Is What You Are Doing Costing the Earth?


By Glynn Burrows


ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Glynn Burrows, owner of Norfolk Tours UK, discusses the world of convenience and how “convenient” it really is. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.


It’s a question I heard quite a lot a few years ago, but I haven’t heard it lately.

I use a similar phrase when talking to people about using local independent businesses. “Does buying from nationals and multinationals cost you more than money?”

Both phrases deserve some very deep consideration, as what we are doing to our local economy is devastating, as well as our way of life and what we are doing in our everyday lives may be saving us a few pennies today, but it is costing the Earth a lot more in the loss of habitat, resources, and pollution.

I have been on this planet of ours for several decades now and what I see pains me greatly. Our “governments” (and I use that term very loosely,) appear to be doing things to help, but, when we look at what they are doing, it is actually just moving the problem.

We can all see examples of this, but the one which really infuriates me is the plastic situation. We have been told that plastic is bad and single-use plastics have been discouraged, in some cases totally taken off the shelves, (single-use plastic carrier bags is one example,) yet we still have “bags for life” made of plastic, vegetables, and fruit wrapped in plastic, fish, meat & other food trays made of plastic, plastic gloves and aprons and now even plastic money!

If we are to ban plastic, ban it. We lived very nicely before plastic, and we can live again without having our fruit and vegetable wrapped in plastic. Why doesn’t the “government” ban it today?

If we all started buying out fruit and vegetables, as well as most of our food from our local independent suppliers, and ate what was in season, it would have an enormous effect on the planet. Why are we importing millions of tons of food when we can grow enough to feed the nation without imports? Oh yes. It’s because we have become used to eating food which doesn’t grow here, or food which isn’t in season. Flying strawberries from Spain to the UK does not make sense in any world, other than the world of 2023.

There have been many conservationists over the years: Sir David Attenborough, John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Steve Irwin, and hundreds more. Every community has one! The sad thing is, that most of what they say only resonates with us, plebeians. We do what we can, but the people who could make the biggest changes are not doing so.

Just imagine this little scenario: The owner of the biggest supermarket chain in the country decided that he would not stock fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic. He also decided that he would only stock fruit and vegetables which came from local suppliers, say within 100 miles of the store.

Yes, we would need to get used to a new way of eating, (or for us old people, a return to how we used to eat,) but we would be healthier, and the local economy would boom. The Earth would breathe a sigh of relief, as all those international flights containing strawberries and kiwi fruit would stop and the knock-on effect on the national economy would be massive too.

If the same supermarket owner decided to do the same for meat and fish, just imagine how the economy would improve yet again and there would be new producers of fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish to satisfy the new market. New jobs and new vibrancy would come into the community and each locality would have its own identity again………………. Hang on, that’s how it was when I was young……………

Yes, conservation is all about looking after the birds, animals, and trees, but the biggest thing we can do is change our ways. Start buying locally produced food and other things. Start eating with the seasons. Ask your Grandmother how she lived in the past. What did she eat when she was a child? I know for a fact that my grandparents never tasted a kiwi fruit, or avocado or ate strawberries in February!

Just one more thing which has nothing to do with conservation, but everything to do with what we eat. If any of you are medical researchers, I would love you to look at this subject which has been going around my head for several years now.

Today, there are lots of allergies and a lot more stomach problems. I have wondered if it is all to do with the fact that we are eating stuff that is new to our DNA. My DNA (for the last 400 years at least,) has never been used to eating as much meat as I do today. My ancestors never ate avocado, kiwi fruit, bananas, etc., etc., so my digestive system has no idea how to deal with them.

Has that got anything to do with why we are having so many problems these days? When I was at school, I never knew anyone with gluten intolerance, nobody had asthma, nobody was allergic to nuts, etc., etc. Is it just that people suffered without knowing, or is this all a new phenomenon?

Glynn provides customized, private tours and also helps his clients trace their English family history. Past guests have visited and experienced stately houses and gardens, castles and churches, ruins and villages, birding and wildlife, World War II airfields, and general area taster tours too. Accommodations can be in all types of establishment, from character buildings such as windmills, thatched cottages and castles, self-catering or five star luxury –  just say what you want and it can be arranged. Nothing is too much trouble for Glynn! Visit

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Glynn provides customized, private tours and also helps his clients trace their English family history.

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