Suellen Sankey – Founder & Owner of Blue Lilac – creating organised spaces.

1. What sparked your interest in looking at ways to live a Zero, or near zero, waste life?

While I’ve always been aware of the impact that landfill has on our planet, especially in our waterways, I also had the mindset of “I’m just one person, how could I make a difference”. 

I don’t specifically remember when my mindset change, but I think it would have been around the time I had children. I wanted to teach them good habits and how, what we do with possessions we purchase has outward effects.

  1. Where are you at now on your Zero Waste journey? 

Once my mindset changed, I read about all the different things I could do around our home, and I wanted to do it all, now! I was excited!

But quickly realised, trying to do it all at once, was becoming extremely overwhelming.

I told myself “this is not a sprint, living a life with less waste is a lifelong commitment”, so I am now taking it slow and changing my habits/systems along the way for long term results. 

  1. Growing up, what did you learn about reusing or recycling that you are now passing on to your children?

Being from a large, underprivileged family, most of what was bought as a child was secondhand. Op-Shopping was a common and fun outing…I loved it and still do! 

Clothing, toys, house hold items were not new, but they were very new and exciting to me. 

I regularly take my children to op shops.

Eating takeaway was an extremely rare treat so packaging was not really on our radar back then and if we ate the foods we purchased for the fortnight, we had to make do until next pension day when my parents drove an hour to the supermarket. 

  1. Being a professional organiser, you must see a lot of possessions that leave ones home and are either sold/donated or sent to landfill…how do you decide what goes where? 

My usual process has been to have a container/area for Sell, Donations, Landfill and Paper Shredding. 

However after a tour of a local Lifeline facility, I am currently working on going one step further with the donations and where possible dividing them up between books, clothes and other items. 

Another aspect I believe is very important is to guide and educate my clients on ways to reduce what comes into the home which will reduce the amount that needs to go out. 

  1. What activities/hobbies do you participate in outside of work that help reduce waste? 

I have many so hobbies and most of them relate in someway to using what I already have or buy secondhand. 

Restoring Furniture 

Gardening and worm farm 

Upcycling wooden pallets

“Life should be more about the small changes that we can make towards living a zero waste life, which, when working collectively, can have a big impact”
~ Suellen Sankey (Blue Lilac – creating organised spaces)