Saturday, September 25, 2010

Despite second thoughts, I will shop locally

Well, there's no getting out of this. There I am, all over the front page of today's New Westminster Record, talking about how I will be shopping locally for one year. I've been having second, third and even fourth thoughts about this whole enterprise, but I guess it's too late to change my mind now.
Thanks to Andrew Fleming of the Record for taking interest in my experiment and to Larry Wright for the wonderful photo.
I'll be interested to see what kind of feedback the story gets. I won't be surprised to get some flack for the comparison made of my experiment to The 100-Mile Diet.
As flattering as it is to be compared to Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, authors of The 100-Mile Diet, I don't think my experiment is anywhere near as ground-breaking or as complicated as theirs. They really suffered for their book. They had to give up sugar, rice, and even bread, at least until they found a local wheat grower.
I must say though, when I tell people what I'm doing, some do react as though I'm likely to endure extreme hardship. I too have moments when I feel a sense of impending doom and deprivation. No Reitmans! No IKEA! No Canadian Tire! No L'Occitane for the best hand cream in the world! Oh, the humanity! How will I ever survive?
When I think about it rationally, I realize how silly my fears are. New Westminster lacks certain stores, but there are plenty of places to shop and all its grocery stores are amply stocked. What is it about our consumer culture that makes people think going without Costco and IKEA for a year will be so difficult? That's the kind of question I will explore starting Oct. 1.