Posts tagged ‘waste’

Such a waste

Sometimes (and perversely), one of the things that gives me most hope for Western society is that there is so much inefficiency into the system that we have a lot of slack to play around with before things really start to bite. So many people waste so much food that we can start using that third of all the food we buy, which will stave off the effects of the food shortages. Most of our houses are so shockingly insulated and we’re so shockingly wasteful with energy, that there are a lot of insulating and efficiency measures we can put in place before absolute shortages of fuel kick in. We import a lot of food, but we also export a lot: the Transition Handbook is currently chez a friend from FOE so I can’t find the figures, but it’s something along the utterly insane lines that we import virtually the same amount of wheat, flour, butter, milk, lettuces etc as we export, so that food is still there, being produced in our country, to step into the place of imports, should it ever become necessary or strike someone as sensible. As I commented, driving back from watching Crude Awakening through the 1960s ‘new town’ of Bracknell, the saving grace of suburbia is the huge expanses of manicured lawns by the sides of the roads and at junctions that could be turned over to food production if necessary.

I’m not pretending inefficiency is a good thing or that it isn’t contributing in a huge way to the problem, but sometimes I wonder if it might offer us a cushion, a more gentle way in to being sustainable.

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May 10, 2008 at 9:10 am Leave a comment


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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."