Re: Walking gently - what does it take?
From: Alexander Robin A (
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 15:36:34 -0700 (PDT)
Excellent point, Racheli. So something might be cheap because resources were 
used efficiently in its production in a "good" way. Factory farms are 
"efficient" but only because many of the real costs are hidden (poor quality of 
the food, damage caused by chemicals, use of antibiotics, etc.). As you point 
out, it might be cheap because people are being exploited in its creation or 
"free" materials are being used again with hidden costs such as loss of 
forests, etc. It's a pretty complex issue and, except for the easy choice of 
farmers' markets, shopping has become almost a career in itself!
Robin Alexander


From: Racheli Gai [mailto:racheli [at]]
Sent: Sun 7/1/2007 1:20 PM
To: Cohousing-L communities
Subject: [C-L]_ Walking gently - what does it take?

Brian B. wrote (in part) :
"Walking gently means walking *cheap*."

How is that the case?
For example: Is buying the cheapest food (conventional, sold
at WalMart) the environmental thing to do?
Or does one walk gently by contracting with a farmer and paying her
way more than what they would get in the store, so that she can actually
make a living?

As Lisa pointed out, much of what we buy for little money is based on
exploitation of other humans and limited resources.  In what way is it
gentle? -- It seems that it isn't even necessarily "gentle" for the
since the real full costs simply shifted to a different - invisible -
It creates an environment which makes us sick, or supports companies
are becoming more powerful and centralized as time goes by, meaning that
our ability to have a voice in decisions crucial for our lives and the
life of the
planet is diminished.

It's important to remember that "cost" isn't only financial, and that
by paying more we "buy" more than what's directly visible, if we care
to look at the
larger context.

This doesn't mean that paying a lot necessarily entails walking gently.
many if not all of us buy things we don't really need, and some very
items have great environmental cost.  Learning to live with less is
a part of task:  Less square footage in our houses; less flying;
smaller/more efficient
cars (or no cars at all where/when possible), and so on.


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