Have it all – at what cost?

When I heard of SkiDubai, the world’s largest indoor ski centre, I felt convinced to the core that the world had indeed gone completely mad. An area of 22 500 sq m (the size of three football pitches) covered in real snow all year round – in the middle of a desert. The biggest and best – this is Dubai, after all – the centre boasts the world’s first indoor black run and the world’s largest interactive Snow Park. With the temperature maintained at -1 – -2 C, you can hire an overcoat if you have not packed your suitcase with snow in mind.

As I perused the website, I was silently screaming – “This is utterly mad. Instant gratification at what cost? The world is running out of energy and we are allowing this?” It reminds me of when I found out about the artificial beach on the banks of the Seine brought into Paris by the lorry load every summer. It just doesn’t seem right, just so unnecessary….

But then I took a step back from this extreme example of snow in the desert. Is this any different to swimming outdoors in the snow in a heated pool at Centerparcs last week? And how much fruit and veg do I expect to buy and enjoy out of season? What extra energy burden is that creating? Let’s face it, many of us want a tan all year round, we want the heating turned up high rather than putting on an extra jumper, we want strawberries on New Years Day.

I can get on my high horse about SkiDubai, because I am not into skiing and I am unlikely to visit Dubai. But like so many others, I have lost a sense of the seasons and expect my preferred produce all year round. As I said, nowhere near as whacky, but not without environmental impact nevertheless.

I am still awaiting delivery of my first organic fruit and veg box. My recent apple dilemma provoked some comment and I came across a similar discussion in the Saturday Guardian (24/1/09). Better people than me are growing their own veg, searching out reliable local suppliers, cooking from veg box recipe books, and working with what is in season. The likes of me would do well to be challenged about seasonal shopping with the added bonus of raising seasonal awareness in our children.

We live in a world where we can have it all, but we can choose not to..

Image via flickr

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