This month we are officially starting two challenges:
1) The Eat Local Challenge, organized by Crunchy Chicken, and;
2) the Riot for Austerity/90% Carbon Emission Reduction challenge, organized by Miranda at
Simple Living and Sharon at Causabons Book.
Crunchy is encouraging people to eat as much local (i.e., within their 100 mile 'foodshed') food as possible for the month of July. It is a project designed for success, because each participant can choose just how involved they want to be in doing the 'locavore' thing for themselves. We have set some fairly modest goals for ourselves this month:
- To find out where our local farmers are located
- To buy as much produce as possible from these farmers either at their farms near us or at the Farmer's Market(s)
- To learn more about growing our own food, and keep good care of our little 4X4 garden.
- What ever fresh produce we do buy from the grocery store will be grown in Canada or the USA only.
- To check where every food product we buy comes from, and when we have a choice (which is most of the time) to buy the one that is produced closer to home.
The second challenge is a year-long project that the Austerity Rioters already began on June 1st. Here is how Miranda and Sharon outline the project:
The goal that Miranda, Sharon and other participants have set for themselves is to cut their emissions by 90% of what the average person in the US consumes - the approximate amount people in the rich world need to reduce by in order to avoid the worst effects of global warming. The eventual goal is to reach the 94% that George Monbiot calculates would represent a fair share of the world’s emissions for Americans, but we’re starting slow ;-).George Monbiot is the author of the book, "Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning." I haven't read this book yet, but the essential premise is that the developed world has to drastically cut its emissions to prevent greenhouse gasses from reaching the tipping point after which we can't stop global warming anymore no matter what we do. Those of us in the US, Canada and Australia must cut our emissions by 90%; those in the E.U, by about 85%.
Here are the seven key areas of consumption in which we must make reductions:
- Heating/Cooking energy
- Consumer Goods
This is a huge challenge, no doubt about it. I don't know if we can do it without radically changing our lifestyle. But we would like to try. It would be good to see just how low we can go by only making moderate changes. Then maybe if we have to make drastic changes one day [insert ominous music here], maybe they won't seem so drastic anymore.
I'm working on a spreadsheet that outlines our consumption in these 7 areas, and once I get it finished I will post it here, that is if I can figure out how to post a spreadsheet on a blog.