Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is there an ethical option?

As I progress in my journey to a slower more simpler way of living, I've become more aware of the following important aspects of my everyday life.

The source of the food that we eat
- My vegetable garden is just in the beginning stages therefore we buy the bulk of our fruit and vegetables from local and organic producers. Where possible I buy organic/local dairy products and dry goods, same for eggs. I make all our bread and cakes etc, cook all meals from scratch including, jams, preserves, cordials, yogurt, soft cheese, the list goes on and on. I've also become a bit pedantic about buying fair trade chocolate, tea and cocoa, still working on Tony and his coffee.

Orange marmalade

My partner Tony is a meat eater. Fortunately TV programs by Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver and a report by Animals Australia shown on 60 Minutes, has changed the way Tony looks at meat. For the most part he now only eats free range eggs, chicken, pork and lamb. I guess I can live with that.

The first real harvest from my garden

The garments I wear - Apart from 4 pairs of undies, some socks and one handmade t-shirt, I've not bought any new items of clothing or shoes for over 12 months. My aim is to make my own clothes or re-purpose current clothes, purchase items from thrift shops or when necessary to only purchase ethical garments and shoes.

Cotton bolero knitted this year

The bag I made from an old pair of jeans

The food my pets eat - This is an issue I have struggled with for years, both morally and financially. As a vegetarian I do not believe in imposing my lifestyle choices on my pets i.e. feeding them a vegetarian diet. The option of feeding them a raw diet based on free range meat and bones was just too expensive. Thankfully in recent years the price and availability of free range meat has changed and it's now a viable choice. I was also very fortunate to meet Jenny, owner of The Complete Pet Company. Jen is a remarkable person who created a raw food for dogs, that is free from factory farmed animals.

Pure bliss for a dog

Reduce everyday purchases - On this topic alone I feel I've achieved so much, I've reduced the amount of stuff that I/we buy. I try to make all our personal and household cleaning products. Alas I do fall off the wagon occasionally when it comes to "must have items" in the thrift/opp shops or the odd gardening/green living magazine. I've banned myself from fabric and craft shops, god knows I don't need anymore.

Recycling, energy consumption and water usage - We are working on this area, looking at solar hot water and energy, water tanks (I know we're a bit slow on this and have missed out on most of the government handouts). As for recycling, I really try hard in this area, however there is still work to be done. Transportation is another issue that I need to look at and change the way I get around. Baby steps.

Gosh this has turned into a bit of an essay...sorry bout that, just me rambling really.

Correction - The Complete Pet Company was created by Jenny and two other equally dedicated women. Jenny is now the owner.

Hope you have a lovely day


Chook said...

Who cares about buying new clothes when you can buy them next to nothing at the oppies!Im always getting our stuff from there & love the thrill off sorting thru them all!That bag is lovely too,I used to have one similar a very dear friend made for me.

Enjoy your day Lisa...:)

Rose said...

Lisa, you are making good progress, really good. May I link to this and share similar ideas on my blog please?

Lisa said...

Hiya Chook, I too enjoy the thrill of finding a good buy, however I do draw the line at wearing secondhand underwear and shoes....who knows where they've been ;0}

Hi Rose, thanks for the encouragement and of course feel free to link this to your blog :)

Chook said...

Ewwww,yea I wont buy second hand undies/jocks either...Gross!Lol!

Anonymous said...

You are doing such a great job. You are right - baby steps. Every little thing we do makes a difference.

Wendy said...

I have just visited Animals Australia, I'm not a vegetarian but somethings can not be ignored,thank you for posting this - I have bought chicken from two of the companies mentioned and I will not do it ever again, had I been more aware and better informed it wouldn't have happened in the first place. Reading this has just made me more determined to be even more responsible in what we eat and where we source it from.

Lisa said...

Good for you Wendy, we all have a responsibility to treat the earth and her inhabitants with kindness and respect.