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What's my home worth?

Examining the waste

Having developed, in recent years, a desire to be a better global citizen, less wasteful and more caring for the planet on whose surface we scrabble, I was particularly struck by a recent event.

Peter Matthews

I should say at this point that I live in a house with my wife and four teenagers.

I walked into the kitchen to find a sizeable portion of the fridge's contents on the bench; this was scene of a lockdown clear-out. Now, I am regularly to be found toasting the crusts of bread for breakfast because no one else will eat them. We buy toast slice, supermarket brand, wholemeal bread for the kids because they routinely go through a loaf a day, along with a box of eggs. However they seem to be unable to eat the crusts. The bread bags which contain two opposing crusts appear to multiply in the fridge and now there were a good half dozen of them on the bench, along with three large yoghurt pots, various left-overs, and halves of onion and avocado - there might also have been shrivelled sections tomato and ends of cucumber but not at winter prices.

So the bread I knew about. The vegetables, well - that's all of us not being as frugal as we should. The left-overs, understandable since the eyes of a teenager, much like those of dinosaurs in Hollywood movies, are unable to detect any foodstuff which is not actually jumping out at them.

The thing that confused me was the yoghurt pots, at varying stages of consumption - now all well past it.

It so happens that I had recently complained to anyone near enough to hear me about the bunch of browning bananas in a fruit bowl by the kitchen window, but still I didn't get it. I am sure everyone knows that there is a very slim window of opportunity in which a banana may be consumed. This comprises the period of about seven minutes just as the last tinge of green disappears and the first shade of brown becomes visible to the naked eye.

It turns out that the yoghurt and the bananas cannot be eaten unless we have, in the freezer, a kilo bag of frozen berries (Banana + Yoghurt + Berries = Smoothie, and please rinse the jug; dried on raspberry pips are like bullets) - and we don't, because we, the adults have neglected to re-stock. Never mind the large, empty blackboard wall upon which should be recorded the items to be included in the next shopping, the last of which cost just north of $500 - New Zealand is a great country but expensive to live in. It's also something to do with the supermarkets not discounting anything during times when grocery shopping is just about the only time one gets out of the house - it happened last time and it's been in the news again recently.

Anyway, I hope to be one of those influences which will encourage these young people to be better global citizens. Not sure how it's going so far.

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