A great book from the past predicts the future.
Being sustainable is about only buying what you need, thus you waste nothing on pointless junk, but what about production of consumer products? A book by Edward Bellamy in 1887 called Looking Backward, which predicted a utopian future in the year 2000 influenced me on the subject of waste. The book caused a sensation in its day, and correctly predicted inventions such as the credit card. You can read the PDF of Looking Backward here.
Looking Backward presented me with two ideas that I liked about reducing waste. The packaging of food is a serious problem to the environment, and so is the wastage of up to 50% of food in the retail and the home. Looking Back presented the idea of kitchens where people could from a menu at home order a meal in advance, which would be cooked and presented at the highest possible standard, that the family would eat at the kitchens, a type of community restaurant. Nobody in the future eats at home, all the meals eaten at the kitchens.
These kitchens are an excellent idea on cutting down waste. If a farm can move freshly picked apples to ozone-storage, the food in the storage stage is without waste. The release of ozone-stored food matches need, thus an order for the day of 50 apples from a kitchen means that supply can meet an exact demand with no wastage, the kitchen cooks the food the same day it came out of storage. Since everyone is eating at the kitchens, there is hardly any packaging involved, it is unlikely anyone will waste the food they ordered. No longer is there a need for food retail stores or cooking at home People could order via internet their food, the meals are then ready at an agreed time for the family or individual to eat at the highest possible standard in the kitchens, the food is fresh, local and organic.
Looking Backward describes beautiful architectural buildings where a customer can visit and make orders for items such as clothing. The customer is patient, ordering any item they need, which the factory will manufacture on order to the highest standard meeting the individual needs of the customer. The factory wastes nothing, since they carry no excess stock and only manufactures durable high standard products on receipt of orders. The manufacturer has no need for salespeople as there are no excess unwanted stock to sell.