Initially, this project was born from a house move and a commitment to not throw out food, to be better at planning and eat what we buy. Our motivations were part financial and part environmental, and we’ll admit, all over surface level motivations.
Which is probably why we failed. We binned one mouldy carrot and were back to old habits.
The thing about first-world-problem guilt is that your quickly lose it when you sit on the couch and turn on the tv. But if you were out for breakfast one morning, and were fed a delicious meal but could only finish half of it, and were then greeted by a homeless, hungry man on the street as you left the cafe, the guilt will hang a little longer.
In our latte sipping lifestyle, we can afford and can access fresh food but so often, because of our laziness, our lack of organisation, our lack of thrift we can mindlessly throw it away. And while we were originally just thinking about the money we waste on food we don’t eat, and how our children’s children might deal with our lavish landfills, there before us was another reason; to mindfully and actively consider the people out there who through whatever reason don’t even get a chance to waste.
So what could we do? How can we become more mindful? How can we help counter this imbalance?
Using the concept of the old fashioned “swear jar”, where someone is penalised a dollar or two for some less savour language, we decided we would penalise our food turfing. Into our “waste jar” we would donate a sum of money for every item of food we tossed.
But the clincher is, when the habits are curbed and the money jar is full, we don’t plan on heading to the travel agents or the martini bar … we’re going to find a charity that gives food to those who can’t afford or access it.
And that’s our project.