In the local free paper, there was an article which claimed that Canberrans, on average, spent $1475 each year on products they either never used or threw away. Counting the cats as consumers (well, you've seen the size of them! ;)) and given the children are here part-time, we thought that would amount to our household wasting in the vicinity of $5000 per annum.
Across Australia, if all Australians lived like this (and I'm guessing they don't), this would equate to about 30 billion dollars wasted each year. This is staggering.
My partner and I thought about this - wasting $100 each and every week. We had a good chat and realised that we couldn't actually afford to waste this much money - we've other priorities for our money, like chook houses and water tanks.
Yes, some items may be bought ahead of when they are actually used, but they are eventually used. Very little food ever gets thrown out - it usually gets preserved in some way prior to that happening. If we have something we no longer need, we generally find someone to pass it on to or donate it to charity. We've streamlined gift giving with the wish book and put a halt to Christmas gift exchanges with many family and friends, so we've minimised receiving something we won't use.
I'm not saying we are perfect - far from it. I'm sure we could easily live with less than we do. But we are trying to be conscious about our purchases and only buy what we will use or give to others.
I'm still astounded at this level of waste in our society. What do people buy to cause such waste? Really interested to read your thoughts on this one.
love and light