Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ethical consumerism - I'll start here

So, I said I would try to commit to writing my thoughts on finances. Well, I guess it’s not really finances… more like lifestyle.

A primary goal for our family this year specifically, is to consume the least amount possible. We discovered that by reaching this goal, we will be inadvertently reaching or at least working toward, almost every other goal.

I remember saying several times throughout the summer “and maybe I’ll blog about ethical consumerism soon…” but was too chicken to do it.

I’ve posted little bits here and there about frugality, and that’s good too.

I’ve mentioned once or twice about our various financial struggles, which wasn’t difficult, but I was unsure about what should remain taboo even in the blogoshpere.

I’ve mulled over my ideas for how to write something that reflects the kind of spending practices that we try to adhere to. (key word, “TRY”)

Broken up, seemingly naive or just plain weird, as it may be, makes no difference to me. I have made up my mind to dive into this subject and spend as much time and space on it as I feel necessary. Because I believe it is right.

For my own sake, I have outlined points of discussion regarding this topic:

Ethical consumerism - when I spend money I want to know who and what it’s supporting, whether or not it is ecological, how it was manufactured (I’m anti sweatshop), and if I do indeed NEED to buy (or consume) it at all.

Stewardship - When faced with a purchase I ask myself, can I actually afford this? (Which is far different from “do I have the money for…”) I ask myself “Can I do without this, or figure out how to get this in a better way?” I ask, “What could I do with this money that would serve a greater purpose than this item would?” I ask, “If I don’t purchase this, what will I do with this money?”

Lifestyle - Reducing our standard of living. Looking at every possible way to “cut back.” Sharing, blessing, giving. Selflessness.

Think on this and leave a comment. Maybe your thoughts on the matter will help me sort through the enormous jungle of ideas that I have. Thanks!

1 comment:

Rissa said...

I think this is great. I'd love for you to post more about it. I agree completely. I feel a little caught in the middle because sometimes, I can't seem to find an alternative that fits the requirements - and yet, it would be wise to ask myself the questions you mentioned each time I find myself in said situation.
I was especially convicted about this when I watched the documentary on human trafficking called Call + Response (google it, and watch it if you can/haven't already!). Forcing people to work for low wages (and we're talking FORCING) is a painful reality. I don't want to support that in any way.
I've been hoping to make my own clothing to reduce how much money I give to out-of-country clothing suppliers, and yet, I find myself looking at the information on bolts of fabric, realizing that most fabrics are made in other countries, as well! It's frustrating because I feel like we're surrounded. I want to break out of it, and yet I feel paralyzed in a way.
I have lots of thoughts on this, but like you mentioned, it's just a big jumble in my head. I just wanted you to know that I'm right there with ya, sister. I'd love to hear what else you have to say about it. If you come across resources, post 'em!
Oh, and, I'm really excited to see you in March. You ARE going to Break Out, riiiight?