*Five Minute Friday is an initiative set up by Lisa-Jo Baker over at Surprised by Motherhood. It has now been taken over by Kate over at Heading Home. The basic premise is to take the word Kate gives and write, non-stop for 5 minutes. Then you stop and post. Read more about it here. This October, I am taking part in a series based on this called “31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes”, in which we commit to writing from the prompt as usual, but everyday rather than just on a Friday. Read more here.
My sister is an inspiring person, on many levels. But I particularly admire her dedication to helping our environment and commitment to ethical consumerism.
My husband and I have tried to follow in her footsteps. I wouldn’t say we are necessarily great at it, and it often depends on how the budget looks, how tight our schedules are and how many other things are going on in our lives. We have an ideal we try to reach for, but we often fail to get there.
As Pope Francis joins many other leaders in urging us to care for our environment, as much for the sake of the poor and needy as for nature itself, I feel like ethical consumerism is very much in the public conscience at the moment. And as a result, it has brought it back to mine.
Yes, there may be times when we genuinely cannot justify spending the little extras in time or money because our family needs them at that point, but on the whole, we have found that with good budgeting and steady accountability, there is no reason why we cannot and should not be doing our bit in trying to care for this world and its people.
The main problem we have found is the difficulty in obtaining the information needed to make wise choices, but there is a lot of research and resources out there to help if you are willing to dedicate a little time to it.
This book (on reducing household waste), and this one (on ethical shopping), have helped us a lot, as has www.ethicalconsumer.org. So as we navigate the confusing waters of “green living” – will you join us in making a commitment, even if it is just a little one, to take a step further today? Maybe it’s something as simple as starting to recycle (or even better, cutting down the amount of stuff we bring into our houses in the first place!), or maybe walking/cycling or even taking public transport over driving on occasion. Or perhaps you want to commit to buying certain products Fairtrade (maybe coffee or chocolate), or simply boycotting certain ethically dubious companies (like Starbucks or Asda), and perhaps even writing them a letter to tell them exactly why you are boycotting them?
“Green living” is not a pie-in-the-sky idea. It is not something that sounds nice but isn’t for you or me. It is something we can all take concrete steps towards.
Ethical consumerism is worth it in the long run, for our sake, and for our kids’ sake.
So thank you, little sister, for inspiring me and sending our family on this journey! I hope we will do you proud.