This weekend, I met someone who looked just like one of my housemates from University. It was a really surreal experience talking to him as I couldn’t help thinking of my English friend!
This friend was someone who would challenge me on what I thought on different topics and questioned why I did things. I loved our conversations. It has helped shape me to be more questioning and wrestle with the best way to live. I am constantly thinking about things, my actions and the impact that may have on other people and seeking the best way to use my time, money and resources. In England I would often challenge myself in the way I shopped and used my money.
For well over 10 years I have not bought any Nestle products and tried not to even eat them, to the best of my knowledge. It is a well known boycott, mainly because of the way Nestle operates in many developing Countries. When a woman has a baby, Nestle gives the mother free (or cheaper) powdered baby milk. Once the mother has left hospital, this powdered milk is very expensive. Families will often struggle to afford this and so try to make it last longer by watering it down. The baby then is drinking the tap water, which may make them poorly and also not receive all the nutrients they need from the milk as it is watered down. Surely this is not fair. If Nestle had not had intervened, the mother would have breastfed and had given her baby all the nutrients it needed naturally, for free.
Here in Ecuador, Nestle products are EVERYWHERE. Going into any shop is full of Nestle things and therefore it is very difficult for me to avoid it. It got me thinking more and more about shopping. I don’t have the answers and I am not saying that I have lived and shopped the best way. It is a personal choice. But, what I do know is that I need to think carefully about my lifestyle. I want to do my best to help stop the exploitation of people, help look after the planet we have been given and be a good steward of the money God has entrusted me with.
In 2010 I gave up shopping in TESCO for a year, to see if it is possible to live without TESCO. That will continue this year too as TESCO hasn’t yet made it to Ecuador!