… a simple account!
Before any purchase, ask yourself the following questions: Is it local? Which of the multitude of local products can replace it? Can I trade or forage it?
An Example: Pancakes in the morning.
Organic buckwheat flower, in big paper bags, is available for purchase at our local organic food store. There we also buy local organic butter. From Canada comes pure maple syrup, bottled in throw away glass, with a plastic cap.
Breakfast shopping amounts to one ride to the store every couple of weeks. Three compromise are made: #1the maple syrup itself (which needs to be shipped in), #2 the throw away glas bottle and #3 the plastic cap). No purchase of bread or marmalade is due. The latter is most likely made with undesirable industrial sugar.
A cup of fresh green tea, buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup, followed by a tangerine are a delicious and whole-some breakfast food. Compromise #4 is the tea, compromise #5 is the tangerine. Question: Is there a local tea that envigorats like tea from the tea tree. Which local fresh fruit that can replace the tangerine?
Interesting, buckwheat flower has in it all it takes to make a delicious pancake. Nothing needs to be added aside from a bit of fresh, clean water. Butter, a local product of Normandie, can it be replaced by local home-made oils? Must try colza, sunflower and hemp for the taste. As for the maple syrup, can it be made from local maple trees? Can each family makes its own? Or is production better left to one who specialises in it? Filled in reusable bottles. Closed with what?
No daily car ride to the bakery is needed. Ever so often a car ride to the local organic store is due.
The store, functioning as regional distribution center, may want to deliver to a small center in walking distance of our house. In turn we would benefit from the walk. The account of dust particles, air pollution and noise levels on the land will be more favourable still, with centralised delivery. Reusable glass bottles as such equal less transport and trash.
We have been looking at the replacement of a traditional French breakfast (baguette, butter, jam and tea…) (coffee will be another story…) with North-American style breakfast (buckwheat pancakes, butter, maple syrup and tea…). Parameters are organic production, reduction of transport, reduction of garbage, as well as providing opportunity to walk and meet friends and neighbours.
Solutions must be found:
For green tea (does it grow here…?), fresh fruit in the winter (grow what, where, how…?), maple syrup (can it be produced locally…?), a local replacement for corks to close maple syrup bottles.
Next: Above ground regional passenger and goods transport (1). Replacements for coffee, cacao and lemon (2). Summary of unavoidable compromises (3).