Spreading the word, one consumerist action at a time

May 16, 2008 at 5:23 pm 2 comments

Ack, I am in danger of becoming everything I hate!

Well, not quite. Not everything. But, while I was supposed to be typing up the boring AGM I had to sit and look clever during yesterday, I’ve been coming up with ideas for the as yet undetermined event I’m trying to organise and it is soooo hard not making it just a list of things to buy!

On the one hand, we do, like it or not, live in a consumer economy and what we do with our money and who we choose to give it to is one of the most influential ways we can make a difference: if I can get people to spend £16 on a local veg box instead of with T*sco I will indeed consider it a victory; and while being ‘green’ is generally about not buying stuff, or at least buying less stuff, some green things do require a start-up cost of some description. At Andy and Dave’s talk in Swindon, someone did indeed stand up and say, ‘I have loads of tires if someone wants them to grow potatoes in,’ but as the organisers, we can’t rely on that, whereas we can rely on Wiggly Wigglers, the Real Seed Company, Tamar Organics and the garden centre on Forest Road being there. I’d love it if someone got up and said, ‘Yes, I have a zillion pallets in my garden and all the residents of Wokingham can help themselves and make compost bins.’ But, this is suburbia. It’s unlikely. It’s far more likely people will say, ‘Oh, £20 from the council, I can buy a dalek.’

Also, I wouldn’t want to get a Mooncup off Freecycle. That’s one of the few things where the smell of fresh packaging is very welcome.

Furthermore, there’s lots of information out there: there’s little point me writing yet another ’10 Easy Ways to Save Money and Save Energy Around the Home!’ as if anybody is interested in energy conservation, they’ll probably find it quite easy to access information about such dizzyingly exciting things as turning lights off or insulating their loft. Everybody knows this, what I want is to say, ‘Here is somewhere you can get loft insulation – what’s your excuse?’

I want to inspire car shares, seed and plant swaps, toy libraries, craft groups, toolshares, but short of having a sheet where people can sign up, there’s little we can do in advance.

And so all I seem to have is links to veg box schemes, times and locations of markets, food coops, the cycle shop, where you can buy vinegar in bulk, places that sell Ecover and people making and selling every type of reusable sanpro known to humanity. Citizens of Berkshire, part with your hard-earned cash and save the planet while feeling fuzzy inside!

Ah well, I’m working on part two, now, wrestling with Word* to create a calendar of seasonal veg and tips on cooking it, particularly the wintry stuff. If anyone has any inspiring ideas/recipes for potatoes, carrots, turnips, swede, kale, celeriac, cauliflower and broccoli (especially turnips as we vetoed them!!), no matter how simple, please leave them as a comment or email me, sproutingbroccoli at gmail dot com.

*Word, like most of Windows, seems to behave exceptionally well so long as what you want to do coincides exactly with what it thinks you want to do. As soon as you start to express your dissent, you suddenly find your sub-headings splattered across the screen. Blah.

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Entry filed under: community, FOE. Tags: , .

Extremely frugal with food. Don’t like meringues. Hah!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rachel  |  May 19, 2008 at 11:06 am

    hey Hamster, you’re more than welcome to add me to your blog roll…you’d be the first as far as i know!!. i shall do the same with you!.
    like the look of the new blog layout…shall have a good ole nose later when i have more time.
    kiwirach.

    Reply
  • 2. Karen  |  May 29, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Great post and thanks for the mention. Have you had a look at The Rubbish Diet blog, which has loads of really useful suggestions?

    http://therubbishdiet.blogspot.com/

    Reply

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The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."

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