Living Simply and Sustainably
Oh, plastic – once an amazing innovation and now a burden! Friends of the Earth offer some interesting tips on how to go “almost” plastic free in our kitchens. It’s worth checking out (link here) – some food for thought and simple hints like using washable cleaning cloths rather than paper kitchen roll are manageable and affordable.
Now the summer is here (?!) there are also easy energy and money-saving things to consider such as dropping your shower by a few degrees. Electricity providers says that doing this, even just for the last couple of minutes when showering, can save on energy bills and it’s said to be good for our bodies too.
Live In Solidarity
Busting some Fairtrade Myths. With supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s developing their own “fairly-traded” deals (tea), it seems timely to address some of the misconceptions about Fairtrade and why it is so important to producers in vulnerable parts of the world.
Doubters might say Fairtrade “doesn’t really help farmers” or “it’s just a marketing scam to encourage us to buy more expensive products.”
Myth no.1 – only a small percentage of the price paid for a Fairtrade product goes back to the farmer. The Fairtrade Foundation () advises that the retail price we pay as consumers is determined entirely by the retailer.
While paying farmers and workers a percentage of the retail price might appear a good way to demonstrate the impact of Fairtrade from the consumer’s perspective, it doesn’t actually address the real inequities in conventional market arrangements.
The way Fairtrade works is that the producer organisation (such as a coffee co-operative) receives the Fairtrade price at the point where they sell to the next person in the supply chain (usually an exporter or importer). This is intended to ensure farmers can cover their costs no matter how low the world price for their commodity falls.
More Fairtrade myth-busting information in the next Live Simply Tips.
Always look out for the Fairtrade brand – and resist the move by some retailers to move to untested alternative schemes.
Compassionate and loving God,
you created the world for us all to share,
a world of beauty and plenty.
Create in us a desire to live simply,
so that our lives may reflect your generosity.
You gave us responsibility for the earth,
a world of riches and delight.
Create in us a desire to live sustainably,
So that those who follow after us
May enjoy the fruits of your creation.
God of peace and justice,
you give us the capacity to change,
to bring about a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Create in us a desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free.