I’m passionate about this stuff. Sustainability. No waste. So I was very happy to be involved in Sustainable Table’s Waste Deep documentary, which is a gentle way of easing people into the issues and what each of us can do about them. I make an appearance – or three – alongside gardening guru CostaTim Silverwood and incredibly passionate initiatives like Second Bite and Buy Nothing New Month. You can watch it in full below.

Highlights from the doco:

  • Aussie farmers are doing it tough. We love it when we can grab our groceries on the mega cheap and our peaches look perfect, but the balance between what it costs to produce our food and what we pay for it isn’t always there. Many, many farmers walk off the land every year. And that ain’t a good thing.
  • We’re tossing out billions of pieces of plastic every year. Much of it comes from food packaging. Too much of it ends up in our oceans and environment, harming wildlife and polluting soil and water.
  • On average, every household in Australia throws out over $1000 worth of food each year. At the same time, we have over 2 million Aussies going hungry. Um…

What can we do?

1. Buy local. The more local the better. Food produced in your state, where possible. Is all the produce at your nearby greengrocer necessarily local? Maybe not, you have to ask. Asking encourages.

2. Get clever about reducing waste. I mention in the doco a few things I do to avoid food waste that also help to make my life incredibly easier by creating flow. On that note, this theme flows through my new book, I Quit Sugar For Life.

To that end,

a little listicle of links to help you live waste free:

1. Shop at a Farmer’s Market. Find a farmers’ market near you by checking this Australia-wide directory. If you’re in NZ, you can find a market close to you here.

2. Try Local HarvestFind food co-ops and organic stores near you. You simply pop in your postcode and presto.

3.  Check out Sustainable Table‘s overview of the variety of grocery shopping options available, from markets to box systems to farm gates. You’ll also find loads of invaluable info about the food system and handy tips and guides to help you shop better.

4. FoodWise gives great advice on creating a waste-free kitchen, as well as wholesome recipes from well known chefs and food bloggers.

 5. The lovely Arabella Forge at Frugavore provides her best tips on how to buy local, eat organic and make the best use of the food you buy.

6. Maria from Econest (who shared her eco beauty tricks here and is part of the Sustainable Table team) shares her #lovefoodhatewaste tips here and how to eat well on a budget here.

7. Visit Buy Nothing New Month for clever tips on how to live well with less as well as places to source not-new stuff you may need.

8. The Clothing Exchange. These guys allow you to swap clothes you once loved for those you will treasure, no new resources required.

9. OpShop.orgEnter your post code and see your local op shop and vintage stores.

10. ShopEthical. This gives a great overview of the ethics behind the companies behind the products we buy. So you can support companies whose values align with your own. The info is also available in a smartphone app (both iPhone and Android).

11. TuShare.  An online community that allows members to share items they no longer want/need and acquire items that fellow members no longer want/need.

12.  My Home HarvestInspiration and advice on growing your own food and includes a directory of food swaps, community gardens and other such ways to share locally grown produce.

13The Pallet GardenerA Melbourne based operation that refashions discarded wooden pallets in to multiple tiered planter boxes and vertical gardens.  Made to order, they’ll even pre-plant the boxes for you so you’re all ready to go.

14. Grow it LocalAdd your patch of dirt on the map or see who is growing what in your local area and share the results.

Have you tried any of these? Have more to add to the list? Feel free to link in the comments below.


Have your say, leave a comment.

  • Lucy Travers

    Thank you Sarah. It is fabulous to have all of these amazing resources in one place.

    I love your comment about asking and encouragement. I totally agree – If you don’t ask, you won’t receive, and asking makes grocery buyers / waiters / food service people more accountable themselves, as most often they have to seek the answers too.

  • Thanks for summarising these links, Sarah! It would be great to run a series on ways we could minimise food waste, especially since it’s such a huge contributor to waste in the world overall. Really appreciate your outlook and philosophy toward living a life much more simply!

  • Brooke

    love love love love love love love love love this post Sarah!

  • This is great, Sarah, thanks for sharing all of these useful and links! Just acknowledging this and talking about it is such a powerful way to make people think before they act. Great stuff.

  • Clare Walpole

    Awesome work!

  • Ines

    I would love to further reduce my waste by making my own compost. It kills me having to toss out bits and pieces of veg and fruit. Only problem is apartment living. But I do have a balcony and I wonder if indeed it is possible to build compost with such restrictions…

  • Kel

    Nice one Sarah. I live in Manly in Sydney and a few years ago joined the Manly Food Co-Operative to help reduce my waste. You can buy most of your food needs there. Take your own containers, buy in bulk. Our bins are never full anymore. It’s one way to make a difference.

  • Cara Williams

    Hi Sarah, loved the documentary. The thing I love about sustainability is that it’s led me to better health – less processed/packaged food and more local food from the land and sea. Join me and thousands of others for Plastic Free July.