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I finished the book about Leo Hickman’s experiment with living ethicially.  At the end of it, of course, it’s not as if he can return to his ‘unethical’ living after all the things he’s learned.  Basically you have to reassess everything you do and buy from the food you eat to the bank you deposit your money in.  I’m keen now to look up all those big corporations and find out who are the ‘baddies’ (all of them?).   I didn’t know that cotton uses so much water and pesticides so I would much rather buy organic cotton but finding these organic and ethical alternatives is not so easy and, of course, you often pay extra.  If someone in London found it hard to come up with alternatives, it’s nigh impossible for me in a little village in New Zealand.  But then again, it could be easier.  What is difficult is finding out where stuff came from when it’s not labelled.  I did avoid buying out-of-season Californian nectarines yesterday.  Such little decisions help.  Leo says ‘start small’ and you can’t do everything.  They cut back on holidays involving planes, for example.  NZers would get nowhere if they had to avoid flying!  There’s no Europe across the ditch, reachable by train.

Anyway, I ramble.  Typing as the thoughts appear.  I had meant to relate some of the book in a more organised manner.  Best thing is to read the book yourself!  This copy has to go back to the library. 

I can feel a little better that I’m not a big consumer as I dislike shopping.  I don’t buy the latest fashions or a book every week so am not contributing quite so much to the issues surrounding production.  But I’m as guilty as anyone else living in a western country of contributing to the damage to the environment.  The whole of our society revolves around obscene consumption.

I note at the end of the book that he has written a follow-up which is more of a guide, which would be very useful.  (‘A Good Life. A guide to ethical living’)

So, some research required.  I did once print out recipes of alternatives to those harsh chemical cleaning products… Where did I put them? 

As Libby Purves says on the cover of the book

“Very entertaining… full of useful new things to fret about.”

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