Staying With the Earth

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Simplifying feels so good. This is almost perfect, and it’s so easy to actually get there. The bulk shop was a 10-minute walk and I chose the convenience of the bagged chick peas and brown rice. The devil of convenience… I know, I know. Everything else is out of a package and in my reusable produce bags. I’m in love with them. I’ve had some of them for years… It seems like they last forever. You can get them from Flip & Tumble for a small price to avoid the garbage of plastic bags.

It’s a shame to bring things into the house that are created literally as garbage, things that hold no purpose other than to create a mild bit of convenience or the illusion of it.

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Chopped zucchini, grape tomatoes and strained tomatoes.

The basil tomato sauce from Pasata is sold in the same jar as this plain one. I thought I was getting the basil jar, but this is okay, too.

I put some things in my basket, then put them back in their place, out of my basket. There’s a passage from a Dr. Buck Levin in my nutrition school book that really resonated with me: “nothing will work except an unbounded kindness on our part for everything natural, a ‘staying with’ the world even when it’s inconvenient and doesn’t pay.” I feel, hope, that by putting these pre-packaged things back, I did a little staying with the earth… The strawberries that come in a plastic crate, the chips, the large carton of coconut milk.

It’s not convenient, it wasn’t. I wanted those things. I wanted milk for my coffee and my muesli and chips to feel good and strawberries to top my chia seed puddings and salads. But the reality of waste in my comfortable Western life, a reality I can’t comprehend on any level and have so much trouble connecting with, is much more inconvenient than choosing a package-free fruit or deciding against a salty, fatty snack.

I am humbled by how little I know and how much the earth blesses me. It gives so much of itself for each of us just to survive. And it gives too much, more than it should, to make the lives of some of us convenient.

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According to this chart, in California (from where Canada imports most of its almonds as it doesn’t have its own commercial almond crops—they just don’t grow here), it takes an estimated 2,126 litres of water to obtain just a single pound of these nuts. You can find the 2011 study here, on waterfootprint.org.

No, forget the almonds, this laptop I  am using to connect to you from my beautiful tiny apartment in the centre of this huge, gorgeous city contains mined metals inside, like gold and tantalum and copper, among others.

I don’t think about gold for what it is. Gold, gold… it’s a word I hear all the time… But gold is the progeny of a gamma ray burst someplace deep in the universe a long time ago. There isn’t much of it here in the earth’s crust, and our planet doesn’t have the capacity to create it. And now it’s powering parts of my laptop.

But don’t ask me which parts just yet.

 

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