I was looking at my blog stats today, and I noticed an incoming link from a site called Rise Up Buffalo. I clicked the link to find a Buffalo, N.Y.-based blog devoted to community activism, environmental responsibility, and various other crunchy-granola-type issues near and dear to my heart.
One interesting thing I found on Rise Up Buffalo was a link to the 100-Mile Diet, a site run by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon, who spent a year eating nothing but food that was produced within 100 miles of their home in Vancouver, B.C. The site is designed to help people reduce their dependence on food that’s been shipped in from who-knows-where and increase their support of local farmers.
Their adventures in thinking globally and eating locally reminded me of Judith Levine, who spent a year buying nothing except absolute essentials; Heather Hughes and Hanson Hosein, who shopped indie all the way across the United States while filming a documentary about the plight of the small business owner, and my own monthlong foray into shopping locally, which eventually led to the creation of my Indie Tulsa blog.
Although my all-indie-all-the-time experiment lasted only a month, it was relatively painless, and while I’ve gotten lazy and gone back to the big boxes more than I’d like to admit since then, it definitely raised my awareness and increased the amount of time and money I spend at locally owned businesses.
After a frustrating conversation last week with a friend who couldn’t understand why I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart and an eerie Big-Brother-is-watching-you experience at Target (after I paid for my purchases with my Target Visa card, I received a coupon for my favorite brand of conditioner, even though I hadn’t bought any that day, so apparently Target is keeping tabs on my hair-care procedures), I’m thinking maybe it’s time to take another stand against mindless consumerism and move another step closer to an all-indie lifestyle.
My schedule and other commitments don’t really allow me the luxury of cooking every meal at home for an entire year (and, frankly, it would break my heart to abandon the mom-and-pop diner scene for that long), but with a little planning, there’s no reason I can’t buy all my groceries at farmers’ markets or Center One (CAUTION: Music starts automatically), insist on Made In Oklahoma products whenever possible, and confine my shopping to mom-and-pop operations as far as I can.
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.