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Becca's ramblings

The rabbit hole

Best know, that if it’s in the shop, we have researched it, but occasionally things slip through our fingers and we have to back track. At the moment we are chasing an amazing product (they sent samples) which they’ve said is organic so I asked for the organic certification. It’s been three weeks and I’ve not heard back from them. This kind of thing makes me suspicious.
 I know when I speak to smaller makers, they can often tell you excatly where they got something, what the weather of the day was and what the people are like who they traded with for raw ingredients. I feel the most honest suppliers can tell you a story, a real story, one from experience. I become wary when it’s all talk and nothing else behind it. Some stories are funny, some are strange or hilarious, sometimes even a little sad, but there is always a story and thats what I love about sourcing.

With experience I’m beginning to find that Europe does this sustainability thing so much better than us in the UK, and local makers aside, some of the best manufacturers are based in Germany or the Netherlands. As you may know, I’m half Austrian and managed to acquire an Austrian passport some years back (lucky me still in the EU) so I want to take advantage of my passport and my language skills. I’ve got to brush up on my German but I would love to be able to do business in Germany and Austria. There is so much to learn from Europe.
I’m also planning a trip to the Netherlands to visit a natural epsom salt mine. Sourcing out materials in their raw form is so exciting, so satisfying. There’s nothing better than seeing where everything comes from. I also want to go back to Kenya and get pomice from the volcanic crators. I’m lucky to have moved there in my late teens and create strong friendships with like minded folk. There is no reason to bulk (not right now anyway, not at least until I speak better Swahili), it would be more to visit my good friends and then bring back some stuff in a suitcase. 


And while I seek out materials and ingredients, I dream only that trade between people is fair, that egos do not get in the way of business- that’s some fucker doesn’t see weakness and want to take more from someone they view as weaker or desperate. These are the harsh realities out in the field. Can you imagine the war and blood shed over coffee and diamonds. (You’ve seen the film blood diamond right?) Have you heard about the truffle farmers who sabotage one another because a kilo of truffles can be worth tens of thousands. This shit is real. People want too much sometimes and when I think of these things I feel a responsibility to stop it.
It’s so disheartening when I research products which appear fantastic– but curiosity killed the cat right – and then we find out things that we can’t ignore, but for everything that isn’t what we thought it was, there’s a person or a company who really put their heart and soul into what they produce and it’s those people we want to source from. It’s also true that all the local makes are small companies, sometimes unable to meet higher consumer demands because they lack work space, funds and well, usually space and funds, and it’s our jobs as shops to ensure they can continue to build and grow their products without comprising on the love part which is where all the goodness actually comes from. 

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Packaging

A batttle with depression and packaging

 

 

These photos are from 2015/16 during a time I was ‘housebound’. I had reached a high level of depression where I literally only left the house to buy food and tabacco and I’d take almost daily trips to Sainsburys to grab a pack of cookies which I ate in a matter of moments.
😐
I was already buying loose fruit,🍇 vegetables 🍅 and dry goods 🌰 but my processed foods intake was enormous and counteracted any healthy choices I made.
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Still, having always been obsessed with packaging and ingredients, and on a quest to retrieve my health away from the dark place I was in, I started to document what I was putting in my body and what waste I was creating, especially as I had no idea where my recycling would be going.
So I started to empty the contents of my weekly recycling, laid it out on my living room floor and took photos of how I had been living..
thinking perhaps one day I’ll write about this. (That I am) 🙌
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This exercise eventually (unconsciously) led me to more interaction with the outside world, and I got my first job out of depression as a deliveroo cyclist (where I didn’t have to socially interact if I didn’t want to) and as a consequence I ‘forgot’ to take photos of my rubbish because I was now busy with the world again and going out on cycling adventures with new friends in the city 🙂🏬
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You’ll notice over the span of photos (over a period of around 3 months) that the waste I created from my consumerism gradually declined and I stopped both eating so much processed sugars and creating unnecessary waste and I assume it was because I was documenting it.
🍫🍬🍪🍭🍮🍯

I wanted to share because I feel it shows us that the way we treat ourselves sits alongside how we treat our planet. The more ‘crap’ we consume, the more crap we burden the earth with.
🌎🌏🌍
Documenting our consumption, online or offline can help reduce it because we can become more aware of our habits and are able to contextualise the wider picture of our behaviour and how it affects ourselves and our environment. Living healthy for yourself also means treating our planet kindly. 💚🌎
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And some years later, I can tell you that my packaging waste is low level because I’m blessed enough to live in an area where all that is eco friendly is accessible.
As a consequence of CP transition town, I get my household products from Roots and Cycles and food goods from The store cupboard and Crystal palace food market and other small businesses around the area. It’s both individual and collective effort which make this possible and it would be wonderful to see more areas jumping on board with some green thinking 🌎
👛🎎👷👲👱👾
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But mostly… This is a reminder that if you want to take care of the planet, take care of yourself first.. once you become more aware and kind to the state of your health, the more naturally and easier it becomes to live a lifestyle that compliments the health of our planet

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