DAY 3, ASSESSING YOUR FOOTPRINT

08-03

Have a look in your closet- where were your clothes made? Open your kitchen cupboard and have a look at the labels- how far did your Italian pasta or your out-of-season avocado travel? Commit yourself to buying more local products, thus reducing air miles and boosting the local economy.

Dig deeper: If you’re a reader, we’d recommend looking up Wendell Berry’s essays on food production and agriculture.

“Eat responsibly,” I have usually answered. Of course, I have tried to explain what I meant by that, but afterwards I have invariably felt that there was more to be said than I had been able to say. Now I would like to attempt a better explanation.

– Wendell Berry: The Pleasure of Eating

EF Schumacher’s 1973 book, Small is Beautiful – economics as if people mattered, is another great resource. Barbara Kingsolver (the best-selling author of The Poisonwood Bible) wrote a wonderful non-fiction book about her family’s year of living off the the land, and buying other produce only from local farmers. Look for Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Finally, check out this engaging 20-minute video by Annie Leonard during your next lunch break:

The Story of Stuff, originally released in December 2007, is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the Stuff in your life forever.

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