THE JUSTPEACE SIMPLE LIVING ADVENT CALENDAR
Frugal and Sustainable Pathways of Justice and Peace
A little way of non-cooperation with evil.
A short course in being the change you want to see happen.
December 2, 2001
Eat with the season.
Even in the depths of winter, our stores are full of fresh produce,
often shipped for thousands of miles. Some fresh produce is imported
from poor countries, and to eat it is to snatch food from the mouths
of hungry children. Salads are summer fare, winter is for hearty
soups, long-simmered sauces, and foods preserved from the bounty of
summer. Beware of the imperial table.
December 3, 2001
Buy local produce.
Growing produce on factory farms and then shipping it long distances
consumes huge amounts of energy and chemicals. Most areas have regular
farmers markets where you can buy locally grown organic produce
direct from farmers.
December 4, 2001
Grow some of your own food. Everybody should try to do this, at least
a little. Home-grown produce is superior in taste and nutrition to
store bought foods. Cultivate and preserve biodiversity by growing
heirloom varieties of vegetables and herbs. Permaculture gardens, made
up of perennial plants such as berry bushes, grapevines, fruit and nut
trees, can save you time and money as well as producing great food.
December 5, 2001
Dont buy junk food.
Abandon the junk food section of the supermarket or convenience store
in its entirety. Junk foods are high priced, nutritionally dubious,
over packaged, and from beginning to end, their production and
distribution wastes energy. If you like treats, make them yourself.
Home-made tastes better, costs less money, and gives better nutrition.
It takes less time and is less complicated than driving to the store,
finding something, standing in line, and then driving back home, not
to mention the time required to earn the money to buy the expensive
December 6, 2001
Dont buy prepared foods.
Cook from scratch using basic ingredients, dont buy prepared foods
from the agro-business corporations and thus fund the destruction of
Americas family farms. The taste and nutrition of home cooking are
superior, and you will save quite a bit of money.
December 7, 2001
Be careful about your meat, dairy, and poultry purchases.
Stop buying meat, dairy, or poultry products from the CAFO system
(confined animal feeding operation), and eat less meat in general. The
living conditions of animals in these CAFO systems are cruel and
inhumane. Ask your grocer and butcher about where their products come
from. Eggs and meat from free range chickens, and grass-fed beef at
grocery stores are usually more expensive, but can often be bought
directly from farmers at prices competitive with the CAFO products. Be
aware that a lot of fast-food ground beef is imported from tropical
countries, and buying that beef funds the destruction of the rain
forests. Ask your butcher what goes into their ground meat.
December 8, 2001
Be responsible about your beverage purchases.
Dont buy bottled water or beverages in single serving sizes. Dont
buy anything in a plastic bottle, if you can avoid it. Buy and carry a
refillable thermos for your beverages, or use a mason jar and lid.
Make your own beer, wine, and soda pop or buy from a local winery or
December 9, 2001
Patronize locally owned restaurants.
When you go out to eat, avoid franchised fast food and corporation
restaurants. Pay for good food, not mediocre food plus a corporate
bureaucracy, and always leave a generous tip.
December 10, 2001
Find local places that are interesting and fun to visit. Stop
attending conventions, demonstrations, and conferences designed to
draw travelers, and encourage organizations you are affiliated with to
not sponsor such events. Substitute conventions, demonstrations, and
conferences based on local systems, people, issues, etc., which
require minimal travel. Never litter always leave a place cleaner
than it was when you got there be sure to pick up some litter during
your travels and dispose of it properly.
December 11, 2001
Radically reduce your petroleum consumption.
Take public transit, walk, ride a bike, drive a very fuel efficient
vehicle or go car free. Consider co-owning a car with another family
to reduce both families expenses and encourage less automobile
travel. Drive slowly and non-aggressively, which saves fuel and wear
and tear on the vehicle. Obey a self-imposed speed/fuel consumption
limit of 55 MPH on the freeways. For intercity travel, bus or train
is the most energy efficient (passenger miles per gallon). Dont fly
anywhere unless it is impossible to get there by other forms of
December 12, 2001
Radically reduce your use of electricity, natural gas, propane, etc.
You can find a large number of practical energy conservation ideas at
December 13, 2001
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Use less stuff, make less trash.
If you consistently fill one or more of the typical urban trash carts
every week, you have a problem. Look for minimally packaged products.
Complain to retailers and manufacturers about excess packaging.
Compost all organic waste like leftovers, grass clippings, leaves, and
other yard waste. Dont buy anything in a plastic bottle (glass and
metal containers can be recycled indefinitely, plastic can usually
only be recycled once). Buy recycled products. Make your own cleaning
compounds from basic ingredients like bleach, vinegar, and ammonia.
December 14, 2001
Spend less money,
Shut down your spending on wants. Find meaning and fulfillment in
spirituality and relationships with your family, friends and
neighbors, not in the amount of stuff you have. Generally, avoid
buying new stuff and patronize the aftermarket instead (used,
recyclers, thrift and consignment shops). Be frugal. Make a budget,
stick to it, and keep track of your expenditures. Get rid of excess
stuff by donating it to charity or by selling it. Instead of buying
gifts for others, give them home-made gifts. Never make gift-giving a
substitute for love and involvement.
December 15, 2001
Simplify your wardrobe.
Give clothing you no longer need to groups which help the poor or have
a garage sale and raise some money to pay off debt. Dont wear
clothing with corporate brand patches. Buy clothing at thrift stores,
or have new clothes made by local tailors or seamstresses. Learn to
sew and make some or all of your own clothes. Organize a cooperative
to sew clothes for the local market.
December 16, 2001
Spend your money intentionally.
Support local, independently owned businesses. Even better, support
local cooperatively owned businesses. Avoid franchises, dont by the
products or services of corporations which are doing bad things like
exploiting the poor, ravaging the environment, or supporting
December 17, 2001
Avoid commodified entertainment like professional sports in favor of
personalist entertainment like local sports, dances, pot luck dinners,
block parties, cards, dominos or board games with your family,
friends, and neighbors.
December 18, 2001
Flee the debt bondage banking system.
Pay off your debts as fast as you can, and avoid new debt. Dont use
credit or debit cards, keep your money in a credit union (a
cooperatively owned financial institution), not a bank. If you invest
in the stock market, dont buy stock in corporations that are not
socially responsible business organizations.
December 19, 2001
Use appropriate technology.
Invest in useful capital goods and tools that help you live a more
sustainable, simple, and frugal lifestyle, such as food
preservation/preparation equipment, garden tools, insulation for your
house, etc. Considering owning equipment or tools in cooperation with
others (neighbors, relatives, friends, etc.)
December 20, 2001
Own your housing free of mortgage debt.
Pay off your mortgage before it is due. If you are renting, develop a
plan to get into housing that you own. Consider co-housing sharing
a house with others, or a duplex, or even a small neighborhood.
December 21, 2001
Dont work so hard.
If you are debt free, consider reducing your hours worked so you make
less money and thus pay less in taxes that support the war effort.
This will also give you more time with your family and for other
December 22, 2001
Focus on your family. Live on one income.
If you are a two parent/two income family with kids at home, have one
parent work at home and one parent work outside the home to bring in
cash income. Home school your children.
December 23, 2001
Radically reduce your television viewing. Get your news from several
sources rather than depending upon one major television news source.
Read to your children every day.
December 24, 2001
Be at peace with yourself and others.
Celebrate life, goodness, beauty, virtue, responsibility, and joy.
Practice peace, non-violence, servant leadership, harmony, community,
voluntary cooperation, and the proper stewardship of God's creation.
Pray without ceasing.