Platitudes, rather hippy dippy and old hat, short sugar-coated sentences designed to bolster the ‘feels’ of a younger generation. Look again. Each line creates an emotion, a memory jog, that tingle of happiness to the down-surge of sadness. Regret is there, the wince for things done wrong, then the smile for laughing out loud when you get it right. Basic universal rules for living.
Maybe it’s because I was brought up by post-war parents that I am shocked at the staggering amount of food waste in Brisbane. I could not understand why our local Government has joined the world-wide campaign Love Food Hate Waste. Surely you only buy, cook and eat what you need and freeze leftovers?
Apparently for millions of households, it’s not that simple!
The Council brochure states “Love Food Hate Waste was launched in 2007 by Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) in the United Kingdom followed by New Zealand, Canada and Australia. With food waste making up 37% of the average Brisbane rubbish bin, 1 in 5 shopping bags of food ends up in the bin. That’s 97,000 tonnes of food thrown away every year. There are simple and practical changes which residents can make in the kitchen to reduce food waste; planning, preparation and storage of food will make a big difference to your wallet and keep Brisbane clean, green and sustainable.”
Scramble over the mat, don’t trip on the dog, here’s a tasty listicle of Council wisdom prepared earlier:
Plan meals ahead – create a meal plan based on what is already in your fridge, freezer and pantry.
Shop mindfully – stick to your shopping list!
Store food correctly – Learn how to store food to ensure it lasts as long as possible and check your refrigerator is functioning at maximum efficiency.
Cook with care – Without controlling portions, we tend to waste food when we prepare or cook too much. Remember fruit and vegetables ripen quickly and are best consumed daily.
Love your leftovers – Freeze leftovers to use for lunches, keep for snacks, or add to another main meal.
Consider composting – Turn your kitchen scraps into rich nutrients for your garden, get a Bokashi bucket, consider owning pets like chickens or guinea pigs.
Join a community garden – Composting hubs operate in selected community gardens.
Six-week food waste challenge – Every week the Council will provide step-by-step information on how you can reduce food waste in your home. Seriously.
We are over-stocked, over-fed and over-indulgent of our taste buds. Or as my dear mother would say “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.”
When I was a kid we used to say “Pinch and punch for the first of the month” and I don’t know why. A lot of our practical jokes involved physical actions which resulted in the receiver going “Ow, ouch” and glaring fiercely while rubbing their arm.
This beautiful calendar art was created by Sue Zipkin, produced by Hopper Studios, and I will be sad to see it go. However, its final words are encouraging “Embrace Change”. How many of us will actually do that next year?
“A year from now you will wish you had started today.” — Karen Lamb
It would seem natural to present your writing in a positive manner but it’s often hard to do. Sometimes it can be easier to shrink away, to be shy or introverted, and other times quite difficult not to be self-effacing, apologetic or too polite. Regardless of what you’re offering, present a positive attitude to the world. I don’t mean a pushy pitch or aggressive behaviour, and it’s usually of no benefit to be bold to the point of belligerence, but tell yourself to be positive and you will be met with a greater degree of interest.
Just as my Grandma used to say “Don’t hide your light under a bushel”, and school teachers cajoled us to “smarten that attitude”, the following example of loss-and-gain is what I observed one Saturday morning at my local shopping centre.
It was Fundraising Week for a local youth group and they were selling sweet biscuits. Their traditional biscuits are round, flat and stamped with an insignia. This time they were also offering chocolate chip, shortbread, gluten free, etc, and the stall outside the supermarket was groaning with packets of enticing treats. The girls were in their uniforms, with neat hair and shiny faces. They proudly showed me the products on sale, offered me a sample and told me the pricing. It was such a pleasant encounter that I purchased several packets.
As I walked back to my car, I turned a corner and nearly bumped into more members of the group selling the same biscuits. They had the packets of biscuits on the flagstones and were standing with arms by their sides, eyes down, embarrassed by the shoppers walking past. No display, no smiles, no attempt to present themselves or their product in a good light. I think one shopper took pity and bought a packet, telling the girls to keep the change. The response was mumbled. Too late, a group leader came along as I was leaving.
Naturally I don’t expect everyone to be a salesperson, I understand those girls were daunted by the prospect, finding themselves in a situation outside their comfort zone. Nevertheless, they needed a positive-outlook boost because they represented an organisation, whereas writing is a personal extension of you – but surely it’s the same? You write for a reason, get it out there, let it go!
In my experience, being positive about your work brings confidence along for the ride.
A humorous periodic table illustrating the highs and lows of a writer’s life. Word choices and re-writing seem to be part of it but if you are a genius with talent, you’ve got it made! I’ll stick with the hard work and dream my dreams.