Waste is a human Invention... there is no waste in nature

Clive explains how our waste is a symptom of an unsustainable lifestyle

There is remarkable truism which is devastating for Homo sapiens to comprehend there is no waste In nature. But Australians create 2.7 tonnes of waste a year. That’s 7.5kg per day and yet we only consume about 1kg of solid food, fruit, vegetables and meat each day! So 6.5kg of our daily waste is packaging, which is a shocking indictment of our consumer-driven lifestyle.
Just one rubbish bin a year
David Cavagnaro from Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa and the late permaculture guru Bill Mollison, set the gold standard for all of us by leading truly sustainable lifestyles … they each filled just one rubbish bin a year!
The contrast between the profligate Australian consumer lifestyle and the sustainable one is staggering. When you grow your own food, it doesn’t need packaging; but this wasteful national figure rarely applies to gardeners (including Penny and I as we buy almost no processed food or consumer goods) because we, like all gardeners, compost our food scraps and garden prunings.
When did our waste problem begin?
This modern corruption of our ecological system began with the industrial revolution, from the 1750s onwards, but it really gained momentum when consumer marketing took off in the early 1960s. Marketing gurus persuaded consumers to give up our partially-sustainable lifestyles. This was exemplified by the ubiquitous supermarket tomato travelling 3,000km south from Bowen to replace homegrown, fresh food with heavily processed and packaged food for convenience.
Nature recycles everythingWhen a tree falls or an animal or insect dies, it becomes the nutrients for the next generation of plants thereafter. Rocks decay, which helps provide the minerals to combine with the organic matter to create new soils.There is no waste in nature, everything is recycled. The gaseous carbon in the atmosphere is dragged down to the earth through photosynthesis to feed living plants that in turn feed the animals which are eventually recycled back into the earth after decay, in a cyclic process of renewal. Without plants there would be no animals.
Dinosaurs roaming Federal parliament
We are being led by people who have no idea of how our planetary system works. They are arrogant and ignorant of how close to calamity our out of balance ecological system is to creating an unsustainable planet.
There is no time to waste
I was brought up to believe my primary task was to prepare my children for a better future. As I got older, I began to worry about the future of my children’s children.Toxic Tony started the nonsense as conservatives, who should be conservationists, overturned the carbon tax to enable miners and corporates to bolster their bottom lines.If we compost our food scraps and bury our prunings using trench composting techniques (image below),we should be able to cut the volume of waste by half. By buying unprocessed food, shopping for fruit and vegetables beyond what we grow and using only recycled bags or boxes, we can dramatically reduce waste almost immediately.

Christmas Festive Magazine - Out Now

Bulbs for Autumn gardens & a 20 page christmas gift guide lift out! what more could you want this festive season!

More >>


“I want to get people out into the garden”

Georgina Reid visits Michael Bates’ striking Sydney garden

“This garden solves all its problems with plants”

Georgina Reid visits Ian McMaugh’s jungle courtyard in the urban subtropics

A brief reflection

Stephen Forbes (a Diggers Director) shares his experience as the former Director of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia

All in a day’s work

The Heronswood kitchen garden produces an enormous 3,000kg of organic produce each year. How do we know? Because everything is meticulously weighed and measured.

An oasis of green in the bush

Clive Blazey introduces this secluded getaway, not far from Daylesford and Ballarat

Biddulph Grange: one of the wonders of the Victorian age

Heronswood gardener and Botanica tour leader, Julie Willis, visits a masterpiece rescued by the National Trust UK

Botanica Spring Garden (Japan)

Clive Blazey visits Japan for the Botanica Spring Garden tour

Botanical Ark (Daintree, Australia)

Clive Blazey visits Alan and Susan Carle's beautiful garden in the Queensland rainforest

Castel Ruggero (Chianti, Italy)

Margaux's family create perfect harmony, “A living personification of my mother and father”

Choosing perennial flowers for the

wilder parts of the garden

Cloudehill (Olinda, Australia)

Owner and garden creator Jeremy Francis takes us through the four seasons at Cloudehill

Collecting Amazon Lilies in the wild

Andrew Carrick tells the story of re-establishing lilies in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Create a summer flowering perennial border

Julie Willis creates Heronswood’s summer perennial border and explains its subtleties.

