I want to clarify something. It’s about where I see myself (and this blog) with regards to a global movement to whole foods, ecological living, zero waste, and sustainability in general. It’s essentially about the privilege to choose my life.
Let me begin with an example from my life: picking my son up from daycare. His daycare is 2km straight down the road. I can walk the distance in about 30minutes along the medium busy four lane road. Or I can take the bus for about 7 minutes (excluding waiting times) which costs me AUD 2.10 return. Or I can take the car for about 5 minutes. Having these options available is an absolute luxury! Every single one of them is safe, achievable, and affordable.
An abundance of choice
My decisions on my lifestyle resemble this example: I have a large number of choices. Each choice comes with its own drawbacks but overall they are interchangeable. My choice in the end depends on my personal believe system. I’m lucky to be in that situation. I know however that the ability to choose is a privilege.
A number of topics I talk about in this blog result from my privilege of making choices. There is nothing (or hardly anything) that influences my decisions such as concerns about personal safety, availability or finances. I’m privileged by the colour of my skin, the place I was born in, the education I received, and the society I choose to live in. It gives me the freedom to think about issues I want to change in my life. I’m not constraint by my surrounds.
The unavoidable external influences on every day life is one issue I often see forgotten in movements like zero waste, minimalism and whole foods. It’s fantastic to be able to make choices. BUT I don’t want to forget that there are millions of people in the world who do not have that freedom, who cannot decide to live a minimal lifestyle or to live waste-free.
This however does not mean that those of us who CAN make the choice should choose to continue a life of waste, over-consumption, and constant acquisition of new stuff. We need to find a global balance between those with too many options and those with too few. I’m ready to reduce my choice and to become more equal with the world around me.
My choice to move away from constant consumption of goods, services and foods is a conscious one. It is based on my search for my own well being. For me leading a life with too many choices is overwhelming. I want to reduce my choices and feel satisfied with the ones I make. I challenge myself by asking if every purchase is necessary, or if a car ride might be avoidable.
It seems that although I have the freedom to make choices, it’s more difficult to make the right choice at all times. Nevertheless I feel very fortunate to live in a country, a space in time, and in a skin which allow me to choose the life I want to live. The choices I have to make seem simple but are actually more important because they break the norm. I choose a life away from the modern lifestyle while utilising the conditions that got me there. I continue to rely on personal safety, a decent income, good education, and the recognition of my skin. And I choose to live a life that’s simpler than I could with what’s on offer.