supermarket free month
I really don’t like the big supermarkets.
I don’t like them for all sorts of reasons, from their coercive hold over pricing with farmers, to their involvement in gambling. I’m not even sure WHY I continue to shop there, but I sometimes do.
I can only put it down to the lure of being able to get almost everything I need at once or force of habit.
But recently I’ve been using them less and less. There are lots of reasons for this. Since becoming a vegan the supermarkets don’t really have a lot of products I want. Another reason is that supermarkets directly contribute to the rise of factory farming by insisting on ever cheaper prices. I’ve also been growing most of my own fruit and veggies over the summer so haven’t needed to buy so much. I’ve also discovered good alternative online sources of must have items, like toilet paper, from socially responsible businesses like Who Gives a Crap who donate 50% of their profits to the building of toilets in developing countries.
Increasingly I’ve been shopping locally at small businesses, buying from CERES Fair Food or shopping at the markets or online from specialist retailers. I actually prefer this.
But still, sometimes, I go on auto pilot to the supermarket, or I go in the mistaken belief that it is easier and cheaper. Stupid really, because it isn’t. One of the main reasons is that I tend to buy more when I shop in supermarkets rather than in small shops. They are set up to entice us.
The evidence is pretty good that local shopping lowers people’s expenses, not necessarily because the prices are cheaper but simply because they buy less. This is incredibly important when you consider the enormous amount of food waste.
I’m also thinking that there are other useful side effects.
When I go to the supermarket, I take the car. When I shop at smaller shops, I tend to buy less at a time so I walk or take my bike. When I buy more, I overflow the capacity of the bags I have taken and so get unnecessary plastic bags.
So shunning the supermarket will be good for me and the environment as well.
So it is timely that, just as I was starting to use supermarkets less, along should come Supermarket Free Month.
I’m going cold turkey and not going to a big supermarket in April, and hopefully never again.