When you’re going about your daily life do you stop to think about the impact your decisions have on other people? Not just whether you smile at someone or give up your seat, but when you buy coffee or take out insurance?
Butterflies tread very lightly on the world, and flapping their wings has effects on the other side of the world. I am discovering the same applies to our actions and decisions, which impact our world and our neighbours, near and far.
Some times, things that have an apparently low cost to us, come at a very high price for our neighbours near and far, now and in the future.
In this blog I hope to share with you some of the reading that I’ve done, organisations I’ve become aware of, and to help you (and me!) to live lightly in this world.
Mahatma Gandhi called for human beings to “live simply so that others may simply live”. These days it is difficult to live simply. Martin Luther King said by the time we’ve had breakfast we’ve depended on half the world. But if we’re not careful we have exploited half the world as well, unless our coffee is fair trade and the electricity for the toaster is from a green energy supplier, and the toaster is made by workers who are allowed to form trade unions, and the muesli is locally grown and organic and the bag it comes in is bio-degradable …
We might give 10% of our income to the church / charities but how much more of an impact can we have to bring justice to the poor, as commanded by Jesus, if we carefully consider how we use the remaining 90%?
As Ethical Consumer magazine puts in its Beginners Guide… “We need to consider our money as a vote which we use every time we go shopping. Buying cheap clothes is a vote for worker exploitation. Buying a gas-guzzling 4×4 is a vote for climate change. Even small, everyday purchases, such as coffee, cereal, bread or bin bags are a vote for something. It’s not just the links between the products and its impact that ethical consumers need to consider, but the activities of the company behind the brand. By withdrawing our custom from those companies who we know are involved in unethical activities, we can let them know that we don’t approve of those activities, especially if, at the same time, we let them know why we’re withdrawing our custom. As consumers we have a great deal of power in our pockets. While money may make the world go round, deciding how we spend our money might just save it!”
Have a look around my site – I hope you find some things challenging and others inspiring – can you make at least one more change to the way you spend your money or live your life that will make the world a better place, both now and in the future?
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”