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Earth Hour, Food Miles and Reusable Shopping Bags March 31, 2008

Posted by Enchanted Gift Shop in Environment.
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So, Earth Hour has been and gone. Some of you may not have heard of it, some of you may have got fed up of hearing about it, either way Earth Hour passed by in the Enchanted Gift Shop household with us talking by candlelight about what we have done for the environment lately, and what more we can do in the future.

We decided that we had all made a massive effort to get where we are today, and that by beginning our reduce, reuse and recycle theme so early on in the businesses development, it made it far easier for us to begin new things too.

I think one of the hardest things to do is change a habit that has become ingrained in you, especially if it is a bad habit!

Anyway, we decided that we were very happy with what we had done up to now, but that we had plenty of room for improvement.

I thought it might be a good idea, to show you all what we had talked about improving, maybe you could get some inspiration from it??

So, here we go…

Reducing our food miles:

During operating the business and obviously in our private lives too, we have to eat! … and one thing that we have always done is try to buy as much food from local sources as possible, and buy what is in season.

Spring OnionJersey Royal Potatoes

But somewhere where this fell down, was in buying fruit – most of us had enjoyed eating a varied amount of fruit, and we had compromised on the buying local/UK aspect of it and continued to buy any kind of fruit, without really thinking about if it was in season and where had it come from.

So, after talking about it for a while, whenever we now go to buy fruit, we find out before we go what is in season in the local area and then the UK, and then finally Europe.

We will not be buying any fruit that is from outside of Europe now, and if it is not in season here locally or at-least in the UK, we will reconsider if we actually want it.

If we decide that we really do want some fruit, then we’ll get something from the closest European country possible – but we really think about if we need it, and could do without instead.

If you think about it, in the UK there isn’t much fruit available at this time of year, and there won’t be until it gets closer to summer. But yet we have all become accustomed to eating any kind of fruit all year round.

Not only does this cut down on our food miles, therefore helping the environment, but it also means we are getting much healthier food, as it is grown using soil and climate that our bodies are used to …. our bodies must wonder what is going on when in the middle of winter and we start eating bananas!

Anyway, a good website to start trying to find more local food is Big Barn – it’s easy to use!

As well as the food miles aspect of our shopping, we are making a major effort to not use plastic bags any more!

Green Cloth Bag

We’ve all got cloth bags to do our shopping with, but some of us forget to put them back in the car when we’ve just unloaded some shopping, or even take them with us when they are in the car when we go into a shop.

So we’ve decided that if we walk into a shop without any cloth bags now, that one of us will have to go back to the car to get one, and not buy or use a plastic bag no matter the weather or how far away the car is.

I think the supermarkets are doing a good thing by making people pay for a plastic bag, but I would like to see them put the price up to 20p a bag so that after about 30 visits to any supermarket it would make more sense to buy a cloth bag than keep using plastic bags — or if my partner had his way, they would stop offering them altogether, that way people would have to buy there own cloth bags.

Right, that’s just a couple of things we talked about, amongst other things were the size of the population in our world now, and making a choice to have children based on this. Also the need for an alternate way of living without depending on a fuel of some kind.

These and a number of other issues I’ll leave to post about for another day!