What is Ethical Consumption?

I've finished reading Julie Clawson's Everyday Justice, (IVP, 2009), a review of which I hope will appear on the Theolog blog in a few weeks. But I'm digesting the book and its implications.

Julie speaks of "ethical consumption." What she means by this is: that our decisions on matters of food, clothing, driving, etc., have consequences. And so, if we are to live justly, then we must address those consequences. And if we are to live justly, then we must recognize that we may just be be complicit in injustice -- something God would rather we not be involved with.

She writes:

Ethical consumption implies that we will apply our moral values and ethical standards to our consumer habits. We don't opt out of a necessary system, but we attempt to redeem it as we live by a more consistent ethic. (Everyday Justice, p. 26).

She recognizes that this isn't easy -- we may not know that we are complicit in injustice and we may not know what the alternatives are. The good news here is that "Justice is a journey that is different for every person, and it proceeds at differing speeds" (Everyday Justice, p. 26). So don't panic just yet. But do try to make some changes!

Although you may not yet have read Julie's book, perhaps you might offer some possible ways of ethically consuming!


Anonymous said…
Ah, this is bringing back all the great save the world hippie hits to mind. Too bad we didn't listen 40 years ago...

Some of the best from Spirit..

Your fresh garbage came to mind first with this post. It's so fun to buy new stuff, but what to do with the old and at what cost this incessant consumption? Too large. We (the American puplic, have no idea what's coming. Trillions $ more wont stop it;


One of my favorites, and still fresh, Nature's Way;


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