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consumer consequences game – how many earths do you need?

November 17, 2007 Leave a comment

There are lots of different versions of this kind of environmental footprint calculator, but this one seems to cover the important bases really well.

Consumer Consequences – from American Public Media

I’m bummed that I require 4.3 planets to sustain everyone at my lifestyle, but more than half of that  is due to driving. In OKC with everything spread out, no public transportation, and no sidewalks in my part of the burbs driving is a fact of life that no one questions. Maybe someday.

Go check it out – how many earths do you need?

buy nothing day – Friday, November 23

November 17, 2007 2 comments

Next Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. Insane amounts of $$$ will be spent on garbage that no one needs. Youtube will again be full of vids of people getting run over at Wal?Mart to buy the three 29.99 DVD players they have available. Soccer moms will be fist fighting in mall parking lots over parking spots for their SUVs of mass destruction.

Why is it such a big day? Because we have been told it’s supposed to be. Everyone is off work (unless of course you happen to work retail), Christmas is so close that you have to be in panic mode (only 32 shopping days left! – 32?), and God knows you won’t want to sit around all day with your family. How much more fun to get up before dawn and hit the sales with your shopping commando pals (complete with walkie talkies and probably tazers to take out the competition) and scan that plastic until it melts to fill shopping carts and minivans with stuff to replace the stuff you will have to throw out to make room for the stuff you just bought. I’m exhausted thinking about it.

For a few years now I have participated in Buy Nothing Day. It’s an effort sparked by adbusters to encourage people all over the world to walk away from mass consumption and spend at least one day not contributing to the orgy of consumerism that has become the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The day isn’t necessarily about doing away with gifts altogether (although adbusters also promotes “buy nothing Christmas“), but about stopping to think before you buy and not getting swept away by what you have been told you (and everyone you know) need. It’s about rethinking shopping habits for 24 hours. And maybe altering them. We have.

Check out the BND site for some great alternative (and for the more daring – adbusting) ideas.  I love the idea of collecting a ton of ads and catalogs from a particular company and dropping them off at customer service. If only I knew enough people who weren’t using theirs.

the must-see film of the holiday season

November 13, 2007 Leave a comment

Oh Santa has come early! I forgot that Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me / 30 Days) has been working on a project called “What Would Jesus Buy“. I just saw the trailer and I can’t wait. Of course, I’ll have to wait and see it on DVD because here in the land of Wal?Mart and McDs, there isn’t a theater in town that will take a chance on it. Maybe on campus. . .

Why does this film thrill me so?

1. I love Spurlock’s style and humor and attitude.  (note the use of the Disney font). This will be a fun film.

2. I just finished reading a great article from Sojourners about Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping (free registration required to read)

3. Super Size Me sparked significant change in how America views fast food (why do you think McD’s started servinng “Go Active” meals?), if this film could make people rethink how they spend. . .

Here’s the trailer.

my new definition of irony

October 29, 2007 Leave a comment

Spending all week thinking and reading and praying about simplicity and then spending a couple of hours talking and thinking about it with friends at our gathering this evening only to spend the past 30 minutes filling up a page in my daytimer with everything I have to get accomplished tomorrow before 6pm so I can go coach football.

Ah grad school.

Categories: slowness Tags: , ,

how to live intentionally in the ‘burbs

October 26, 2007 Leave a comment

A great post from Will Samson (who got it from someone else) with 10 ideas for living as the people of God in suburbia. I don’t come close to walking out most of these, but the desire is there and the journey has begun.

I’ll post the list here – go over to Will’s blog for thoughts about each of these and a pretty good discussion in the comments about the kind of life that is possible for followers of Jesus in the ‘burbs. While you’re at it – check out Will and Lisa Samson’s great new book – Justice in the Burbs. It brings up some important issues that have to be faced by people desiring to live lives that pursue justice in the highly individualistic and materialistic of the suburbs.

Ten Ways to Live Intentionally in the Suburbs (from Chris Smith)
1) Live with others from your church community

2) Work Less!

3) Throw out the television

4) Drive less

5) Have a garden / grow food

6) Get to know your neighbors / listen for their needs

7) Be outside as much as possible.

8) Do not fence in your yard

9) Take a stand against the greed of mega-corporations

10) Utilize and support non-commercial public spaces (parks, libraries, colleges, etc.)

For those of you who reside in OKC – good luck. I’d love to hear how you are trying to walk these ideas out in our particular culture.

Categories: burbs, justice, slowness Tags: ,

quote o’ the week – Antonio Machado

October 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Speed kills the soul
– Antonio Machado

If I could only convince my professors of this.

Categories: quote, slowness