When looking at the oranges at the supermarket this morning I suddenly clicked at the power of my actions. There were some wrinkly looking, yellow NZ oranges or some plump, bright and unblemished USA ones. What to buy. Then it occured to me. What the heck are we doing with fruit that really only keeps for a few days all the way from America when we have some perfectly good oranges from up the road.
A few revelations have occured in my medium sized brain this week. More than usual. And all pretty fundamental to how I want to live my life. The biggest being 'that just because things are the way they are or seem the norm, doesn't mean that they are right'.
As I've been looking more into the concept of self sufficiency or even just workling less and living a healthy happy life I've realized there are a few adjustments that need to be made.
I currently work around 25 hours a week, but working less doesn't mean life is any easier. I have definately noticed there can be a slower pace and more satisfaction in the daily routines and tasks that I do. When some one say's "I don't have time to plant a bunch of tomato plants and water them" I say "I don't have time to go to the supermarket when I need some." I suppose it's all choices and preferences.
I don't want to feel controlled by what I have to do to get by or what I need to pay for. This does mean there are sacrifices to be made. This has all seemed fine while the weathers been warm and there's plenty of fun to be had outside and with friends. I am however a little worried about the implications this will have on me in the winter. When the days can be grey and unmotivating and things just seem a little more grim. But I think the current way of living isn't and never is going to be sustainable.
Things that I need to or have changed are...
- biking to work and only using the car when its a necessity
- reducing 'entertainment' cost's such as shows, travel, movies and outings
- not eating out (toooo much)
- eating seasonal, local food and growing your own
- having less things and reducing the ongoing cost's they all take
These will all challenge me and I'm sure I'll flake at times but the mentality change has been refreshing and I'm much more aware that the systems in place that seem harmless may not be a very healthy option.
Even buying tomatoes and corgette's in the middle of winter might not seem like a biggie but the oil required to get them halfway across the world and the markup you have to pay are backwards steps in trying to cut down cost's and our foot prints. This looks like an insignificant thing but its the expectation we have created and it spreads across most area's. We can and we do have everything here and now even if its against's natures rythms.
I suppose all I ask of you is to question your action's and maybe see the significance in what you do.
And for the record, my NZ orange I ate this morning was the sweetest juiciest one I've had all summer.
Some treats you might find in your garden if you feel like giving it a go
All the best, Al x