the fridge. It was enough for maybe two or three serves, came in a recyclable container, but also had a straw stuck to it. The straw and the plastic packaging it came in would just be thrown away, even if the little container was recycled. It struck us that a lot of the waste produced by our society today, is done so as a consequence of our demand for ease and convenience. It has become so simple to get what we want, when we want it, that it easy to forget the cost of all of this convenience. We saw first hand the effects of this cost, when we found several items of rubbish, all forms of packaging, left on the beach. Luckily, they were all picked up by us and will have a new go at life after being popped into our recycling bin.

eddestone light house 040eddestone light house

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From → Rubbish

5 Comments
  1. It is so disheartening to find rubbish in such a pristine environment (love Eddystone Point! Did you stay in the lighthouse cottages?). As you say, it’s about ease – but i think it’s gone beyond ease. It’s almost like manufacturers are hunting to find ways to add more doohickeys to packaging to make us want it more..

  2. The cottages that are there are available for rent, are they? We wondered that. This time it was just a day trip. I wonder what it is about things having more doohickey’s that is appealing to us? I wonder if it gives us a bit of thrill? But then, why is there also a massive resurgence in the appreciation of the simple and uncomplicated, a yearning for yesteryear? Interesting!

  3. Well, the cottages used to be rentals, but that was over ten years ago, when they were owned by Parks and Wildlife. That’s why I was wondering – it would be good to go back there.
    Interest in simple and uncomplicated yes, but I think simple and uncomplicated also requires hard work. and some more thought than lots of people are willing to put in. Also, UHT milk with doohickeys is ‘normal’ and milk in a jam jar is ‘odd’. Most people don’t want to be ‘odd’. They want to live in a simpler world as long as it is very, very convenient (well, so do I, but I don’t think both are possible).
    It’s much easier to buy presliced bread in a plastic bag, than to make your own, or source artisan bread, baked-locally and wrapped in tissue paper and costing twice as much (yes, I am now thinking about plastic free bread. What do you guys do?).

  4. Okay, so maybe you’re thinking it could be about “fitting in”, Jo? Not wanting to do or be a bit different?. I think people really yearn for acceptance and belonging and somehow we screw up our needs for belonging with “products”…the new fashions, latest phones, face book etc. but, I really don’t think it really meets this need. So we walk around feeling disconnected from the human race even though we strive to fit in. Like an itch that we want to scratch but when we do it never seems to relieve it. One of the liberating things for me is having a diverse group of friends and having had the privilege of traveling to many places where people do not live as dominant white western folk do. It kind of allows me to embrace my own ideas of right for me, versus needing to fit in with other ideas and other agenda. But the need to belong doesn’t ever go away though, just the way I choose to meet it.

    As for bread….we bake it (actually lovely Dunc does) or we just take a cloth bag to any bakery and say “put it straight in here thanks” …we do prefer artisan bread because it tastes better but we did just buy a loaf from bakers delight the other day and I just said “hold the bag love” (didn’t really call her love out loud )… Not sure if this is what you meant by your question though?

  5. Yes, I guess I’m thinking about the current craze for ‘vintage’, where people are decorating their houses as if they are living in a simpler time – but the change doesn’t go any deeper than decorating. I think that what I’m trying to work towards is a simple life that doesn’t cost the earth. But it takes a lot of thinking, planning, and willingness to think outside the box to live ‘the simple life’..
    Thanks for your thoughts on the bread. We will have to break our plastic sliced bread addiction!

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