Everywhere I turn there’s so much waste. Every Sunday night, Husband drags our full-to-bursting recyling bin and garbage bin onto the curb. I kid myself I’m being good, cutting down on packaging, steering towards fresh foods. But all those cereal boxes, beer cartons and juice containers keep piling up. Then there’s the twice-yearly junk removal service provided by our local council. Just chuck your crap on the grass and someone whisks it away. Easy peasy. (Didn’t need that fancy schmancy collection business in Petersham, throw anything in your front yard and someone/thing would scuttle along and take it, even old toilet seats.) Last week, I jogged/walked/drove past an insane number of sofas, mattresses, broken IKEA furniture, baby change tables and outdoor furniture tossed for the council pick-up. As I jogged/walked/drove, I wondered whether it’s actually counterproductive for the council to provide such a handy service. Does it make it too simple to get rid of stuff? Husband, on the other hand, was most distraught that we weren’t prepped for it. He’s mad keen to chuck half the stuff in our attic. All that chucking. It feels a bit wrong. A lot wrong. My grandparents didn’t throw stuff away. Every plastic bag, no matter how small, was rinsed and dried for reuse. If something broke, Pop fixed it. When they no longer needed something, they found someone who did. Nan and Pop weren’t concerned with the latest homewares fad, they were content with their 1940s chest of drawers, their 1950s frying pan, their 1960s sideboard, their 1970s dining table. Nothing matched, it wasn’t remotely fashionable, it was a bit crusty, but it did the job. And that was all that mattered. I wish I could be like them, but I know if I win the lottery I’ll be flinging half the contents of my house onto the nature strip next council throw out. I want a home that’s schmick and matchy matchy instead of hodge-podge. My current “look” is some bits from Nan, some bits from Mum, some bits from the second-hand shop, and a dash of IKEA. Every month, I gaze enviously at Home Beautiful and wonder where all the money comes from to decorate all those immaculate houses. Even when we were a two-income household, we weren’t splashing out on replica Eames chairs. (Which, just quietly, might not be such a bad thing. I suspect that stuff isn’t built to last. In a few years, I’ll be jogging past vast piles of broken, bodgy designer replica furniture at council throw-out time.) There’s a better me that dreams about growing my own vegies, banning packaged foods, having a compost heap and not buying anything new for a year. And there’s the lazy me who can’t be shagged scrape out the mouldy half-eaten dips from the fridge, rinse the containers and recycle them, but instead – when Husband isn’t looking – throws them in the bin. And it’s people like me – who support the IDEA of being greener and cutting down on waste, but only if they don’t have to actually DO anything – who are screwing the environment. Hmmmm, I think I’ll file this one under “soapbox”.