As Dry January (understand stop drinking alcohol during the first month of the year) is just over (but feel free to extend it…), supermarket-free February can begin. At any cost, a detox seems necessary to start the New Year. There used to be days “in favor of” a cause; today, there are also “something-free” days, such as Green Monday, a meat-and-fish-free day… The former advocates awareness and the latter stands for abstinence under the form of a challenge.
And so Belgium and Switzerland have supermarket-free February. France will allegedly host it soon but we must admit it is being quite discreet – which doesn’t mean the principle is questionable. The idea is for people to avoid going to a supermarket in order to favor independent and local shops, support smaller producers, promote bulk selling and local farming, and even re-learn to buy only essentials. The extent of the program is seducing: the goal is to ultimately give back local life a central place.
However, the organizers (the Swiss action group “En vert et contre tout”) say it is not a boycott. It aims at doing the best we can and relearn to diversify our sources of supply… No opposition but attempts to balance different systems. Nothing more. In 2018, there were nearly 20,000 participants in France and Switzerland. This figure is less important than the reasons for the creation of such a movement.
First of all, it is relevant of the way we consume because we’re not only buyers, we’re also activists. And from now on, innovation is possible: creating new ways of doing things and changing our habits. Consuming finally means being aware of our impact on our environment with the prospect that our new habits can be inspiring. This is simply the reason to be of the new groups on social media: everyone can post advice and tips to promote new habits and encourage the will to act.
Consuming has always been very significant. Even more when it comes to changing the rules.