Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You Vote When You Buy

It is significantly true that more and more people are becoming aware of the connections between our economies and famines, extreme weather patterns and clear cut forestlands, pollution and population, and more and more people are beginning to wonder what the solutions might be. It’s an exhaustive chore to comprehend just a small amount of the problems facing our world, so a hearty ‘THANKS’ goes out to the many who have found small ways to make this world a better place. Here is a small way a small thing can make a big difference…

Joanne and I always like to spend our money in significant ways. We like to buy fruits and vegetables from our local farmers. By buying locally grown, in season produce we are supporting an industry that does not need a lot of resources to exist. A can of tomatoes from California needs to be processed, packaged, crated, carted, driven and driven and driven and all of this is unnecessary and harmful to the environment. By buying local we are getting the produce straight from the farmer with no processing, packaging or crating.

This is one of the many farmers markets that exists here in London. Jo’ and I were asked to bring a fruit tray to the party we were going to that night and we got a little bit of everything: blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon and plums. I think that this is my favourite time of the year. Our house is never as abundant with fruit as it is in August. The blueberries that Joanne and I picked a few weeks ago were – possibly – the finest tasting blueberries I have ever had. I will be enjoying them until next spring in my weekend pancakes.

Joanne and I love our fruits and veggies and we also enjoy a little chicken and bacon. The farmer’s market is great for that, too – no styrofoam!

When I’m at my local supermarket I’m amazed at the wastefulness of many things. In the meat section, each two-person portion is individually wrapped in a styrofoam container. I think about how many styrofoam packages will be bought in this store today, then in all the stores in London, then Canada, then the world and it almost seems sadly comical to picture all the millions of packages that are used for such a brief period of time ending up in our landfills, poisoning our land and water.

I believe that a great change is needed by all manufacturers to make sure that their products and all parts associated with the production, distribution and consumption of their products do no harm to our environment. I believe that a great change is needed by all consumers to realize the significance of simplicity to reduce wasteful packaging.


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