Sunday, 26 April 2015

How Locavores Will Save The Planet

This is my entry for the World Environment Day Blogging competition #wedblog2015, share to help me win!

When I go out for food I skip the grocery stores with aisles full of plastic and artificial additives and opt for the Farmer's Market.  When I need new pants I head away from the billboard ads and lit up store fronts and head towards the thrift stores in search of the perfect pair.  And when I need to get somewhere I bike passed the gas stations and truck stops and pedal my way to self sufficiency.  Why would I do that? Because I am a Locavore.

A Locavore is a person who lives and acts by consciously supporting the local economy, building community and being healthy all along the way.  We are the people who read labels to find out where things come from, ask questions about how products and foods are made, and choose local before any other alternative.  Being a Locavore is a sustainable choice for one to make that helps reduce our impact on the environment instead of mainstream consumer lifestyles that abuse it.  While western culture has shifted to a 'don't ask don't tell' model of buying products and food with no idea to how it was produced or where it came from, Locavores take the time to investigate these questions and make more ethical purchasing decisions.

Right now, I am nearly eight months into a year long Locavore project where I have not purchased anything from out side of my province.  I buy clothes from the thrift store, food from the farmer's market, and bike to get around.  By making these switches I have reduced my dependency on fossil fuels and subsequently my footprint.  Products that are bought and sold locally reduce transportation impacts associated with global supply chains. Also, by shopping only from local business I am ensuring that the money I spend goes towards families and neighbours instead of corporations. We also promote the economy by offering jobs and supporting community projects.  By eating locally sourced foods I am reconnecting with my roots and learning about what is native to my bioregion.  My food does not come pre-packaged, doesn't contain ingredients I can't pronounce, and is always fresh.

Locavores create less waste, have a smaller carbon footprint, and are overall more ethical consumers.  If our population continues to rise we will soon have more consumers than ever before.  If more of us were able to begin thinking about consumption and take the steps to improve our behaviours, then it may be possible for us to share this planet.  All around, the Locavore 'diet' or lifestyle is about reconnecting with nature and discovering how people lived years ago that effected their planet less then we do now.  If we continue to consume without thought to our repercussions then the temperatures will continue to rise, forests will continue to disappear, and mutated crops will continue to grow.  All of this will lead to a bleak future for subsequent generations if we continue on the path of blind consumption.

It may seem daunting to give up that half-fat mocha and designer purse for the sake of someone else's survival, but it is entirely possible to live well and be apart of the global economy and live within our means. At the end of the day it will be those little changes in consumer behaviours that will go a long way in changing the world.

Have a lovely day,


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

Monday, 6 April 2015

Letter to a thief

Dear Inconsiderate Thief,

Last week you robbed me. You came into my house in the middle of the night and took my things while I was sleeping. You may have been walking down the street, trying doors hoping for your big break but when you stopped at my house, boy did you get one. You opened my door and crept in in the dead of night all the while disturbingly silent. You snuck out my valuables, one by one, with the help from your buddies or maybe on your own. Then to scare me even more you grabbed my backpack, the contents of which contained my world as I knew it with my wallet and my laptop. You took my favourite ring from the coffee table where I left it the night before having been up late finishing homework (that you also stole), I got it for a bargain in Las Vegas with my gal pals a few years ago. (P.s. It's not worth any money its a fake but I loved it.) You took my rucksack that I backpacked Europe with, again not worth much money but contained so many memories. You also took my camera, my roommates TV, my friends speakers, and our house keys. You tried to take my roommates car but little did you know, it doesn't even start. When you left my door open on your way out you not only scared the bageesus out of us in the morning but may I point out that you wasted energy and added to my heating bill, great.

First of all with two weeks left of a semester your theft was very poorly timed. Not only did you take away every thing I was working on on my laptop but you stole my damn day planner! This set me back a lot and already being the procrastinator that I am my semester is looking glum. Also when you rob a locavore you are not just robbing them of stuff. You are robbing them of the ability to replace those things because they can not purchase them. I cannot just walk into a store and buy a new laptop, it is against my code, instead I've had to constantly check buy sell sites for used equipment and borrow things in the mean time. You stole that time away from me too, and you took away my peace of mind. All week my roommate and I were jumpy, nervous and had trouble sleeping because of you. Especially when we found where you live by the GPS locator on my laptop, knowing you were so close did not help us feel better. Stuff wasn't what mattered to me, but if it helped you or your family live better or get by, then I hope you are happy.

But the jokes on you because you also gave me more then you took.  You left me with the ability to recognize the amazing community I have built in Prince George who were quick to offer help in every form. You brought me closer to friends and pointed out the true ones I had had all along.  You taught me that stuff is replaceable but people are not and I am grateful that we are safe, and maybe safer now that we have new locks and an alarm system. You taught me the importance of insurance, even if I didn't have it thank goodness my Dad did. And you taught me how I want to behave to others, basically the opposite of you.

Oh and thanks for leaving my new bike alone (but you're a jerk for taking the keys to my bike lock)!

Yours truly,

The Locavore

"You can take my laptop but you will never take my freedom!!!!!"- Melanie