Tuesday, 3 November 2009

We've Been Talking

Since we first got together, but more seriously for the last 18 months, PJ and I have been talking about the areas in our life that we'd like to change in order to live more sustainably.

Trying our best to avoid buying things that are made from or packaged in plastic is our ongoing mission. On the whole I feel great about it, although there's an organic grapefruit juice we no longer buy because it comes in a plastic bottle, that I really, really miss.

Buying local is another rung on our transition ladder, which we are incrementally working towards. As is only buying second hand clothes.

We recently made a decision that feels a lot bigger than the steps we have taken so far. And that is not to fly overseas by plane again. PJ and our friend Jason, who together make up the outfit WorkmanJones have been invited to show their work at a gallery in the States next year, accompanied by their respective partners. Airfares and artist fees were included. I was planning to see my sister Abby, among other people, but now it looks like I won't see her or them until they come to Australia or until air travel is powered by non-polluting fuel.

This feels huge! One of the sites I write for is a travel site. On my profile it says
As a writer, Meg is often asked about the one book that has been the most inspirational or influential in her life. For all the insights, adventures and revelations it has afforded her, she would hands down have to say her passport.
And I'm not just saying that. It feels like a huge thing to say I'm never going to travel overseas by plane again.

What about you? Is there anything you have given up or can't imagine living without?


Doily said...

Wow Meg , thats a big ole decision. Being a 'continental' myself i forget that you cant just hop on a boat or train and be in a different country. Eh-by-gum! Thats a real conundrum! No exhibition? eek. No Abby?! double eek

toasted said...

Such a big question - the kind of question I manage to not get around to asking myself. But you have reminded me that my partner wanted us to get rid of our only car and rely on pedal-power, taxis when needed, and hire cars if we want to go on holiday to the bush. I rebelled as we were about to have our second baby and I honestly didn't think I could manage to have a life if I couldn't quickly go to places in whatever gaps the bub would leave me. We compromised and I said I'd be up for discussing it when he's about two - which is in six months. I'd completely blanked it out till now. And when I think about it, the idealist in me starts jumping around excitedly while the 2 yr-old in me starts whining, slouching and sulking. I think I'll only be able to trick myself into it by agreeing to a three-month trial.

It's a toughie you're facing. I try and minimise my air travel but I don't do without - seeing my family is too important to me. If only the whole world operated this way instead of being so gluttonous and/or complacent.

Shokoofeh said...

I need to think about it!


Anonymous said...

wow.... such a heart wrenching choice :(
If it came right down to it I guess I couldn't do without my special guys big and little. But on a consumer level..... maybe chocolate and fresh fruit?? Then again chocolate opens up a huge fair trade bottle of worms!!

Umatji said...

ohh big one! hard for us as me and squeeze are from opposite sides of the continent...
we do try to go less but it is hard when family is family and they are so far apart - maybe I should have shacked up locally!

Anonymous said...

Don't deny yourself this Meg. You are an inspiration to many and should/can justify yourself this trip surely...you might broaden your influence and family is most important. Chele

Another Outspoken Female said...

Gosh. That is such a huge decision to make. I do think travel broadens the mind. I'd be with your original thought that my passport is something I'd find difficult to give up. But then again the home I've chosen to live in is not my country of origin. To never see my place of birth again - the thought takes my breath away.

I respect your choice but wonder if there is a line between frivolous travel, non-essential work travel (when you can skype or teleconference) versus once in a lifetime stuff. It's a heck of a gift for an Australian artist to be offered fees and two airfares. Wow.

T. said...


rtw - no planes


Meg said...

Interesting article here.

Tricia said...

I'm impressed! Good on you.

I'll be honest and say i do'nt think i've made any big sacrifices yet. I'm trying to loose our second car.

I'd love to not fly again - but having family in three different states of Australia and a young daughter that I want to know her family makes that hard. Actually - thats just a pathetic excuse. We have reduced our plane trips to once a year.

toasted said...

eeeeek. one plane trip = one year of an average Britons car usage emissions. Scary stuff.

Meg said...

Great 1 minute video here.