Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grocery shopping

Today I went grocery shopping. I thought I was well prepared. I had been on the internet to the Fightback website and written which brands to buy next to each item on my list. My husband and I discussed whether it would be preferable to buy local with more packaging or imported with less should that choice need to be made and decided on the former.

I decided to shop at Foodland because it's a South Australian company and seems to support local companies. Things aren't as they seem, however, and my outing soon opened a can of worms. It became apparent almost immediately that many of the brands I'd written down aren't being carried by my local Foodland. That got me wondering whether it was preferable to buy either imported items or locally made items owned by a foreign company at Foodland or to try to buy those items at Woolies, a multinational company. I stuck with Foodland, only popping into Woolies to buy Madura loose leaf tea which was not stocked at Foodland.

And then there was the dog food ... I ended up buying a local brand but could only get small tins. I usually buy big tins of an Australian produced, overseas owned brand. Each tin I put in my trolley made me shudder. So much energy used to produce/recycle those tins. My inner greenie died a small death.

And all of that raises the question of whether it is preferable to use the necessary petrol to travel further afield to find more local products. Irony.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It All Begins

I'm still trying to navigate this blogsite so there's no telling how this - my first blog - is going to turn out. Sometimes you've just got to take a deep breath and dive into the unknown.

I decided to start a blog to track some lifestyle changes we've decided to make, in case anyone else was of like mind. I guess it's been building for quite some time. There are many issues I feel strongly about and two of them are how quickly we, as humans, are consuming the finite resources of the world and how the need to consume often outweighs the need to think about where our products have some from.

After talks with the family, it was clear that they felt the same way. Our goals are to reduce our impact on the world's resources and to try to buy - where possible - goods produced as locally as possibly by Australian owned companies, second hand or ethically produced items. Hence the name of the blog. We want to leave both large and small footprints.

We decided to start small. Our reasoning was that if we have success and find it easy it will be easier to stick with it and we can up the ante later if we wish.

Monday was the first day and I hadn't realized until we'd started what gratuitous consumers of energy we were. When I list what we've done so far, some of you will wonder what all the fuss is about because you've already been doing it for ages. Others, I suspect, will think we're leftist, tree hugging bleeding hearts. Those are labels I can live with!

So far this week the weather has smiled on us. Maybe the earth is trying to make it easier for us. The weather has given me no excuse to use my clothes dryer or drive Louis to and from school. Those are two of my biggest vices and I'm proud to write that this week the dryer has not been used once and that Louis has been walked home every day and walked to school today.

Other changes we've made so far are to make sure all lights, appliances and heating vents not in use are off. Instead of heating the entire house we're only heating the rooms we're in and closing off the others. It embarrasses me to think we haven't been doing this all along. When I change the pets' water each day I now pour the old water into a bucket with my used tea leaves and water a lucky pot plant. I hope they're enjoying their caffeine fix. On Tuesday, I needed to run some errands so I took the bus to Marion instead of driving. I needed to buy some cards and wrapping paper so I bought the latter and used it to make matching cards remembering that I had some card left over from a recent project. Someone I know just had a baby and I bought the baby a gift pack of baby products from a local company that uses organic ingredients and doesn't test on animals. I've even been washing my hands in cold water instead of waiting for it to heat up. Brrrr.

On Monday evening there was nothing on TV and instead of channel surfing, Callum joined me in bed with our respective books. The next thing we knew, Louis had climbed in between us with his own book.

Tomorrow I plan to shop. I'll let you know how that goes.