It’s funny how one thing leads to another.
Take, for example, consumerism. At the outset of the Clean Bin Project, we decided that we wanted to buy less stuff. That lead to us taking a better look at packaging and trying to reduce that too. Then the whole darn thing became a “zero waste” project, and the non-consumerism became more of a means to help us achieve our goal of no landfill waste.
But even stranger, is where we’ve gone since then. It seems that once you get passionate about a single issue (for me, consumerism and waste), pretty soon you find yourself thinking about all kinds of topics that are somehow related. Take, for example, eating local.
I originally started shopping more at the farmers market in a simple attempt to avoid food packaging. But as I got to know the faces of our local food producers, I started to feel loyal to certain stalls, and I started to feel really good about buying fresh, local, organic food. The packaging thing was still important, but frequenting the market instilled other values in me as well. I love the sense of community, the knowledge that we are buying the freshest possible product, and the fact that we are directly supporting the local economy.
Don’t get me wrong, I was a fan of farmers markets before the Clean Bin Project, but I was only a casual browser. A couple tomatoes here, a piece of fancy cheese there. By sunday night, I’d be at the supermarket getting “regular” supplies for the rest of the week.
Our project made me realize that the markets are a real food source instead of just a lovely saturday afternoon activity. Now I grocery shop at the farmers market, trying to buy enough (package-free) apples, broccoli, eggs, and bread to last me until the next week. (In the winter, when it runs only every two weeks, I have to really stock up.)
And, as one thing contagiously leads to another, buying fresh food has also made me more dedicated to growing fresh food. This year, as I gear up to plant my veggie garden, I’m already getting excited about choosing which varieties of local and organic seeds to sow.
So, although I never would have predicted it, our little project in zero waste has turned me on to local food in a big way.
What’s your latest passion?
7 responses to “It’s Contagious”
This is the thing that bothers me about people saying that such-and-such an action does not make a difference. The reality is that one small thing, like taking a bag to the grocery store, will lead you to start thinking a little more responsibly, like maybe walking or biking to the store, rather than driving. They add up quickly, and sooner or later you’re advocating for something that a year or two ago you didn’t give a second thought.
It’s true. I used to get bagged salads all the time without a second thought, and now I can’t imagine myself doing that.
Good points. It’s true you never know where things will lead. I heard of three people who last year each filled a bin with garbage (like we all do). Now two of them are planning to cycle across Canada, selling DVDs or something! Makes you think…
Eating local has become my passion as well. A good “read” on that topic is The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J.B. MacKinnon. I find myself constantly on the look-out for local growers & farm markets, even the hand-written signs at the side of the road advertising fresh eggs has me intrigued (although I haven’t found the nerve to just drive in to investigate yet….)
I love that book! Other super inspiring food reads include Animal Vegetable Miracle or Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Definitely stop for the local eggs!
I’ve been reading through the archives (so yes, I know this is an older post).
Waste-free is my new interest.;p
I started off with going no-poo, with the idea that it would help to stop my hair swinging between oily and dry, and help with my dandruff. I googled other people’s experiences, found your short post about it, and then had a look at a few others on this blog. Then I started looking at the links you provided, and now I’m saving up crisp packets to send to the Phillipines and checking out my local council’s website for nearby recycling facilities.
This has all been in the last two weeks, and I now have hair like a silken waterfall.:D