I wrote about a greener lifestyle before and will write about it again. This is because many Sikhs in the UK are less aware of green issues than the average person in the UK, and are less willing to change their lifestyle.
This is amazing for a people guided by the Guru Granth Sahib, which teaches us that God is present in all creation and that all Creation comes from The One. You would expect that Sikhs would have respect for God’s creation.
Gurbaní teaches that God has given us enough for ever, but we are insisting to spend Her/His Gifts at a rate that is totally unsustainable. Gurbaní teaches that there is no value in amassing worldly goods, but amassing worldly goods is the first priority of many UK Sikhs.
One of the reasons why more people visit the old Southall Singh Sabha at Park Avenue than the new Havelock Road Gurdwara is that Park Avenue has more parking spaces. This in spite of the fact that many members of the sangat live within walking distance and that the Gurdwaré are served by many buses and trains. The local buses are often stuck in traffic jams caused by cars with on average no more than 1½ persons in them. Let’s get out of our cars, walk more and bus more.
There are a lot of small shops in Southall that offer very good deals, but many of us prefer to go by car to the Tesco at Bulls Bridge because ‘it is more convenient’. Why it is more convenient to go to Tesco’s once the week for the big shop, rather than just hop into your local shop when you are low on milk, low on flour or whatever else is beyond me.
The goods at Tesco’s and other similar supermarkets are usually of less quality and higher price than the equivalent in the local shop, they tend to be over-packaged (more rubbish in the bin) and they encourage you to buy larger quantities which leads to more waste.
I get milk, cheese and a few other foods from local supermarkets like Iceland, and buy everything else from the local South Asian shops. Household utensils, coat hangers etc are also cheaper in local shops.
Shopping local ticks all the boxes, you save money on petrol and on the goods you buy, you support the local shops which makes for a better society where people know each other. And it is good for the environment.
The ‘local lifestyle’ is a more social lifestyle, a lifestyle that will make you happier. A local lifestyle will make you meet the people of all backgrounds that live in Southall. Did you know that there many friendly Somalis ? Did ever meet the sangat of the Dr Ambedkar Vihara ? And you missed those 10 p plates that one of the shops in King Street had for sale around Christmas !