Wanting, needing, treading lightly on the earth

We all want things. We want food, clothes, new cars, new electronic gadgets, etc I also want to be happy first of all, wanting other things comes second. But what do we need? I need food, clothes to wear,and a roof over my head. I don’t need a car or a fancy phone. I try to buy ethically and ecofriendly as well although that is not always possible.

But what about our footprint on our planet? If you buy certain good and foods they have to travel a long way around the world to get here. I bought a small shampoo hose thing the other day. It was made in China so travelled a long way to get here. I was hoping it had been made in Britain. This is the same for many other items, made in China or other Asian countries where labour is cheap and employment laws are not there or not adhered to. Do we want to buy goods that are made by what can only be called slave labour?

Do we want to buy food that has come from the other side of the world like butter and lamb from New Zealand? What is wrong with butter and lamb from our own country? Much of our fresh food is grown in Europe, picked with cheap labour then flown or transported by road to the UK. Some of this packaged ‘fresh’ food has had chemicals added to make it stay fresh longer. If you have ever grown your own vegetables you will know that they taste so much better. Even in you live in a place with no garden, some veggies and herbs can be grown on a windowsill or small balcony.

Many foods have lots of additives in them, some to make them taste better (!) and some to make them stay fresh longer. Personally I don’t like that. I remember when I went shopping with my mother when I was young. We had a special bag for vegetables. The potatoes went in the bag first, loose of course, followed by carrots and cabbages etc. Fruit went on top. The bag was washed out later and then reused. Meat, cheese and other similar items were wrapped in greaseproof paper. We are getting zero waste shops in some areas where you can fill and refill flour, cereals, dried fruit, washing up and laundry liquids, etc and this is very good but these shops are not in every town or city.

How do you tread lightly on the earth or is your footprint still heavy?

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