I think people underestimate the power that lies in making simple choices. But every groundswell starts with one person’s decision to choose to say no or to change their pattern of behaviour.
2011 has been marked as the year of the protestor. That doesn’t just mean those who’ve joined rallies. Protest can be by simply making a choice, by avoiding something, not endorsing something, not buying something, by breaking a cycle, changing habits or lending support to causes that aim to sustain the planet and create a pathway to a brighter future. It doesn’t need to be dramatic, just sincerely committed.
In my own way, I protest the waste we produce in the first world by choosing produce and cuts of meat that aren’t fashionable, the secondary cuts, offal and the rare breeds facing extinction in the face of the mass market breeds that grow fast and cheap but need a ridiculous amount of seasoning to be even remotely as tasty.
I protest by choosing to buy and grow heirloom fruit and vegetables, the old breeds that taste intense, grow slowly but don’t look pretty enough for the supermarket buyers. I make as much food from scratch as possible from farmer direct, loose and unpackaged goods. I can fruit and vegetables myself and makes jams, relishes, mayonnaise, pickles etc, avoiding the packaging and chemicals involved in most supermarket sourced food that we take for granted today.
But I know I’m not alone in this. More people are choosing to invest in the future of the planet by living sustainably and making choices that buck the mass trend. We also eschew the two supermarket chains that control the hardware, liquor and gambling markets in Australia and who hold our primary food producers to ransom.
It’s really easy to do this, you just need to break your usual cycle, it means moving out of your comfort zone to create new habits. For example, we buy direct from producers and local manufacturers - and yes, that even includes bedding, clothing, soap, washing powder and toilet paper. We shop from small independent businesses, go to markets, repurpose items - rather than buying new - and we always try to buy sustainable and ethical goods.
Give it a go. Make a committed choice and help change the world for the better.