I published what I hope would be the first of many articles on medium. It’s about trying to make a better world starting, of course, with the easiest bit - learning about our impact and realizing the power we have, even as individuals.
The goal of my articles will be to empower people to live sustainably instead of forcing them to. I’ve been told by some that my way of motivating others towards living sustainably is kind and positive, so I’m hoping it’ll make a small impact in writing too.
I apologize in advance for using the generalization “starving children in Africa”. It refers to any population far away in need of help and is really just a simplification, like “speaking Chinese”.
Hello Puja, indeed you have a very friendly way of persuading others of ecological living practices I’m curious how your series of articles will proceed.
Some more substantial feedback below:
"Supply and demand." I think this thought (that consumers steer capitalists by their demand) is the strongest idea in your article. Capitalists won’t care for ethical or unethical foods but about demand … including demand for ethical foods. No amount of certification can force big business permanently into producing ethical food (see “greenwashing”, “fairwashing” etc.). But buying from small businesses, coops and local businesses as much as possible will already help a good deal …
Consumption and shopping. You write:
The way we consume shapes the way we shop. If we consume mindlessly, we shop mindlessly.
The reverse is also true: the way we shop shapes the way we consume. Because (for the example of food), we can only eat what we purchased and brought to the house. I use this as my major tool of healthy eating: being mindful during one hour of shopping allows to not think much while cooking and eating. I basically create a behavior setting for myself.
Making it practical. Once your readers understood that shopping is about moral decisions, it would be great if you’d offer them practical steps and tools for that. I know of Buycott and Open Food Facts, for example. You will have your own tools and tips, and I’m curious to read about them.
This is the famous post I missed, I was traveling at the time, also not entirely mindful and for personal pleasure and curiosity… (I know, guilty as charged ).
The entire supply-chain knows of your love for avocados. The demand of avocados created by richer countries is so huge and obvious that farmers in Latin America opt to grow avocados instead of other crops. They know that with avocados their harvest will be sold at a good price and make them a bigger profit. Unfortunately, in Mexico (the largest producer of avocados), the possibility of making a bigger profit is obvious to the cartels as well, who then demand avocado farmers to give them a bigger share of their profit. If not, the farmers’ lives and families are in danger. Profits made from the harmless trade of selling avocados end up fueling cartels’ crimes, and the source of the extra income — avocados — are therefore renamed “blood avocados”.
Not to mention that avocadoes are water intensive and leave poorer communities without a sustainable water supply…
I never really understood this trend of ‘ours’ to love avocados and go to a lengthy extent to get it. I know not many ‘new vegetables’ that became so regular and trendy within years! Do you know?
We are running an online sharing and brainstorming session on food projects on 3rd of June, do join @Puja !