Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ecological Impact

What if we knew all of the hands and chemicals and processes that took place to make the products that we use and consume on a daily basis? In a recent Wall Street Journal article, there's talk of people being able to do just that.

I included the image of a really great book on environmental conservation from a faith perspective that was written by Dr. Matthew Sleeth, an ER doctor who left his vocation to become an advocate for the faith community in particular, and for all people to take the role of environmental stewardship more seriously. I highly recommend you give his book a read--it is full of great information on why we should be better stewards as well as practical tips on how to take steps to decrease one's ecological footprint.

So what's the latest on Wall Street? The idea is that major garment manufacturers are talking of providing a greater degree of transparency in their manufacturing processes and so consumers can have a greater degree of understanding of the environmental stewardship practices of different companies.

As I was reading the article, I started thinking about the past. I don't remember a time like this, but I bet it wasn't too long ago when people knew where their products came from. I think we have this blind trust in corporations that they are always ethical in their business practices, and they try to care for people every step of the way. We make assumptions that the products we buy and consume are done really inexpensively both in labor and in ecological impact. I wonder how a tag on clothing or other products might change our spending and consumption habits.

Have you ever given much thought to where your stuff comes from? If you've got some extra time, check out this older post from 2008 and watch The Story of Stuff. I know that each time I make a purchase, I tend to think more about the long term impact of the purchase. I also try to buy products from companies who are working to improve their environmental care, or who have a long track record of ecological stewardship.

Do you think labels that share the environmental impact of the making of a pair of shoes or pants will cause us to think more about our purchases? What are some ways that you practice care for the world write now?

1 comment:

Invisible Work said...

Thanks for posting this, Billy!