Starting out easy. I’ve joined the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (Swedish: Naturskyddsföreningen). Membership is v. v. cheap, should have joined ages ago.
Copy-paste from their website:
The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation is a charitable environmental organisation with the power to bring about change. We spread knowledge, chart environmental threats, propose solutions and influence politicians and authorities, both nationally and internationally.
Basically, I am counting on them to keep me up to date on a variety of environment related topics.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about bananas. I eat a lot of them. Bananas have no business being in Sweden. Not really.
And that was when I realized I don’t really know where most of my food comes from. Bananas aside, not even vaguely aware.
Let’s find out where some of the things I usually buy comes from!
Fairly regular weekly food shop:
Shame the beets I bought are completely obscured, because I have never seen prettier beets in my life. You have no idea how genuinely excited I am to cook them. (To be specific, they’re heading for the oven, will roast with olive oil, and probably rosemary. Or maybe. Wasabi sesame..?)
This is what we have:
Beets; Swedish, because it’s harvest season, lots of cheap roots in the shops. These were 4 SEK. (Why didn’t I get more!??!! Could just stick in the freezer.)
Chickpeas; organic, from Italy. Here is something I frequently wonder and should Google: is it better to buy locally produced or organic?
Carrots; organic, from Sweden. The one thing I make sure to always buy organic because the organic ones taste way better in my opinion.
Ginger; ehm. Not sure where it’s from? I feel confident saying it’s not from Sweden. According to Wikipedia, probably Asia.
Kale patties; made in Sweden. Not clear if the ingredients are from Sweden or if the patties themselves are made in Sweden. And can I just mention this: yes this is processed food, but it’s all natural ingredients and no sugar. Main ingredient is cabbage. It’s a recent find and I’m in love.
Brussel sprouts; French.
Soygurt; they don’t want to say where it’s from. Also, you don’t want to read the list of ingredients.
Raisins; Australia. At least they’re organic…
Dijon mustard; France obvs.
Apricots; from Turkey.
Spelt; organic, from Sweden.
Apples; Swedish! The Swedish apple season is on the short side. Which is a shame because theeeessseee…they’re what you want apples to be. You can smell them from miles away.
Bananas; well they are fair trade and organic. But they are from Ecuador. And they’re also sold in plastic bags. ?? Doesn’t that cancel out the organic part ??
Soy drink; So this is a fun one, it’s either from Austria, France or Italy. Says on the package. At least it’s organic.
I need to read more labels. Really.
I do extremely little for the environment. For the most part, I am happily ignorant.
Let’s change that! Let’s calculate my environmental footprint. (It is meant for UK residents, but I’m sure it can be used for indication.)
It does not look good. Although, this is not quite what I expected.
…home 59%? But why? And what do you expect me to do?? I live in an apartment, I have no say! ..is this because I am one person in a 2 bed apartment? And because someone likes to keep our building warm? I resent that. PS. My new apartment is a. smaller, b. has a heating system that is so up to date we don’t even have radiators. Slightly concerned that I’m going to freeze? Understatement—I am terrified. I can’t even begin to comprehend how that even works.
But yes, I do agree, I should by more seasonal food, and my new apartment was carefully selected so that I can walk to work. Second hand. That. Is going. To take. Some practice. Furniture is fine, but clothes. Not quite there on account of lack of patience. I’ll take into consideration.
Let’s talk about soy!
Don’t worry, this is going to be short and sweet.
Sometimes I meet non-vegans who are concerned about the amount of soy vegans consume.
Sure, us vegans, we do love the soy, there is no denying that. And yes, it is a problem that we are cutting down forests we so badly need to grow soy.
But you know who we do that for? Let me tell you, it’s not for vegans. First of all, vegans consume 6 percent of all soy produced. SIX. OK? Not all of that soy comes from destroyed rainforest. Not nearly.
You know who we grow all this soy for? The meat eaters. The majority of soy (80%) is fed to livestock so that you can have meat on your plate and milk in your glass.
So if you’re concerned about that, well then you gotta cut out meat and dairy.
Remaining 14%? Oh you know how we like to stick soy in all sorts of processed food. Which isn’t good for us anyway soooo…
I do a lot of shitty things from an environmental point of view, but consuming various soy products is not one of them.
For more exhaustive info about soy, go read this article, trust me, well worth your while and such an easy read.
I just wish everyone knew already.
Here’s something I’ve been thinking. For me, as a person, the environment is to large and abstract for me to grasp. Makes it not enough motivation for me in itself to make me do things. I need smaller goals, more tangible.
For example, I can get on board with making greater effort to buy local, because not only good for the environment, but also good in the sense you retain knowledge locally, gives people work, and just the fewer trucks on the roads the happier we all are, to be sure.
I’ve also been thinking about this: maybe it is a good thing to stop chasing the good deal. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that some things are a bit more pricy. If for no other reason than it means you are forced to consume less. Consuming less strikes me as more important than the choices we make. Not that they are mutually exclusive, but if we had to order them according to importance.
But what the hell do I know really. (Not as much as I’d like to.)
Which is why I’ve gathered me some sources, started my research and I’m all set to implement some changes. Not that I particularly think it’s my responsibility, I’m still with Klein on that, we need legislation and regulation, companies shouldn’t be allowed to do anything and everything for profit, because the crisis is not going to be solved by individuals recycling.
But you know. For my own peace of mind.
The cutting down on consumption is going to be so hard.
This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.