Fraud Blocker


‘Disposable’ is a 2013 finalist in the Head On Portrait Prize.

What are we really throwing away?

Every year, while so many go without, the global community disposes of countless forests, country-sized areas of plastic bottles, mountains of mobile phones and all manner of physical items that at the time of their acquisition had material monetary and intrinsic value. And what’s worse, many of these items still have enormous value at the time of their disposal.

Australians alone dispose of 20 per cent of all food purchased, estimated at a whopping $8 billion annually. Yes, that’s 400 million tonnes of it – and this doesn’t even count the enormous resources in the form of food and water used in the production process. While this is a convenient yardstick by which to measure what we are wasting, we are all guilty of disposing much more.

Really, what are we throwing away?

Every year, on December 31, billions of people globally undertake new starts, implement new frameworks and encourage new ideas, only to have the sun rise over the day and set on their resolve. I stuck with a New Year’s resolution once and it was the worst week of my life.

We are really throwing it away.

Every moment spent arguing, focusing on the seemingly important however objectively unimportant, missing opportunities, not loving, not caring and not pursuing and interrogating your deepest and most broad thoughts and ideas, you are throwing away more than you think.


Call your mum, tell her you love her, buy the person in line behind you their coffee (yours will taste that much better), take a moment to think, drive a little slower, pat a passing dog, smile at a stranger, and never ever look down on someone unless you are reaching to help them up. Don’t throw it away, it’s not wasted until you waste it.


David Stefanoff


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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage