I need less… of everything
Six weeks ago, I had a life-changing moment. In the bus, on my way home.
After a day of work I sat there, staring out of the window when suddenly a truck passed us. It was a truck with chickens, probably on their way to the slaughterhouse. At least, I hope they were on their way to have someone put them out of their misery. The side covers of the truck were open because it was warm that day and I could see the chickens. What I saw made me gasp.
They were sitting in their tiny cages, numb, staring outside. Most of them lost a lot of feathers, some of them looked injured. And as the truck passed us, it read on the back: "… - Your free-range chicken farm".
Really? This is how free range-chickens look like?????? These are the chickens I buy for eggs and meat at the grocery store? At that very moment, I realized in how much of a denial I lived. And that I could not do it anymore. This evening, I spoke about it with my boyfriend and we decided we would change our ways. Now. Today. That evening, we looked up a shop where we could buy meat from local farmers. The animals were raised on farms in the area in an ethical way, on a small scale. We also decided that we would eat less meat.
You know what is funny about this? Once we took that initial step to buy meat locally, we started questioning EVERY SINGLE PURCHASE we made.
- Why do we have to buy our bread packaged in plastic?
- Why do we have to get our meat wrapped in plastic only to transfer it to a plastic container when we come home?
- Why do we have to throw away a mountain of plastic wrapping after unpacking our fruit and veggies from grocery shopping?
- Why do we need 10 different cleaning products for our house?
- Why do I have a bathroom cabinet full of plastic-packaged products with lists of ingredients that I cannot even pronounce (and I can pronounce a lot of chemicals, I am a scientist, after all ;))
We made a choice. We chose to start over. We would change the way we did grocery shopping. What if we knew the people selling us bread, cheese, fruit and meat? Would it change our perception of “doing the groceries”?
What if we had less products in our home? Would it make us feel more relaxed knowing that the cupboards were spacious and tidy? Would we enjoy opening cupboard doors more? Would we value our belongings more if we knew that they do not harm the environment (as much)?
Here we are. 6 weeks on. And I can tell you, we changed a lot already. On Saturdays, I buy our meat, poultry and eggs from a local butcher. The meat they are selling comes from farms in our area who have to follow strict guidelines for keeping their animals. No crowded stables, no antibiotics, no force-feeding to bring them to weight fast. I bring my own container and hand it to the person behind the counter so they can add the meat directly into it. No plastic bags, please. And they do, no questions asked.
We buy our bread from a local bakery, too. I also take our own cotton bags there for them to put the bread into. Less plastic, hurrah!
I brush my teeth with a bamboo toothbrush and as I use up my last bottle of shampoo and shower gel and already have the bar shampoo and soap standing by. Again, less plastic.
How do we feel now? Better. More conscious.
Do we create less trash? A bit less, yes.
Do we live an organic life: A bit more, yes
Do we want to continue on this path? By all means, YES!!!!