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Friday, November 05, 2010

A Car Dependent Society

We are constantly exhorted to use public transport to reduce greenhouse gases and the use of fossil fuels.  I am lucky enough to live in a suburb which is fairly safe to walk around in and is reasonably well served by trains and buses.  I have a short, if steep, walk to a bus stop, which (sort of) connects with a train service.  From my house I can get around all of Melbourne in one way or another, without the use of a car.

I am not trying to sound like a saint.  I don't have a driving licence.  When George is around I am only too happy to let him drive me where I want to go, or pick me up.  But I try to do weekday things without expecting him to ferry me hither and yon.

One of those things is the grocery shopping, which up until now I have tried to do in one big shop per week.  It;s a boring thing to subject the family to, so I prefer to do it on a Thursday or Friday, getting to the supermarket by bus and having the groceries delivered by their delivery service.  It costs me a few dollars, and I can't get barbeque chicken (which I never buy anyway) or icecream delivered, but it is otherwise very convenient.  (The icecream I get in monthly hits, with George's assistance).  For the elderly and disabled with no-one to drive them, it must be a lifeline.  For me, it is a necessary convenience for which I am prepared to pay.

Our household consists of two adults, two teenagers with hollow legs, and a dog.  Because of the delivery solution, I tend to buy everything at the supermarket.  We get through quite a lot of stuff every week.  I have just been informed in a letter from my supermarket that they will no longer, as of next week, be delivering any cold items.  Approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of my weekly shop is perishables - dairy, meat, fruit and vegetables.  They will, of course, be charging the same amount as now to deliver half my shopping, if I continue to use this service.

The letter ends with the immortal line 'Just a couple more ways to make your shopping easier!'  The exclamation mark is theirs, not mine.

This will make my life harder.  I will either have to (a) rely on George more, (b) change supermarkets (unless the other one changes its policies to match), or (c) get a shopping trolley and change the way I shop.  I haven't decided yet.

Coles Supermarkets, I'm ashamed to still own shares in your parent company.  What are those people who really cannot change their ways going to do?


2paw said...

Damn them, it's like the endless phone waiting when they tell you that you are important to them, and then lay muzak.
I couldn't get around without my car, to walk The Labradors or get anywhere. We have terrible public transport here.

see you there! said...

I don't think we have any supermarkets that deliver but I can see the advantages in the idea. Some of our services for seniors include a van to take them shopping, otherwise you are on your own.

Hauling a weeks worth of groceries in a cart sounds daunting.


Jill said...

Ironically, if you shop at Coles on line, they'll deliver everything - frozen, chilled, whatever. (Not an option for us on the little island, but I'm sure it's available in your part of the world.)

Kuka said...

oh for real?!! I can't believe they ended with the bit about making your shopping easier! That is just too much!

KarenS said...

Hope Woollies keeps playing the game, because (1) you can't fit a week's shop in your average Granny Trolley; (2) if you put 6l of milk in the bottom and drag it over the bumps & lumps they insist on sticking all over bus-stops, the lumps etc knock the wheels off the trolley; (3) you MUST lift it onto the bus etc by the sides of the handles, NOT the top (or the whole thing falls in half); (4) you can buy a 4-wheel 2 basket double decker trolley from Howard's Rip-Off World for about $150, and you can put more stuff in it, but the baskets slide about, and may fall off while getting on/off bus - bus drivers won't get down to help, as it isn't a pram.
If you can't get delivery, least worst solution is to do on-line for heavy or bulky stuff, and go to shop for specials, and f&v, where you want to pick your own!