Monday, January 14, 2008

Sustainable living

I went to hear some speakers at Friends Church talk about simple and sustainable living as inspired by John Woolman's Journal. First they did a skit of John Woolman meeting with a Southern slave owner and talking about respect for God's creation, and explored how it was inconceivable to someone who was so used to/dependent on that lifestyle. Then they did a skit of "Joan Woolwoman" meeting someone new at Yearly Meeting and talking about changing how you buy your food (non-locally produced food creating pollution and certain imported goods produced through slavery). It got me thinking about some ways that I want to feel spiritually at peace by changing my lifestyle.

I figure I'm solely responsible for global warming with all the frivolous driving that I do by myself. Really, who needs to go to Fred Meyers at 10:30 at night for tweezers? I just moved to a place where I can walk to work, which is fantastic, but I still have to drive 2-3 days a week because of time constraints on where I have to be right after work. I think I could attempt to force flexibility into at least one of those days. There's also a busline close to my house, and I want to commit to riding on Thursdays when I have weekly activities that I could easily get to by bus.

I just moved, and in moving, rediscovered how much JUNK I have that I don't use. I need a garage sale real bad. Some friends recently said that they need to do the same, so I hope we can do it together when the weather gets nice. It causes me a lot of anxiety to know that I have lots of stuff and some people have nothing. My best friend from high school has reduced his possessions to a backpack of stuff and I'm extremely jealous. He's not even a Christian, much less a Quaker! I've got a long way to go.

My eating/buying habits
I have a moral crisis every time I go to the grocery store. Is it local? Is it organic? Can I afford it? Do I just really really really want some chocolate right now? I've stopped eating candy for the most part because I found out how bad it was for me, but there's a bigger picture than just the chemicals that get into my body through my food. There's the environment and workers of the world to think about. Am I making my food and clothing purchases in love of myself or in respect of others and God's creation? I think I should. I also want to start growing my own herbs for cooking and tea. Yum.

1 comment:

Benjamin Ady said...


thank you for the link to JaC.

I totally hear you on the feeling overwhelmed. Some of my favorite people are the ones who remind me it's about direction, not position, which is to say if I am taking small steps in the direction of sustainability, compassion, and so forth, then that's totally kewl. But it's hard to remember this. I must constantly remind myself, cause I tend to get a bit overwhelmed with the positionary state of things.