Blog Action Day – focusing on Poverty

Filed in Blog by on October 15, 2008 4 Comments
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Blog Action Day - zero waste and poverty
In support of Blog Action Day, I’ve found myself thinking about Poverty; which is this years theme. The aim of Blog Action Day is to raise awareness, start a global discussion and add momentum to an important cause.

This year’s theme ties in well with our own zero food waste challenge.
I have to admit, searching through my fridge and fruit bowl this week has been a real eye opener. We all know by now that the average UK resident throws away one third of their food per week which amounts to a total of 6.7 million tonnes of food each year across the country.

With the credit crunch in full swing, food prices soaring and the cost of fuel increasing, reducing food waste is one small step we can take to help ease the burden on the land, the environment and other people.

I’m not saying that not wasting food means other people get to eat, but if I had a magic wand I would make it so. Wouldn’t that be great? If we all took what we needed, rather than what we wanted, wouldn’t it be wonderful to find a way of sharing that wealth around so that we could all eat and live a healthy and happy life; instead of the injustice that seems to rule the world at the moment.

Keeping in mind there are people who cannot afford to eat or get access to clean, safe water when we prepare our own food might make us feel more abundant and rich in our own lives. Hopefully it will lead to less waste too.

Media adverts convince us that unless we buy the latest gadget, car or item of clothing we are ‘poor’. Poor in status, lifestyle, sexiness, attractiveness or circle of friends. And while we throw out a perfectly good sofa because it is the wrong colour, other people don’t even have a home, let alone a choice of furniture colour and style.

What is interesting to me about focusing on Poverty for the day is that my immediate thought turns to babies in Africa with distended stomachs and flies on their faces. But we need to remember those closer to home too. Our neighbours, people in our towns, in the capital city and our own friends and family.

In the UK, nearly 13 million people live in poverty. 18% of children go without two or more items that the majority of the population says are necessities, such as adequate clothing, toys, or three meals a day and one in five families are unable to afford some basic food items.

If we hold that last statistic in mind when doing our weekly shop, when scraping leftovers into the bin, or planning a meal for a celebration such as Christmas, it might be all we need for a shift in mindset and habit that will last for a lifetime.

And if you feel moved to really get stuck in and do something, why not support the work of a charity such as FareShare?

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (4)

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  1. Cuckoo says:

    These small steps go a long way. Thanks for sharing this.

    I too have participated in Blog Action Day. You can read the story here what I am doing in my own little way. People say it is inspiring. 🙂
    Here it is
    http://www.cuckooscosmos.com/Musings/2008/10/15/blog-action-day-poverty/

    We all can make this world better.

    Cuckoo

  2. Hi Mrs G – this is such a poignant message and a really important one in finding the balance between the must-have society and folk who struggle to buy the basics. It is great that something like Blog Action Day allows time to pause for thought. xxx

  3. Mrs Green says:

    THanks Cuckoo – great to see you and I enjoyed reading your post too.

    Mrs A – I was surprised how few people I know in the blogosphere took part in this, but, like you, I enjoyed stopping for a moment to reflect on such an important issue.

  4. Hi Mrs G – I know what you mean. I thought more would have participated. However, it’s only the second year it’s run so it’s going to get bigger. Last year was about the Environment and I remember putting a post up on one of my other blogs about how buying less at Christmas would mean fewer resources, with less waste etc…LOL…if only I’d known where it would all lead to. But one thing’s for sure, I hope Blog Action Day is here to stay, cos it’s a really good excuse to stop and think. 😀 x

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