This is the Ecotrain Question of the Week
Name one small change you have made or could make to your life that would be of great benefit to the world if everyone did the same?
This fits right in with my Little Changes, Big Difference series, and I have several more I want to do, but I thought I would come up with something different for this one. There are plenty of things to choose from, things we can do that are really simple. If we all commit to them, the change will be significant.
The significance of this has become so much more clear to me since moving here to Belize. Customs duties are very high on imported products, and certain things that are critical to the Belizean economy, like sugar, cannot be imported at all. They have strong protectionist economic policies. Of course we have some vegetables that come from Mexico and Guatemala, but even that is fairly limited. Most importantly it is also seasonal. Canned and packaged foods are ridiculously expensive here. I don’t even look at them.
It’s a bummer to only be able to get avocados for a short time each year, but we eat very locally. Right now we have more mangoes than we know what to do with, but that won’t last long either. I need to get hopping on some dried mango, mango jam, frozen mango, and mango chutney. Our rice, beans, and sugar are all produced locally. Almost all our vegetables and fruits are local. All our meat and eggs are local. Hell, even our toilet paper is local.
Honest to God I would eat them every day if I could
Of course here in Belize it is so easy to eat local because we don’t have a lot of options. It is possible in more developed areas too, though, and I was making a pretty good go at it when I lived in the US. Go to farmer’s markets to shop. Can, dry, and freeze when things are in season and cheap. Connect with local farmers. Honestly, this was a big piece of my motivation to give up my vegetarianism. I was finding it very difficult to eat a vegetarian diet and stay local in a temperate climate with several months of winter. Of course animal husbandry comes with it's own set of ecological nightmares, so it may have been a zero sum decision.
Transporting food is a tremendous resource user. I love kiwis as much as the next gal, but it’s a bit ridiculous to ship something across an ocean and then across a continent just so I can eat it. That’s shipping and trucking. That’s a hell of a lot of diesel just so people can have fruit that only grows on the other side of the planet. Processed food is of course even worse, as it is shipped, processed, and then shipped again, sometimes three or four times. Fresh, local, and unprocessed food is so much better for your body and also so much better for the environment. It is also a tremendous benefit to your local economy, as all that money you spend on food stays right in your community!
At first it will seem like a big production, but I promise it gets easier, and you will get the added benefit of being connected to your local farmers. Many of them have days and times where visitors can come, so if you have children, especially home schoolers, this is an added benefit. I am certainly not militant about it. I do occasionally buy canned tomatoes, and though our flour is milled in Belize, the berries are imported from the US. Even committing to 75% of your food coming from within 200 miles could make a tremendous difference in the amount of diesel fumes we are pumping into the air if we all come together and make this commitment.
Healthy food and clean planet are really good outcomes!
Much love, y’all!
As always, all pics are mine or pixabay unless otherwise noted.
Also, check out @tribesteemup for more information on how to follow the curation trail or delegate. This allows you to help yourself and empower a beautiful, positive community of world changers.