Inspirational blog

January 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

I’ve found a great blog recently via INEBG. ‘Auntie Plastic’ set herself the challenge of giving up the supermarkets and not throwing anything away, and I have read her entire account of her experiences right through from beginning to end. It was absolutely fascinating, and has made me realise how much more I could be doing in my own drive to reject consumerism and not produce any waste. I feel like I’m doing so much in comparison to so many people and it’s easy to get complacent, but, if I think about it, I still rely on oil to a frightening degree.

This quotation, from early in the blog, was one I found particularly inspirational. It seems to sum up exactly how I feel in the very concise and accurate way that other, cleverer people often do.

“I am purely selfish in my desire to see Neath regenerated. I cannot walk five miles to pick up my little bit of shopping. I need to retain my independence. I refuse to give a supermarket whose profits go to obscure places my money. I want to give my little bit of money to ther person who will plough their profits back into the town and give me a smile and appreciate my custom and I want people to see the benefits of keeping our local areas alive. In a time of crisis it is these people who will help one another not the supermarkets, who when there is no money to be made will ditch areas without a thought. We need self sufficiency with food.”

I remember when we first moved to Northumberland. I went from being just down the road from Safeway’s and the High Street and a short drive away from Waitrose and a shopping centre to being in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere with a pub the only commercial premises within a 3 mile radius. When we arrived, in 1989/1990, there was, every week, a butcher’s van, a baker’s van, a fish van, a mobile library, a milkman and three buses into Morpeth and back, one on Wednesday (market day), one on Friday and one on Saturday. These services gradually declined and now there is one bus a week, and you have to ring in advance to get it to stop in the village.

There’s a lady who lives in the village who never learnt to drive because she never needed to. Why would she? She had all those services on her doorstep for her day-to-day needs, a garden for fruit and veg, people nearby for eggs, she ran the post office out of her front room, and for everything else, the town was a short bus ride away. How was she supposed to know things would change so much? Now, in the twilight years of her life, widowed and a long way from her children, she has to rely on the kindness of friends and neighbours to give her lifts into town or to pick things up for her. Of course, it’s the sort of friendly place where people still do that kind of thing, but it must be hard, especially as she is still very active and mobile, to be so dependent.

Tricksy supermarkets. They promise us choice, the freedom to buy all these exciting products, offer us service, whereas in reality they have slowly eroded diversity and independence, particularly for the most vulnerable among us.

—————————

At 5 o’clock it was still light enough to see by. We have a box of sprouting beany thingies in the veg box and a UK green pepper (yep, I thought it seemed very early too!). On Sunday, we will have root vegetable gratin and broccoli, but tonight I’m going to do something fresh and green and stir-fried. Tomorrow I will sit down with my gardening notebook and my spade-shy bf and try and interest him in growing things and then order some seeds.

Next week I will try and learn how to write concise blog posts!

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Entry filed under: community, consumerism, local food, supermarkets.

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