Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sustainable 4 Life

This is day 8 in my 31 Days series on sustainable dwelling. For an introduction and more posts, head here!

This week's gifts...
2009. A Museum of Discovery membership, so that Brooklyn can spend half an hour carrying a toy fish up and down a flight of stairs and then be ready to go, without me worrying about whether we've gotten our money's worth out of it
2010. A spontaneous anniversary lunch date with Adam - and that Taziki's gives a 50% discount to military in uniform
2011. Noticing the nail in a neighbor's tire, so I could leave a note letting her know/offering assistance if needed - and that she didn't think that was weird or crazy
2012. Adam having a pass for a three-day-weekend, after working through last weekend
2013. Going to the library all-four-together (much easier than wrangling both of them myself!)
2014. Lunch at Mugs - if I had known that they could do to-go, this would have been a Thing before now
2015. The Main Street Food Truck Festival - I love events like that, and hadn't been to anything similar in over a year (I got spoiled in Fayetteville, where events of that sort are more frequent and more easily accessible)
2016. Spending the Littles' naptime filling a couple of Yahtzee score cards with Adam
2017. An evening alone, in which to shower and knit and study and write without guilt
2018. Being surprisingly functional all day, after an up-and-down-with-Littles night
2019. Adam being willing to do our main meal cooking for the week on the afternoon of his last day off
2020. A church the values racial unity, and isn't afraid of hard questions and open discussion
2021. Reusable straws for Brooklyn, lemon sorbet to share, and a lovely day for walking around outside
2022. A foreign coin, with an accompanying story, waiting in the postbox
2023. An abnormally productive evening that still ended in going to bed early
2024. Time to knit, eat chocolate, and listen to a sermon podcast before the Littles were up and Things needed to be done
2025. Naps for all
2026. Adam thoughtfully reserving the new Avengers movie so Redbox would still have it by the time he left work
2027. A quiet jammy day at home
2028. That Brooklyn is very reason-with-able (as toddlers go)
2029. Businesses that give back

I wrote about the way local often also means fair trade earlier in the week - Mama Carmen's was an especially good example of that, since they're going beyond fair trade and specifically choosing to support an orphanage (I noticed some bags of Mama Carmen's coffee in this month's Fair Trade Friday boxes - you might want to check that out!)

It's exciting to me to see people that care and are in a position to Do Something about it - too often we have our hearts wrecked by something we see or hear on the media, in a sermon, or through a friend... and after feeling really badly about it for a few days, we move on because we don't think there's anything we can do. But there's always something we can do - it just may not be easy or comfortable.

Or it may be. Our new favorite restaurant is Tacos 4 Life (thus far only in Conway and Fayetteville, but with plans to expand), who not only have amazing tacos (and burritos, and nachos, and cilantro lime rice, and queso...) and are gluten-free friendly, but also have a one-for-one giving model: for every taco you buy, a child in another country gets a meal (each location serves a different country - one Swaziland, the other Honduras).

Sometimes people have great ideas that end up damaging local economies in their misguided attempts to Fix instead of Healing - and sometimes things flop because the charity is admirable but the product is less-than stellar. I love to see businesses that get it right all around - I'm grateful that they put in the time and the effort (and the prayer) necessary to create a giving model that actually works on both ends, and those are definitely causes I want to support (and if I get a little queso out it, all the better!)

You may not have to go out and start your own non-profit in order to make a difference - there are lots of people who have already done that that you can support! See if there's one regular habit or need in your life that can be sustainably sourced.


Cherise L. C. said...

This is great! I was wondering, is there a way to search various businesses to find out whether things in my local area are doing something similar, or does it all have to be word-of-mouth? I've lived in my city for almost eight years, but I still feel like I'm in the dark.

Sarah Jo Burch said...

See if there are any local news sources that feature local businesses (look for one that focuses on entertainment/events/interviews with business owners) - I follow a few on Facebook, and that's the source of most of my discoveries. Picking an area and exploring (on foot, if possible) works well too.