Last week I was in the big BIG smoke - Sydney. It was hot, busy, smelly and crowded...everything you'd expect from a big city. One thing I didn't expect to see was some inner city streets dotted with worm farm compost systems and veg planter boxes, lovingly set up by the forward-thinking city council. As I walked through the tight streets of Chippendale these little gems put a smile on my face. Then I walked out into the main street where I got slapped in the face with the reality. Thousands of cars, take away outlets. The mass market. Well I had to pinch myself and try not to be pessimistic about the situation. It's hard to face the reality that the main population, the millions of individuals whose consumer choice could make this world a better place, they just don't seem to have the drive to care. There is a massive amount of people that do care, they do make an effort. But let's be honest - 'the people' - the majority of the western world are more focused on other more important ventures in life...a better paying job, a newer car, that new model leaf blower, and what's on the telly. I always get angry people complaining when I do posts like this, but it's just the reality.
Where we are as a species is challenging at this point in time. We can no longer fend for ourselves. We rely on the masses to survive. We're more like ants than ever before. Really there are only a few roles that we all play, and those roles 'contribute' to society to keep the engine working. But if that engine collapsed, how would we all go as individuals? If you walked into your supermarket and there was zero food on the shelves, then you went to the next supermarket and saw the same thing, what would you do? Think of the millions of people all living in the city with zero food, all the restaurants closed, no take away, no food at your family and friends place. What would you do?
We rely so heavily on 'the system'. We trust in it unconditionally. We complain when food prices go up because of a natural disaster or because of an increase in fuel costs. We are smothered with choice and convenience. We're made to feel that food is and should be a competitive high art form by television cooking shows, and that we should be everything wonderful all the time 24/7.
It's all bullshit. You strip the elements of that system away, the logistical supremacy of chain supermarkets, the television, the convenience take away outlets, the drive through lifestyle, the magazines that make us feel like we need to improve ourselves...and so on.
Imagine how we'd all react.
All these thoughts and more were on my mind this morning as a did my daily ritual of checking on the progress of our future backyard supermarket, ie the veg patch. It made me want to try to live with less. I think I need to have a garage sale and reduce my ownership of stuff.