Personal Development: Sarbani Sen explains her 6 steps to ecological transition.
1. Eat, buy, connect local
Try as much as possible to buy at the corner shop, avoid big chains, eat in harmony with the seasons (avoid mangos, pineapple or strawberries in the winter), avoid buying in mega supply chains and supermarkets. Buy local for food and clothes. For food, there are plenty of providers in Brussels (efarmz, tanneurs, Saint Gilles market etc)
2. Mind your trash
When it comes to buying food, try to buy in bulk without packaging (bring your own recipient to the shop), avoid over-packaged goods, avoid buying plastic and non-recycled items. Look for loose bio products (Relais du Triporteur in Boisfort, Tanneurs in Sablon and others)
3. Mindful shopping
When you buy something think first: will I wear it or use it at least 30 times? Is this a compulsive buy or a really needful one? Try to show your kids to different way of buying. Buy your books second hand for example (Pêle Mêle on chaussée de Waterloo for example) – even kids’ games can be bought there for a ridiculously small amount. And kids are always very happy to sell their stuff there too and earn some money that they can in turn spend in the shop (if they want to). Try to have some fun in thrift shops! For a hardly any money you can buy fun clothes (Petits Riens, Oxfam, Armée du Salut to name only a few, but you’ll find loads in Saint Gilles and Sablon). These are also places where you can get rid of things you no longer need.
4. Map it
Get used to and inform yourself of the public transportation around you. How do others get around without their car? Try to reduce using your car – use bike or public transportation instead. In Brussels and Wallonia, you get special discounts and even a bulk amount to buy an e-bike if you get rid of a car. Maybe you have two cars in the family and could use only one? Cycling is the new way to get around and with the new offers for ebikes there is no reason not to give it a try. (PROVELO)
The stuff you are throwing away… could it in any way be transformed into something else? What if you were creative and played with it? If you’re not much of a creative person yourself, give it away to an upcycling shop or association to improve your ecological transition rating. Don’t throw anything! Recycle – share – give away.
6. Cultivate humility
Do you need all that you desire? Take a closer look at all your desires. What are they made of? Now take a look at their opposite: your fears. What do you fear so much that it creates such deep envy? Are you living in the now or are you living in the past or in the future? Humility is the art of being in the now only, without any need, no fear and no envy. Breath in and breath out, and simply enjoy the fact of being alive. The best way to down consume.