I have ideas for a book, provisionally entitled, ‘Just Eat a Peach’. Here is a tentative first chapter or introduction. Comments most welcome.
Personal observations suggest that changing personal habits can take anything from between six months and a lifetime. More optimistically, I would say that where there is no pressing urgency, altering personal routines and habits can be expected, to take between six months and two years.
I can’t manage comprehensive self-sufficiency. Now does this text intend, in its scope and depth, to answer every DIY question from “How do I slaughter a pig?” to “What about Greenhouse gases?” On the contrary, it is based firmly within the realms of my own experience and observations of what works and what may be a waste of time.
Where should we start? There is so much to consider, and potentially every area of our lives can be re-examined. For the purposes of this exercise it helps us enormously to make a start with something, when we remember that we are responsible for our personal circumstances and understand that there are excellent reasons to embrace change. I wish to send out a rallying cry, to empower us to act, to do something, no matter how small, to make a difference. While many citizens charged with aspects of decision-making seem to spend their time in power struggles concerned with budgets, targets, strategies, spheres of influence and planning, we foot soldiers can set to work with our gloves off – or on, if you happen to be washing dishes or gardening.
Seriously, do we want to wait until we have to choose between washing the dishes, or washing our hair? Do we really expect to ‘have it all’ indefinitely? If the Kyoto Protocol and Doha amendments being negotiated mean anything, they signal that we will have to make such choices. Does it not make sense to start examining our habits now, so that the pains we have to go through are less agonizing?
Taking time to choose, then reflect, adapt and accept or reject our choices, is how we eventually achieve permanent shifts in our habits. Much of what I suggest may not work out for you; and since I started writing, various problems have surfaced which make certain apparently ‘eco-friendly’ choices unworkable for me. Unless we have tried and tested something over a period, the chances are, it won’t endure, and may end up costing us more time, energy, resources and goodwill than we can readily afford.
But time is one commodity we seem to be running short of, unfortunately. And certain themes keep coming back to me. On the one hand, there is some reassuring evidence that I am on the right track; and on the other hand, I am reminded of the urgent need make a real commitment to change, to self-empowerment and improvement in my circumstances, regardless of my income bracket or job prospects. That urgency is galvanising. I don’t know about you, but, I want to make a difference. I don’t want to rely on others to come up with magical solutions at the last minute.