If I was a better blogger, I would’ve let you know about it before it started so you could gear up for a whole lot of low-carbon living this week. But as you know, the cobbler’s children have no shoes and such is the case for poor Lindsay’s List, always twelfth in line behind my work at Transition Voice and ghostwriting or making websites for others.
So, apology over. Here I am now.
You are what you eat
And, taking a page from MTV’s famous Unplugged acoustic music series, I have a suggestion that can help you be a last-minute part of No Impact Week even in some small, but quite important way. And that’s your food.
The great thing about Food, Unplugged, which I am defining as local, unpackaged food generally speaking, is that not only does it provide the maximum nutrition, and fewest calories, but when locally sourced and purchased, it arrives with the fewest carbon miles. This matters for several reasons.
When people talk about carbon miles, the general notion refers to not despoiling our planet. Love earth and be kind to the environment. Well, sure, I’m on board with that. But that view exemplifies the human tendency toward atomistic thinking — parceling out elements into their own categories and not making links between things. It also makes the issue big and impersonal. To save the earth is a huge, overwhelming task.
It’s all connected
The bottom line is that when we add carbon miles to our food supply line we also imperil our own health by adding that much more toxic pollution to the air we breathe and the water we drink. By contrast, buying unpackaged foods — produce, bulk, and package-optional foods like cheese, meats and fish (you can bring your own reusuable container to these counters) — helps you lessen the waste impact on your locality, too, keeping it and you, healthier.
So, if you make your first motivation to source organically grown local foods for your own health, you do get more wholesome food, but at the same time, you cut your carbon footprint significantly across a few fronts without feeling so overwhelmed by the act of doing good.
Here’s the catch. We all want a banana once in a while, but we don’t all live in the Caribbean. We all want OJ, but we don’t all live in Florida. Lessening your carbon footprint calls for you to know from which local sources you can get your potassium and vitamin C and other sources of nutrition. It also requires the self-discipline and willingness to forgo other more exotic (and tasty and delightful) choices.
It’s all about who you want to be, your values, and your world. Argh, decisions decisions!
— Lindsay Curren, Lindsay’s List