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How comitted are you?

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    SERIOUSLY not trying to start another bun fight but I would like to know – How comitted are you??

    After reading ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’ by Barbara Kingsolver, I decided recently to really try to only buy food from Victoria, but it is so d*mn hard! Supermarkets only state what country something is from, not which region or state, so there I have had to give in a bit. But the main thing I have given in on is bananas and mangoes. I can’t live without them and I KNOW they are not from anywhere near Melbourne.

    So I am not nearly as comitted as I would like to be. What about you?


    I’m not nearly as commited as I would like to be. We have had a crap year and nothing went as planned. Next year I want to work on being more commited.

    I think you need to do a lot of research and test things out. Barbara Kingsolver did not leap in at the deep end. She had a local farmers market, she had a garden already built and she knew people in her community that made or grew things. I think it was really the culmination (sp?) of a few years thinking about it and planning.

    Change is hard and I intend to slowly make changes our lifestyle and have a plan that in about 3 years we eat local food or grow it ourselves. Smaller changes are easier to adapt to ( or for me anyway)


    We can’t live without bananas either.. but rice and meat are probably our worst foods environmentally speaking. We don’t grow our own of any of those foods (although we would like to grow our own meat some day). I guess that’s just one part of the simple living story though. We’re quite committed to buying second hand where possible, avoiding buying at all otherwise. We’re really happy turning our old high footprint home into a much more friendly home.. it’s not just the environment, but the bills are smaller and we feel some sense of satisfaction. There’s always more to do.. although only so much you can do living on a suburban block in town. We can grow some of our own food, but not all.

    I’m wondering what the goal is? A carbon neutral life? How do you measure simple living? How do you know when you’ve arrived? 🙂


    Barbara Kingsolver wrote “Urban areas cover 2 percent of the earth’s surface but consume 75 percent of its resources”

    That really really scares me.

    True Gremmbles, that she did take a few years to achieve what she has done, but I am an impatient person! I want it all fixed NOW!!!

    Purplehat, I don’t know either. I think the goal is to not take more from the planet than you give back, but that is impossible in suburbia. I guess getting as close as you can to that is the aim.

    While I write this, I have 3 kids awake, 2 are watching different TV’s and one is on the third TV playing Wii… :geek:


    I am as commited as i can be and no point me wishing i could be more commited cos them in setting myself up for disapointment and for me to keep plugging along i will not think that way.

    Sure there is more id LIKE to do but im as commited as i can be at the moment and the small things will add up to big things in the long run :tup:


    I am very committed probably even obsessive 😆 hubby believes in lowering our footprint but is trying to do it without disturbing BAU too much ……….

    We are carbon neutral for power having put all hubby’s super into a solar grid feed system and a solar pumping system. We are definately power misers and make sure we dont use more than we generate – no matter how uncomfortable we feel or what we go without 😆 I did say I was obsessive ! hubby is fully supportive on the power use issue :tup:

    We are not self sufficient in food and have to drive 100s of km to buy our organic food. I have to admit I am MORE committed to eating only Organic than I am to reducing our travel and food miles :shrug: I believe I am right but many will disagree……. Like Purplehat I eat rice a lot as I cant have wheat – I feel guilty about it but so far not having much success with finding a viable alternative. We are able to buy local Organic bulk meat which is great but no Organic vegetables are grown locally and I refuse to touch their poison rubbish 🙁

    we dont drive the car unless necesary and I rarely go anywhere just for entertainment – hubby will sometimes 😉

    we do live very simply and certainly dont spend on things that arent necessary. When we do spend we always consider second hand but then with things like electrical stuff we go new because old stuff is not so energy efficient.



    I have tried to be a good “Ethicurean” and we do try to shop & eat by the SOLE principles (Sustainable, Organic, Local and Ethical) but then real life gets in the road!! We eat far better than most people I know, in those terms, but then, no doubt there are many doing better than we do!

    Some things, like mango, we may have once or twice a year (we had one recently in our organic delivery) now we live so far from any sort of mango tree!! But then, we appreciate it alot more when we have it.

    Other things, I have made concessions, esp. bananas, as that is one fruit the kids will happily eat, but try to stick with organic, and def. only Aussie ones. I just keep trying to introduce them to the local fruit range, and what we are growing in our backyard, even if they won’t eat it fresh, trying it dried or in muffins etc.

    I have beaten myself up about it in the past, but now I know I can only do the best I can and keep striving to make changes. Find a balance, and don’t feel guilty/ miserable… shop at local farmers markets, petition your supermarket to stock SOLE food, find a health food store or boutique supermarket and ask what products they can get in, grow your own and swap with neighbours, and all that stuff!

