Check out this video (if you’ve got about 21 minutes – it’s REALLY worth it) called The Story of Stuff. Jason Clark, a friend of mine who blogs at Deep Church posted a link to this last week. We both share an interest in the nature of how we are formed by the culture around us to live and practice certain ways of life, often without thinking about it. This video focuses on some of the things that we take for granted in our consumerist system.

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Oftentimes, when questions are raised about how we live in bad systems, we can admit that they’re bad and even that we’re complicit in perpetuating them, but we just feel trapped. For example, we live in a culture of Total Work. That is, work all day, all the time, produce, produce, produce – a system that I think goes against the very nature of what it means to be a human creature and to live life well. But how do we break out of it? We can’t just stop working. (I’m trying to think through this problem for a paper that I’m writing for a conference this summer – more on that later)

This video however, takes us through the problems of a system and at the end, offers us an alternative way of living. Throughout the site there are ideas for trying to implement other ways of living to promote a better system. For me, I’m particularly interested in being able to recycle as much as I can. Since moving into a new neighborhood that has a recycling program, I may only throw away 1 bag of trash per week (non-recyclables, food scraps). When we lived in an apartment without a recycling program (even though we tried to recycle paper as much as we could through another outlet), we were taking out the trash every 2-3 days or so. That’s a huge change. I’m even trying to be mindful of recycling technological goods like computer equipment. Sometimes you have to pay for it (Best Buy has a program), but it’s better than throwing it in a landfill or burning it!

All of this plays into our being good stewards of creation. That a way to live our theology.