I read a blog post the other day that was close to my heart, by Rohan Anderson on his blog Whole Larder Love. I could wax lyrical about Rohan and his blog for hours and hours. If you haven't visited, please do. It's challenging, and Rohan is unapologetic, but it is the most thought provoking and inspiring blog I have ever, ever read, the kind of stuff that just lights a fire in my belly. From that post:
The good thing is that it’s pretty effortless to introduce small changes in the way we live, changes that will have amazing positive benefits and ultimately reduce our impact on environment. No one would make change if I said that you have to never own a car, go live in a cave and chew raw vegetables. But if I was to show a person how easy it is to grow most of their food, how to cook with that great home raised produce, a person would be more receptive to the idea, yes?
This. This is the reason I started this blog. This is my message. It is so important to realise that you do not have to be a 'hippy' and live in a commune with no wifi to make a positive change to the world we live in. I have made small, step by step changes to how I live my life over the last few years, and I have many, many more to go. The main thing is that I make conscious choices now, choices that take into consideration the impact of what I buy, how I live and where my food comes from. It is important to me to consider these impacts, and to know the implications of what I choose. I am an advocate for simple living, and eating local, and reusing & recycling. I often choose to spend a little more money on a product that comes from a source that I consider sustainable, ethical or local - voting with your dollar is the greatest power you have. I don't often buy things I don't need or that won't improve my life in some way. I choose to carpool to work, even though it's a pain in the arse. I choose minimal packaging when buying things if I can, in the same way I choose to grow some of our own food, and make things from scratch.
I'm not perfect. There are so many ways I can improve what I do, and for a long time I felt like abit of a fraud. It's why it's took me so long to start this blog. How could I claim to be into sustainability and simple living when I still visited the supermarket, bought clothes that were probably made in Bangladesh and sometimes purchased 'stuff' for the simple pleasure of seeing it looking pretty in my home (Etsy, I'm looking at you!)? I questioned whether what I was doing was actually making any difference at all. I know I'm not the only one to have questioned themselves like this - I've read posts here, here and even here recently all along the same vein. I've tried to write this post for a couple of weeks, but it wouldn't come out right. I'd felt sickened at some of the consumer-driven choices I've made. I'd succumbed, just a little, to defining who I am, by what I own...
Now I've come to the realisation that it's this feeling of discomfort that is the catalyst for change, and that perceived perfection is the antidote to it. I don't have to be perfect right now, I just have to DO something and keep doing the string of somethings I already do, adding to them along the way. So, along this path I'll continue and I hope I can inspire you to do the same. It's ok to be a contradiction, it's ok to take it one step at a time. It's ok to not be perfect.
Switch brands, buy local. Buy less. Grow more. Consume less, live more. Breathe a little deeper and exhale a little longer. Mute the TV ads. Don't buy the magazines. Bake, and make and swap. Do it one step at a time. Every thoughtful choice you make, every leaf of lettuce you grow does makes a difference.
So tell me, what is the next step you're going to make?