Positive action

All this recent talk of civil disobedience may be off-putting because it sounds like you are being ‘naughty’, but nothing could be further from the truth… it’s really about using peaceful actions to make a real difference.

You don’t have to break the law (compost those kitchen scraps rather than feed them to the hens!) to have a real impact on the world around you. I’m not talking about on-line petitions or lobbying your MP, I’m talking about hitting people/politicians/corporations where it really hurts: in the wallet. As Anna Lappé – an expert on food systems – says

Every time you spend money you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want*

Your money - your choice. Who do you really want to give it to?

Your money – your choice. Who do you really want to give it to?

We make choices every time that we hand over money for anything. The first question is whether we should make a purchase. We would conserve the earth’s resources much more effectively if, at least sometimes, we questioned our needs. Would it be better to pay to have a particular item mended rather than replacing it with a new one? Easier said than done in many cases, but let’s try.

And having decided to hand over our money, what do we buy? An item that will last a long time and is repairable is surely more sustainable than something we’re going to have to replace quickly. Anything that you’ll only want for a short time because it will go out of fashion is surely playing into the hands of the manufacturers and retailers.

We also have a choice about whether to buy something that is produced locally, or sold by a local retailer. We can think about how products are transported, and how far. We can consider what they are made of, and by whom. There are so many issues that we can take into account, and it can seem overwhelming, but you are making a statement with every single purchase.

Even when money is short, you have choices. It may be cheaper and more sustainable, for example, to buy fresh food direct from the producer than from a supermarket. Where we live, this is true for eggs. Fresh eggs sold at the gate, from free-range hens in small flocks, are cheaper than any supermarket eggs… even the ones from battery hens. We make assumptions that supermarkets will be cheapest, but they aren’t always – check out your local market and you are likely to find very reasonably priced fresh produce.

So before you hand over your hard-earned cash, ask yourself whether you’re giving it (ultimately) to someone who you’d really like to have it.


* Thanks to Linda for reminding me of this quote and thus inspiring me to write this post

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  1. Alex Jones

     /  March 10, 2013

    I am feeling like a rebel and will begin to spend less.



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