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Shop local and save energy and fuel
What happened to the 3 day week, which was spoken about so often in the late seventies? It just didn't seem to happen. I think it was a rather utopian view of life that the majority of the population would be getting paid a good salary for working fewer hours and their would be more time for leisure. An extended weekend, with time for sailing, weekends away and having friends over regularly for dinner. In reality, this time period (the future) which I so often thought about, is that we are in the middle of one of the worst recessions documented, There is mass unemployment and people do not either have the time nor the money to have a "lifestyle". Many families in the U.K. are existing in a way which we would describe as "survival" and most of their energy is spent just trying to get from A to B and make ends meet.
Along with this, if you are lucky enough to work which some people are, either employed or self employed, then they very quickly get consumed by the pressures of living, meeting targets, long hours and poor eating habits and generally poor living.
For a lot of working people it is the packet sandwich bought hastily at lunchtime and scoughed in half an hour in between making phone calls to check to see how far you actually are in the red and if you can afford to put enough fuel in your car to keep you going for the rest of the month. Wages have dropped but fuel prices remain high. Through pressure and shortage of family time, you see people dashing into well know supermarkets at the end of the day to grab their packs of frozen chips, burgers and bottles of fizzy drinks which they think will sustain them during the gruelling hours of hard focus on the computer screen. It may not have particularly worried people what they were eating in their burgers, it was just part of a long chain of disappointment with Society in general. The truth is that although these products will often give you a short sugar lift, they often take you down a lot further later on. Yet who takes the time to pack up a lunch for of healthy nutritional food. You may look at your wages and wonder what happened to all your money, first their was the fuel getting you too and from work, then their was the packet takeaways lunches and also their was the occasional lunch out or coffees that also added up over the course of the month and you don't earn enough money to have an expense account! The reality is that with wages dropping and everything else soaring the only way is to look at what we actually need.
So what can we do?
1. One thing is that we can have an organic vegetable box delivered. Yes, organic that is expensive but when you look at all the snacks you have been eating and take out the fizzy drinks and packet lunches, is it?
2. We can cut out drinking. Yes, that's right. We can maybe have the occasional bottle of wine at home with friends but drinking and eating out can certainly tot up or just go once a month.
3. We can shop locally. Why drive 5 to 7 miles to the nearest larger supermarket when we can go to our local shop. The food sold at our local shop may cost a few pounds more but it often works out much cheaper than regular trips to the supermarket. Another thing is that when we get distracted down the shopping aisles of larger super stores, we often find that we buy things that we don't really need just because we see them. Make a list and stick to it!
Since I have been shopping at my local Co-op I have found that I have saved masses of fuel and I hardly fill up my car now making enormous savings. Plus I am not hypnotised by gadgets or buying things because they are bargains or reduced. Of course reduced is good but do you really need it?
Use the internet. Sites like Amazon do have some amazing bargains. I don't shop locally for my cat litter. I use a cat little which is environmentally friendly and made from wood chips. I cannot buy a big enough bag of this locally so I do have this delivered. This saves trips out to the supermarket, keeps someone in employment at Amazon and saves my back because I don't have to carry anything heavy and I have happy cats.
Obviously shopping locally isn't always possible but where possible support your local shop because it is the network of your community. Walk when you can and get fit, that way you will also be supporting yourself. Bring back the shopping trolley and cancel your gym membership!