Saturday, August 8, 2015

Laudato Si In Your Home: The True Cost of Overconsumption

One of the things Laudato Si spells out is our over-consumption and the way it hurts people.  There are a couple of documentaries that deal with the economics of having lower prices and over-consumption.  You can watch them both on Netflix: The True Cost (2015)

  Trailer for The True Cost on TrailerAddict.

And if you are more of the conservative type, try this one: Death by China (2012)

 I want to draw attention to a couple of things both of them briefly mention.  In True Cost, it's pointed out that we feel guilty stocking our closets with clothes so we donate them.  Those garments end up in Haiti which is destroying industry there.  If you have clothes you cannot wear, give them to someone in your own back yard.  If you can't sell them, put up a Craig's List ad.  You would be shocked how many poor people comb Craig's List looking for basic items because they can't afford to even buy used.  Contact a local refugee organization in your area.  As my former boss put, these people are getting off planes with literally the clothes on their backs.  I'm sure they'd appreciate having something nice to wear for job interviews.

Secondly in Death by China, remember that a number of goods you are buying are made by political prisoners.  Priests are making Christmas tree lights in forced labor camps (all Christmas tree lights are being made in China).  I recently read a book about Chinese Christians in forced labor camps because they worshiped in illegal house churches.  China wants to keep out "foreign imperialists" and so it's government has set up churches that view the Chinese government as the head of these churches.  They even produce heavily edited Bibles to emphasize this point.  Anyway, this woman was able to get out of the camps and given asylum in the US.  In Death by China, they talk about her taking apart and reassembling lights at her sponsor's house.  She said she made those very lights in her forced labor camp.

Do not avert your eyes.  Buy consciously.  Buy cautiously.  Lesson over.

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