Thursday, March 13, 2008

Canned What? (COOL Lent: 2008)

5 Minutes of Caring: Canned What?

In a nutrition course I took in the early 90s I remember the professor saying something to the effect of "if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it." Her comment was similar to what the CoolPeople are saying in the above article - take a look at the ingredients before you decide to buy something. All the packaging, branding and advertising in the world can't hide the fact that preservatives, colorings and flavor additives are chemical substitutes for what God created naturally.

I'm starting to see a lot more press on the link between chemical additives and health. A lot of it is still under research but in some ways it makes sense that processing foreign substances causes added stress to our bodies.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sleep On It (COOL Lent: 2008)

5 Minutes of Caring: Sleep On It

I've heard the advice before - give all major purchases a 24 hour waiting period. That is usually more than enough to bring about (pre) buyer's remorse for something that you may "want" but not actually "need." There's no sure fire method, it is obviously very personal...

You could also "sleep over" at the grand opening of a new IKEA store though that is more likely to bring about a fit of consumption rather than offset it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March Madness (COOL Lent: 2008)

5 Minutes of Caring: March Madness

Along with the other themes mentioned above our family has been getting a handle on where our food comes from. The ADA site has some great advice for eating well.

Monday, March 10, 2008

On the Double (COOL Lent: 2008)

5 Minutes of Caring: On the Double

Looking at the suggestions in the above article (reuse of paper towels, etc.) I have one other suggestions.

Reuse plastic storage/zip-lock bags. These can easily be washed to hold another sandwich or bunch of grapes. One caution, if you intend to put something really wet like watermelon in a reused plastic bag you'll probably want to check to see if it can hold water first...

Friday, March 07, 2008

How Sustainable is Your Table? (COOL Lent: 2008)

5 Minutes of Caring: How Sustainable is Your Table?

Since giving my wife Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" we have been considering the extreme cost (human, financial, and environmental) of buying pre-packaged foods and those transported extreme distances.

Aside from Kingsolver's book the Sustainable Table site mentioned above is a great way to get started buying local and sustainable groceries.

Our locally owned Dorothy Lane grocery chain is our best bet at finding local and sustainable foods. They are often priced 30-70% more than the national chain stores but you've got to feel better eating food that is produced more naturally and easier on the environment.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Twice Worn (COOL Lent: 2008)

5 Minutes of Caring: Twice Worn

I have, for some time now, been a twice wearer. Underwear, socks, and workout clothing aside, how dirty do we really get on a daily basis?

Jeans and most shirts (worn over an undershirt) really don't get dirty/sweaty/oily at all as long as there aren't "external influences." Now having a two year old in the house leads to the inevitable food spray that needs to be cleaned daily...

Give your washer and the environment a break. Give those jeans and shirt the sniff test before throwing them in the laundry!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Call for Clean Water (COOL Lent: 2008)

5 Minutes of Caring: Call for Clean Water

Check the links in the above post to find out how to call your elected representative and urge them to vote for clean water.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

You're In the Money (COOL Lent: 2008)

5 Minutes of Caring: You're In the Money

I've done lots of speaking regarding the chasm that exists between what we in the US consider an "average" income and what most people around the world experience. Even the poorest people in the western world (N. America, Europe) are uber-rich in comparison to 90% of the rest of the world.

Just to check yourself, go to the Global Rich List site and enter in your income.

My pastoral compensation - including salary, housing allowance, benefits and retirement - puts me within the top 1% of worldwide wage earners.

We are indeed blessed with material wealth. And to those whom much has been given, much is required. Consider investing even a small amount in a micro-credit program such as Kiva - giving the chance for the poorest people in our world to establish businesses that will help them live sustainable lives.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sock It To Me (COOL Lent: 2008)

5 Minutes of Caring: Sock It To Me

Sometimes I feel like the Imelda Marcos of socks. Too many socks, but what to wear with each suit, etc... I used to have a lot of colored socks - gray, green, tan - to wear with different suits but have now settled on blue and black. My old socks have either been worn to the thread or have gone to a local homeless shelter.

Now the socks that seem to get separated the most - where I end up with an odd number - are my cycling socks. These overpriced little gems made of micro-insulate-wicking-wonder fabric never fail to come up "one sock short of a pair." I like the idea of making a sock puppet - an all too expensive technologically advanced sock puppet...