We want to do good by our planet to reduce, reuse and recycle waste, we also need and want economies to grow and thrive, yet we cannot ignore the true cost of waste, which can be gauged by Earth Overshoot Day.
It’s the day that marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year, exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. The stuff we buy comes with a carbon footprint of some kind- trees for paper- oil for plastics- coal to run our factories.
According to the Global Footprint Network, Earth Overshoot Day has moved up the calendar by two months over the past 20 years to 29 July in 2019, the earliest date ever. Source WWF Earth Overshoot Day
Imagine if we stopped buying stuff that does not add value to our lives, business, social structure and invested in quality over quantity, reusable over disposable, legislated for the right to repair, and moved away from designed obsolescent. What would the health of our planet look like if stopped buying STUFF!
STUFF, what is it?
Stuff: collection of things not needing to be specified, valueless matter, trash, non-sense
Australian Oxford Dictionary
Through a customised plan and following The 10Rs©, life and business can be more enjoyable, productive, financial, sustainable, healthy when we reduce waste and STUFF in our lives.
I don’t know anyone that likes throwing away their hard-earned money, yet as a Professional Eco Organiser® I see it all the time, I call The Clutter Spiral, you may have heard of it, you may have said it yourself
“I forgot I had it, so I bought another” “I couldn’t find it, so I bought another”
In a recent survey of 1000 US and UK citizens Futera and OnePulse found
Nearly 80% are willing to make lifestyle changes to stop climate change, as big as those they’ve made for Covid-19.
When asked which lifestyle changes people are prepared to make:
- 57% said waste less
- 50% said avoid plastics
- 40% willing to switch to green energy providers. (Forbes)
Our homes and workspace don’t have elastic side walls, when it’s stuffed with clutter and waste, it does not function well.
The Clutter Report asked
How much of a typically sized room could you likely fill with clutter?
34.8% Fill about ¼ room
26.2% Fill about ½ room
18.8% Fill about one room
2.5% Fill about 1 ½ rooms
4.4% Fill about 2 rooms
1.8% Fill more than 2 rooms
Take the value of your home ÷ by the number of squares= Value per sq.
Multiply the value per square x area of clutter= Very expensive storage
Average home $800 000 ÷ 30sqm = $26 700.00 per sq. $26 700.00 × 5sq. of clutter = $133 500.00
Isn’t it time to rethink stuff and stop building bigger and bigger homes?
Can your business afford spatial clutter?
With office and warehouse space leased and/or sold by the square meter, paying for space stuffed with clutter, which cannot be used or accessed for its intended purpose, does not make for financial sense.
Clutter reflects an image of disorganisation, hinders traffic flow and imprints a negative message on the people working within this space and visitors to this space.
Offices, warehouse space, storage facilities, lunchrooms, boardrooms, meeting rooms, thoroughfares, even vehicles are prone to clutter clusters.
Ethical decluttering creates a sense of confidence and self-efficacy… Psychology Today.
Can your business afford clutter and waste?
We think of clutter and waste as physical items, yet filling our time with stuff that is no longer relevant could be the difference between boom and bust. Refusing time wasters and investing time to reorganise routines and schedules is not a waste time.; clearing space not only improves creativity, it reduces stress, enhance productivity and saves money.
Devices are designed to keep us connected and informed, but at what cost. With the average office worker interrupted seventy-three times every day and the average manager interrupted every 8 minutes, interruptions include telephone calls, incoming emails messages and interruptions by colleagues, costs time.
Research tells us, it takes 20 minutes to get back to the level of concentration that we were at prior to the disruption. Source Dr Richard Swenson 1992
In a world of constant connections, how do we cope when we are pinged, tweeted, zoomed, facetimed, trying to function on a diet of constant learning to keep up with new things, sifting through information, swapping quickly between tasks to another.
Generally, not well!
- Set boundaries around digital clutter
- Switch off all pings and reminders
The Clutter Report found, on average, respondents said the total financial value of the clutter in their home is $6623 this translates to $59, 361,949,000 worth of clutter Australia wide. They also found the value of Christmas gifts $963 pa, value of unwanted Christmas gifts $620 pa and with the value of clutter $6623 pa plus value of edible food throw away $3800 pa (OzHarvest) = Money wasted $12 006 pa
Isn’t that a waste?
Winning the War on Waste
Casa Nostra Deli is a family owned business on the Mornington Peninsula, winning the war on waste. Business owners Phil and Susan Tomasello are actively reducing single use packaging and encouraging their customers to refill, reuse and recycle within the La Casa Nostra community; overall rethinking waste and winning in more ways than one.
The secret to their success comes from their passion to close the loop. Leading by example – adopting a sustainable and minimal waste approach including shop fittings and displays, most of which were made from salvaged timber.
Grow Your Community Grow Your Business
A few years back Susan and Phil took the brave step of not providing plastic carry bags to clients, by bucking this trend they opened a new dialogue with their customers and encouraged greater community engagement.
Not forgetting their customers’ needs Susan and Phil still needed to offer some way to carry goods home. Susan and Phil introduced their clients to Boomerang Bags, by handing out these cloth bags the conversation soon turned to the topic of reducing plastic pollution in the community.
- Sell reusable cups and containers and encourage people to bring them back to refill in your store
- Provide alternatives to single use plastic –self-sealing lids, reusable straws, coffee cups, stainless steel self-sealing containers
- Took on a sustainability mind-set – The benefits outweigh the effort, with many new sustainable products, each aiming to reduce waste in their own way. Susan and Phil adopted this mind-set in the deli and café, which helps minimise any waste– and often see it rubbing off on our customers!
A Point of Difference
Since starting their war on waste Susan and Phil have seen a 50% reduction in disposal coffee cups and 100% reduction in single use plastic bags.
“By following our passion, we’re not only reducing waste, we have a point of difference to every other store on the strip, our clients spend more time in store, chatting over a coffee, sharing our ideas and picking up those few extras, what Susan and I are most proud is the increased community awareness in our community on the war on waste. ” say Phil
How do ask people to reduce waste and rethink stuff to push back Earth Overshoot Day?
By addressing the pains of everyday living, to find more time in the day, more space in the home and more money in the bank, Eco Organiser® communicates a simple message in simple language.
From the bush to the boardrooms Eco Organiser® has empowered over 8000 people to rethink their lifestyle choices by focusing on positive messaging, and offered alternatives to reduce, reuse and recycle, with an estimated 40 000kg of unwanted items responsibly disposed and often finding “good homes”
By keeping it real and simple, delivered in a non-judgemental way we avoid the glazed over look, of “not another recycling message”
Eco Organiser® works to transform the worlds waste habits through advocacy, program delivery and collaboration. Our goal is to maximise the health and wellbeing of communities and habitat across the globe, to reduce waste and enable the program to continue after we leave, so that the positive ripple will continue in communities for years to come.
Tanya love’s being invited into communities, corporations and businesses to share her passion and simple actions to reduce waste.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re interested in Tanya’s services.