Our current (Western) culture promotes a very linear way of using resources:
Produce > Use > Dispose. The result is a lot of resources being used, and a lot of waste being generated. It is wasteful, destructive and irresponsible to people and the environment.
But if we see our waste as under-utilised/unutilised resources, rather than rubbish, we simultaneously eliminate the concept of ‘waste’, make our economies more circular, and incorporate more sustainable consumption patterns.
I was thinking all of this while raking leaves in our garden today. I initially pondered if raking might be a futile chore, as more leaves are going to fall down and it is using my time (which I could be spending doing other things). But then as I considered what I should do with all the leaves, I realised I was not dealing with ‘garden waste’…. no! These leaves were a precious resource. On top of that, it was a free resource, from our City Council no less! What a bargain…