It is the beginning of the month, and that means one thing at our @HomeCrazzyHome – shopping. Bulk shopping to be exact.
Because of my autism, I hate shopping — too many people. So, my coping strategy is to get it all over with for the whole month in a couple of days, doing as much as I can online.
But I try to balance that with my ethos of environmentally-friendly and sustainability. That is not always easy. Especially when it comes to the issue of fresh fruits, vegetables, and especially meats and dairy.
One key strategy that I have found invaluable is our local market. Living in a relatively small city, we do not have an actual ‘farmers’ market.’ But we do have a once-a-month neighborhood one.
It is the perfect opportunity to find fresh, locally grown, and ethically sourced products. For me, this is especially important when I comes to meat and dairy.
While I do not believe that it is morally wrong to eat meat as some of my friends do, (Not getting into that argument here. I respect my friends who do, but not for me.), I do believe that we have a moral responsibility to ensure that animals have a good life before they end up on our plates. That means that I actively seek and will pay more for free-range and humane products.
Now you can find loads of products in the big stores, especially eggs, that claim to be free-range. The problem is that the standards for using that label are too low. Penned-up outside with little space is not good enough for me. I want my chicken running around in wide open spaces.
What I truly want is the respect for animals that I heard in my Nanny’s voice when she and her friend, Miss Ethel, talked about the winter during the Great Depression, when all they had to feed their children was potatoes, onions, and eggs. The way their voices cracked and they paused for a moment of silence when they spoke of killing one hen when she stopped laying eggs. It was a connection for the circle of life that is reminiscent of Native American cultures.
Finding that is not as easy. But the place I have come closest is that local market.
I have gotten to know my suppliers. I have asked questions about the way they treat their animals. And I listen for that unspoken sense of pride that I heard in Nanny’s voice as a child.
But one problem still remained – plastics. And ya’ll know how important that one is to me.
Then I thought of something. Could I get them to put my order in reusable containers? The ones that I have Reused from takeaways.
So, last month, I asked. I spoke with my key suppliers: the turkey man from @CuckooMill, the pig people from @mynyddmawrherd, and my buffalo/venison/lamb people. If I brought my reusable plastic containers and emailed them my order a few days before the market, would they be willing to help me #saveourplanet.
The answer was a resounding, YES. They were all happy to do their part.
So, this weekend was our first step in that direction. It went great (although in the future I won’t leave it to last minute to pick my order up).
What was even better, other customers took notice of what we were doing — even asking questions about it. Fingers crossed it will catch on, which is why I am writing this blog too.
Reducing plastic is HARD! One of the hardest things about living a sustainable life and creating a regenerative culture. Plastics are everywhere. It is virtually impossible to escape.
But with a bit of thought – and the cooperation of some truly amazing people, I put a teeny, tiny dent in it this weekend.
Here’s hoping that others will follow suit.
What other strategies have you found for reducing your plastic footprint?