I don’t know about you, but I had some pretty strange eating quirks growing up. Along with some random preferences like only eating the hot chips with pointy ends and rejecting pink marshmallows, my biggest (and most frustrating!) idiosyncrasy that Mum despaired of was my refusal to eat the ‘last’ of things.

Little bit of jam left in the pot? I’d open another one. Scraping of margarine? I’d look for the new container. Drizzle of milk? No thanks! I even refused to eat the end of my bananas, carefully hiding it in the peel and throwing it away.

So when I first came across the concept of ‘all-consuming’ I’m sorry to say I wasn’t an early adopter. I was a little put off the idea of, as it literally means, using all of everything. Nothing wasted, nothing thrown out. Every last drop squeezed out of the toothpaste.

‘Eat all of my bananas?’ I thought. It seemed revolutionary! I’d been throwing away the last of things for as long as I could remember. Something in me labelled them as the ‘dregs’ and they just didn’t appeal.

But the more I thought about the concept, the more I realised how that applies to not just food (which we apparently discard $750mil worth of needlessly each year). It’s a perspective on all the stuff in our lives. Our attitude towards what we buy and own. How we take care of it. What we do when things are no longer interesting or exciting to us.

Clothes. Shoes. Furniture. Jewellery. Toys. Electronics. Books.

Do we choose to reuse them, recreate them, pass them on, donate them, up-cycle them, all-consume them … or just chuck them out?

The earth is an amazing all-consumer. Nothing gets wasted in nature, just turned into something else.

Maybe we can learn how to do this too.

I’m inching my way there – eating every bite of a banana was the first step for me.

It’s time to make a difference, see the intrinsic value in everything, and …

Be an All-Consumer