So after all these weeks and so much opportunity to make a difference, how have I fared?
Well. If you were going about your business, educated in the parts that you thought mattered, and the world was still spinning on-axis, what motive is there to change a behavioral trait that you once considered a day-in-day-out “routine”? It’s an interesting topic to give something up without motive. And to be honest, I couldn’t really decide what on Earth I was going to decide on.
The first choice, straight off the bat, and I’m stuck. The initial choice was to give up on buying supermarket branded milk, because the market giants seemed to be screwing the prices out of the farmers. However I then found out there was a little more to that than meets the eye. On a quick trip to all the local supermarkets, including Thomax Dux, Coles, Woolworths, IGA, and some smaller corner stores, the basic run-of-the-mill milk prices seemed to be around the same prices. PURA was $3 at coles, while the supermarket branded one was $2. This is significantly cheaper from what I can tell, is the same product. Thinking I’d transfer to a boutique alternative, Thomas Dux was the next stop. The milk was $2.5. Was this to provide the customers milk, without too much of a retail mark-up in that the margins would be made through other exclusive products sold throughout the retailer? I’m not sure, the only other options was to buy milk that hadn’t been pasteurised or homogonised or whatever. Not so much a premium product, just something that’s had a more direct route to the consumer, and there was no way I could tell where the raw milk had come from anyway. If I can’t trust where my milk is coming from, what difference does it make? Well, buggered if I know. So I decided in the end, Thomax Dux was closer to home, and I’d be buying their milk because it was less distance to carry, and I have a skeric of hope the farmer on the other end isn’t getting a rough deal out of it.
So did I change? Well. It’s not certain. I don’t exactly ask for fair trade milk when I buy a latte… If it was such a problem why don’t the farmers organise to fix it?! The government puts a tax on commodities like alcohol and petrol all the time. Whatever.
I could tell all my friends about this. I can explain to them over a fresh cuppa tea (with fair trade milk) why it’s a good thing to support Aussie farmers. But how would this be assessed in a university course? They say a sea is only a multitude of drops, but I feel my drop contribution with twitter evaporates in a sun shower of sml wrds and bitinyurls. I read only 39% of twitter posts are legitimate. I couldn’t agree more. Good for you if you find it a great means of communicating, however I’m yet to see any good come of it. I find it like a facebook status update in a world nobody has any friends. No feedback is given, and little change comes of the 61% ramble twitter is mostly composed of.
This is when I decided I’d do something more constructive of my seemingly horrendous life, consuming only to feed my greed and otherwise sheltered existence. I found myself on the world counter website, looking at all the deaths, births, etc etc. It astounded me the rate people where dying to alcohol abuse, and I actually did feel a little bit guilty. All summer I’d been working hard, and playing harder in the light of the fact I was moving to Melbourne very soon. I have a very close and wide group of friends, and we consumed far too much alcohol in far too short a period of time. It’s only binge drinking when you stop, right?!
Yeah. So the average Aussie spends $30 a week on booze, and I was contributing to this ridiculously high rate. This wasn’t people aged 18-55 or anything, it was the amount we spend on alcohol, divided by the population. Crazy talk. I understand alcohol has its place in society, but if everyone spent $5 a week less, that’d save $5.4B a year. Massive savings. We could afford to buy real milk!! So I was to give up excessive drinking of alcohol. I thought it was going to be dead easy, turns out I’m a sucker for punishment. I don’t have as many friends over here as I’d like, and I thought this’d make this task a walk in the park. Sometimes, I feel like going and buying beers, and drinking them in the company of a few decent mates. Don’t blame me. It’s like that girl playing hard to get. The most frustrating thing in the world! In this situation, a good mate would give advice. Something along the lines of giving up on the idea, or giving it a red hot go. And I think this idea is quite fitting to the change-giving up ideology. The course wasn’t designed to make a direct impact on how we live our lives by giving up, but enlightening us to the fact of this routine lifestyle without questioning. Where do things grow, what is milk? Or more obviously (regarding my last post to the blog) WHAT IS WATER!? My no more excessive drinking task was going well for a few weeks until I realised.
When you stop consuming so much, tolerances drop, and it’s easier to experience the sensation, this wasn’t the idea but could this be said about more than one substance? Easter is pretty damn tasty when you haven’t been eating chocolate for a while. Things tend to be better in mediation, as a “treat”. Consumers are getting into patterns, patterns are becoming routines, and the consumption rates rise. I go through patterns of consumption, like this week is a coffee week. Doing folio ruined my (lack of) sleep pattern, and I’m going about my ways trying to fix things. But this isn’t a dependent style of consumption. I read a womans family is suing coca-cola for her death because she was drinking 8litres of the beverage per day, without warnings on the product regarding substance abuse.
This has turned into a bit of a rant (oops), however I feel through the story of my semester I’ve raised some good ideas. Turns out I’ve cut back on my consumption of certain substances leading to self abuse, through learning about why and how a being is driven to consume products and completely disregard any implications these actions may have on the rest of society.
It takes a little bit of darkness, to see the stars.