Climate change: 'Food shopping subversively is easy for Islingtonians'

Stroud Green market

Stroud Green market - Credit: Nicola Baird

When roads turn into canals after a massive summer thunderstorm, and then do it again next week, it’s much easier to understand that a warming climate messes up the weather dangerously. To resolve this, we need a massive rethink by government and business, including supermarkets, to stop our addictive use of fossil fuels which heat up the planet.

The catch is that even if Islington Council (or the UK) led the way with zero carbon ideas (for heating, eating and travel) we still need the rest of the globe to decarbonise; sort out the energy used by housing and shake-up an economic system that fails to value clean air or any natural capital (forests, biodiversity, water etc).

Founder of the Islington Faces blog and Inspiring Islington exhibition, Nicola Baird.

Nicola Baird encourages us all to shop subversively - Credit: Nicola Baird

You can find policies that can do this in the Green New Deal (GND). It’s confusing that many groups use this term, but economist Ann Pettifor, author of The Case for the Green New Deal, sees it as the umbrella-term that will bring in transformational changes on how we get around, eat, heat and cool our homes – and tackle the climate crisis.

Pettifor also reckons individuals should use their money in powerful ways saying: “Not using Amazon and shopping locally is subversive.”

Food shopping subversively is easy for Islingtonians: we have many ways to avoid supermarkets (which over-transport, over-package food) including markets at Archway, Stroud Green and Chapel Street. Growing Communities, based in Stoke Newington, has found that their farmer-focused system is more efficient than industrial agriculture and every £1 spent “generates £3.70 of value for you, for farmers (who are properly paid) and for the planet”.


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Other ideas: organise the Top Up truck to refill your containers in your street. Fancy a takeaway? Try Wings, a new ethical food delivery co-op in Finsbury Park. Even food banks are transforming into food co-ops, enabling users to pick what they actually want to cook/eat.

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