Cruden Farm (Langwarrin, Australia)

John Christie tells us why trees are an integral part of the gardens at Cruden Farm

Designing landscapes

Landscape designer Keith Edwards explains how he designs

Gardening can change the world

Georgina Reid wonders why we don’t value the natural world

Gardening is about progression

“Gardening is a progression beyond the innocent cultivation of obvious plants” clive blazey

Gardening with Biologicals

Stephen Forbes explains the importance of what we can’t see in our gardens

Gardens By The Bay (Singapore)

Clive Blazey introduces the wonders of Singapore's Gardens by the Bay

Growing 200 fruit trees in your backyard

Marcelle Swanson visits inner-city fruit grower and author Louis Glowinski

Heronswood (Australia)

Is Heronswood one of the world's finest gardens?

Meet Australia's citrus gurus - The Tolleys from Renmark

Clive Blazey discovers a garden where citrus, dates, mangoes, peaches and apples thrive

Moira’s Garden (Gaza)

Andrew Laidlaw describes how the first Global Garden of Peace is taking shape in Gaza

Ninfa (Lazio, Italy)

Clive Blazey visits the 'world's most romantic garden', the inspirational Ninfa in Italy

Q&A with Heronswood's Gardeners

Get to know Heronswood's talented gardeners

Sissinghurst gardens is given the kiss of life

Tommy Garnett, our finest garden writer, describes the redemption of Sissinghurst

Szálás (Subotica, Serbia)

Ines Balint shares a special garden connection and love of food with her family in Serbia

The grandfather of citriculture

Marcelle Swanson talks to world-renowned citrus expert Ian Tolley about his life's opus ‘Commonsense Citrus’

Three up and coming gardeners

Tony Fawcett explains why an outstanding gardener should be on every farmer’s list of go-to gurus

Tim Entwisle's Top 10 Favourite Plants

The Director of Melbourne's Botanic Gardens shares his botany of desire!

Two hundred years of hard gardening experience

Clive Blazey talks with Will Ashburner and Frank Broersen

Vegie gardening from Alaska to the Sunshine Coast

Kevin Redd doesn’t follow the rules, choosing to experiment with the vegies he loves, no matter what his climate.

Warrior for environmental change

Marcelle Swanson asks Joost Bakker about his philosophies for a sustainable future

Wildflower Meadow

One of our biggest aims at Diggers is to ensure that gardeners succeed.

Wisley (Surrey, UK)

Lisa Remato visits the inspiring RHS garden at Wisley

Related Authors

Clive Blazey

Clive is the founder of The Diggers Club, a pioneer in the rescue of heirloom vegetable and fruit varieties and author of seven books on flower, vegetable and fruit gardening.

Related Magazine

Festive Magazine 2018

Bulbs for Autumn Gardens, 30 page Christmas gift Guide & why the wilderness is so precious to us!
Back To Top
Member Exclusives
Majestic Oaks Collection
Majestic Oaks Collection
Diggers curated collection for majestic Oaks. Pack contains 5 trees. Varieties include Algerian Oak, Swamp White Oak, Turkey Oak, Bur Oak and Sawtooth Oak.
Member $59.95
Checking stock, please wait..
If you are just starting out with heirloooms, or just can't make up your mind, then let us do the choosing for you with this selection of our iconic heirlooms. Collection includes 1 packet each of: Lazy Housewife Bean, Purple Dragon Carrot, Tommy Toe Tomato, Golden Bantam Corn (Not WA) (WA - Pumpkin Heirloom Mix), Moon & Stars Watermelon, Five C...
Member $19.95
Non-Member $24.95
Checking stock, please wait..
2yr membership +FREE vegie seeds
2yr membership +FREE vegie seeds
Membership: MNE2VS
Grow the best tasting vegies with free Tomato 'Tigerella, Beetroot 'Bulls Blood, Silverbeet 'Fordhook' and Spring Onion 'Red' seeds (one packet of each, valued at $21).
Member $79.00
Non-Member $79.00
Checking stock, please wait..