    The best thing is, more and more SOLE food type products are becoming available, so we can have our cake and eat it too! 😀

    EDIT: We also have the issue with not having gluten (husband is Coeliac, toddler is currently GF) and do like rice. I used to only buy Aussie rice, now I only buy Asian rice. But yes, we have cut down, and use alternatives like legumes, polenta and GF pasta. I’d like to grow my own quinoa and amaranth one day, possibly?


    This has been playing on my mind lately too – having read the same book recently. We will be running some personal challenges in the new year to boost our committment to local eating.

    Some things creep in that are hard to make at home and some can’t be bought from local sources – soy sauce is one that comes to mind. (if anyone makes their own soy sauce, I’d love a detailed description!)

    I do think, though, that we are so used to having so many choices that it becomes unthinkable to stop using something. Many people in the world live seasonally, eating only the produce that grows where they live, going without many things we take for granted. Do I really need that soy sauce? Probably not. Historically, and in many parts of the world, people are used to much more simple diets – legumes, rice and spices, fruit in season, for example or taro, fruits and fish, for another example. Drinks are water and the odd bit of alcohol or naturally sweetened things.

    We tend to see a recipe and go buy the ingredients without thinking – I have a classic recipe here which asks for summer fruit and winter fruit in the same recipe – how ridiculous! We need to adapt our diets and our recipes to seasonal, local and available. We don’t really need the wonderous variety that we are so used to.

    That’s my twenty cents worth – and for the record, some of my favourite Christmas recipes this year required non-local ingredients. Next year, for me the challange will be a local Christmas!


    terrific thread :clap:


    In terms of food, we are to some extent limited by where we live. I live in the tropics so bananas and mangos are everywhere, fresh and local, but I have to buy peaches that have travelled thousands of kilometres (I love peaches).

    The is this ‘common knowledge” in the tropics that you can’t have a vege garden all year round as it is too hot and wet. One of my goals for the new year is to prove people wrong on this. True, you can’t grow english veges in the summer but you can grow asian veges. People in asia don’t starve during the summer so why should we.

    Developing community networks is another important factor I took from the Barbara Kingsolver book. I am working on that, I have now found a supplier of organic grass fed beef and pastured pork who lives about 100k’s away. I need to spend more time at local markets developing more contacts. I want to also meet people who have solar power in the tropics and talk to them. We have lots of cloud cover here for much of the year which concerns me a bit – not that that seems to bother the solar hot water system.

    I am planning my shopping more and shopping less frequently. I used to just go shopping every week without thinking about it. We are also moving into our new (old) house in the next couple of weeks so I will be able to focus my gardens.

    Anyway I will stop rambling. I have huge plans for next year. 😉


    all i can say is we do our best,noone can do all at once,it takes time

    but in the end we achieve our goals

    we are lucky being in rural area,we know the farmers where we can buy local,even the fruit and veg barns are now sourcing from the local farmers

    our iga buys local from the farmers,even the eggs are local

    we do what we can and thst is best we can do


    Tassie TigerTassie Tiger

    Bananas are highly overated and therefore I have no trouble doing without them. Give me a sweet, juicy Tassie pear anytime(in season of course).

    I don’t buy fruit and vegg from the stupid market but from the local grocer who displays which state his produce is from. I put some lemons back on the shelf the other day because they were from Calofornia:jawdrop: Bought a bottle of lemon juice which was made in Oz. If I can’t grow the veggies then I only buy what is in season.

    Buy recycled clothes (which reminds me I need some more work shorts:confused: ) It has taken three years of being totally conscious of every buying decision but I’m getting there:geek:


    But think of the other stuff you buy

    Computers, washing machines, TV, toaster what about the miles on those.

    I would rather buy bananas from QLD supporting Qld growers and OZ transport (NOT supermarkets though) than an imported plasma TV

    OK … now I shall duck the flak


    df418, I think that is a great point. I always try to buy Australian support Australian industries. If it keeps aussies employed is a godd thing.


    That’s just it. We replaced our old fridge (made in some crazy european country a million years ago 😆 ) with an Aussie F&P chest freezer (converted to a fridge).. but it cost extra to buy Aussie. Then we bought a chest freezer (used as a freezer) too, a cheap one from China. We made that decision to at least buy one of them from Australia, but we’re lucky we could afford that option. Not everyone can. Others would have a go at us for buying the China made one at all. It wouldn’t probably be so bad if the big ticket items like that lasted as long as they use to.. but they don’t make them to last anymore. 🙁

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