Drinking less, scanning your own stuff, and dealing with food waste.
Are you sober curious? - Meaning you’ve not cut out alcohol completely, you’re just cutting back, either with fewer drinks or with non-alcoholic ones. Not just something like a Cuba Libre without the rum either, as there are alcohol-free versions of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and Tanqueray Gin. I’m not sure a martini without that bite of alcohol would be even close, though. There are a lot of good alcohol-free beers, many with a rich hoppy taste - I’m sipping one from Sober Carpenter as I write this. According to a Globe and Mail article, one reason for this shift may have been the recent pandemic, for health reasons. Perhaps the habit of hanging out in a crowded bar was broken. They quote that one in five Canadians are drinking less, especially younger ones.
I know I’m drinking less alcohol, because of the calories and the cost. Have your patterns changed? Have the choices in your local expanded? I haven’t seen a lot of these choices in mine, but maybe there’s just not the demand yet. Maybe it’s not in the bar’s best interest either. Even if prices/profits are the same, when people drink alcohol they soon want another and another. Then some sides of nachos. Rounds of shooters. Not so much if they’re sober.
Do you volunteer at the grocers? - Meaning fumble through the self-checkout? We were promised it would be faster than waiting in line, and a cost savings measure. It’s faster as long as others, or you don’t mess up. And we were naive to think that the 50% staff reduction would somehow pass on to us as lower prices. Unless you count the ability for people to now shoplift more - either by skipping items or swapping bar codes. A London Pree Press article points out that self-checkout is not living up to its hype for the owners. Two-thirds of shoppers experience problems with the systems, be it broken machines, long waits for assistance from that one harried supervisor, or mis-scanned items. Some stores have added the annoyance/embarrassment of stopping shoppers on the way out and demanding the ‘right’ to check their receipts against the cart’s contents.
Speaking of groceries - According to a recent New Scientist article, food waste in the US in one year produces methane equal to 12 million cars. More than a third of the food produced there goes to waste, whether on the farm, in transit, in the store, or hiding in the back of the fridge. Ditto for here in Canada, I’m sure.
I try to buy just what I know I’ll use but shopping for one can be a challenge. I don’t have a composting worm bin in my apartment kitchen but I do make a lot of soups with leftovers. Our local food bank gets produce donated to them from some local grocers, and this trend is growing but it’s on a voluntary basis and I’m not sure what percentage that is of all the waste for the stores. In France, since 2016, it’s been against the law for grocers to send any food to a landfill. Besides donations, they can use discounts for not-so-perfect produce, send it for animal feed, or use composting. Should we have a similar law in Canada? Will that just send another protest convoy to Ottawa?