Like it should be
I have a recurring dream that I’ve died and gone to an afterlife processing centre.
From a chute above a small mountain of rubbish about the size of a family home is dumped in front of me.
I stare at it and somehow I know this is everything I’d ever thrown away in my life.
A neatly dressed Scandinavian man standing nearby tells me this is the assessment for getting into heaven.
I look up at my rubbish mountain – there are plastic building blocks, clothes, shoes, batteries, toasters, mobile phones, stick blenders, laptops, TV’s, several garden hoses, shade cloth, a blow up mattress, a foot pump, car tyres, several old couches, but mostly it’s plastic packaging, so much plastic packaging.
The plastic rustles as the enormous pile settles. My Scandinavian friend looks at me with a pained, apologetic expression as if my assessment is not going well.
A wave of terrible guilt floods my being and I resign myself to an endless fiery torment, most likely fuelled by my own mountain of rubbish.
Sometimes, instead of these Catholic-upbringing inspired self-flagellations, I wish my sub-conscious would investigate how we could collectively make things better.
It’s a question Charith and Michele Senanayake asked themselves when they set up Island Home last year.
After spending a decade and a half working in war-affected communities in Northern Sri Lanka the pair returned to Carlton with the challenge of creating a zero waste, zero carbon social enterprise.
Wanting to share the food traditions of Charith’s mother, grandmother and the village communities they’d worked with but not knowing how to package it right – their zero waste solution had literally been under their noses for the past fifteen years – the banana leaf.
In Sri Lanka and around the world Indigenous and village-based communities have been using banana leaf food wrapping for thousands of years – the idea has recently begun to catch on with some supermarkets in Thailand and Vietnam replacing plastic produce bags with banana leaf wrapping.
The other day Charith came and steamed up a few banana leaf pockets at the Fair Food warehouse and blew us away with his smoky sweet curry, dhal, red rice & chutney.
Charith and Michele’s Jungle Curry consists of low-GI heirloom red rice or organic lemongrass Basmati, paired with a Jackfruit curry alongside a selection of seasonal organic and locally grown produce.
To cook a banana leaf wrapped curry you either bake it in an oven for 30 minutes or place it in a hot steamer for 20 minutes or microwave for 3 minutes.
Then you just untie, unwrap and enjoy and pop the banana leaf in the compost at the end.
Initially we’re trialling Island Home’s banana-leaf wrapped Jungle Curry for our Friday deliveries only.
To order, set your delivery day to Friday and they will appear in stock – on other days they appear out-of-stock.
Island home are also Zero Carbon – Charith and Michele say for every four of their meals they plant and maintain a rainforest tree in vulnerable Daintree and Sri Lankan ecosystems.
We want your plastic bottles
Lastly, we’re putting the call out for your clear plastic bottles.
We currently deliver hundreds of plastic bottles per week as ice packs – even though around 65 % of these come back we’d rather reuse and sterilise your existing water, drink or milk bottles than buy new ones.
Here’s what we’re looking for;
o Plastic bottles 1 litre or under
o Lid on
o Food Grade (water, drink or milk bottles)
Just leave your plastic bottles out in your empty eskies or with your flat-packed Fair Food box and we’ll pick them up when we drop off your next order.
Have a great week