Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices

Overview

Where does your chocolate come from? Does it matter if your coffee is fair trade or not? It matters—more than you might think.

Julie Clawson takes us on a tour of everyday life and shows how our ordinary lifestyle choices have big implications for justice around the world. She unpacks how we get our food and clothing and shows us the surprising costs of consumer waste.

How we live can make a difference not only for our own health but also for ...

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Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices

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Overview

Where does your chocolate come from? Does it matter if your coffee is fair trade or not? It matters—more than you might think.

Julie Clawson takes us on a tour of everyday life and shows how our ordinary lifestyle choices have big implications for justice around the world. She unpacks how we get our food and clothing and shows us the surprising costs of consumer waste.

How we live can make a difference not only for our own health but also for the well-being of people across the globe. The more sustainable our lifestyle, the more just our world will be.

Everyday justice is one way of loving God and our neighbors. We can live more ethically, through the little and big decisions we make every day. Here's how.

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Editorial Reviews

Brian McLaren
"Julie Clawson gets it. First, she gets it that most of us suburban Americans feel overwhelmed and guilty when we hear about justice. That's why she focuses on positive, doable ways that we can improve the justice quotient of our lives. Second, she gets it that we in the 'developed world' often have an undeveloped theology and lifestyle when it comes to key issues like fair trade, modern-day slavery, fossil fuel dependence, ethical eating and buying, and debt. That's why she gently, positively and hopefully helps us get 'development' where we need it most."
Eugene Cho
"Many of us live in a world of great privilege. We also live in a culture of gluttony, and this includes our access to information, words and ideas. With the onset of technology and social media, my fear is that many of us will elevate our words and ideas—and be content and satisfied with that as our action. Everyday Justice is important for two very simple reasons: Justice is on the heart of God and justice needs to be pursued and lived out every day. Julie has given the larger faith community an important but inviting challenge: Do justice every day."
Jim Henderson
"When I was a young Christian I was told that our job was to get people to heaven. The world (like now) was a mess, so evacuating people seemed like a good idea. What if instead I had been told that our main job was to bring the kingdom of God to our planet? What if that meant doing very practical things like advocating for people who were poor, voiceless and powerless? And what if I'd been told Jesus will only return when his followers have improved the situation for those people so much that it's finally become habitable for heaven? That's what I think now. If this idea intrigues you, read this book. It provides the how-tos."
Marcia Ford
"Julie Clawson is a significant and much-needed voice in the emerging church conversation—actually, in any faith conversation. For those of us who have long felt her voice needed to be heard, Everyday Justice is a cause for celebration. Only someone who lives a life of social integrity is entitled to write such a book, and Julie is that person. She offers us hope that we can all contribute in a meaningful way to the transformation of our culture."
Tony Jones
"Living justly is an overwhelming task these days. How do I know whether the coffee I'm drinking was fairly grown? Or whether my jeans were made by a twelve-year-old? It's daunting, and we're tempted toward apathy. That's why Julie Clawson has done us such a service in writing Everyday Justice—in readable, compelling prose, she lays out the truth behind some of the products we use every day, and she gives us practical steps for living justly in a consumeristic age. She avoids guilt trips and writes personally. This book is needed and deserves a wide readership."
Nancy Ortberg
"Every product in our consumer hands has a trail. . . . Julie Clawson skillfully and kindly helps us take seriously the call to justice in our everyday choices. From coffee to cars, there is a collision of economics and ethics that Christ-followers must take seriously. By refusing to make justice a liberal or conservative cause, she helps us participate in restoration, ethical consumption and the beautiful pursuit of justice in God's world."
Caryn Rivadeneira
"Julie Clawson had me at 'Don't panic.' While many resources on social justice leave even the most compassionate souls and generous hearts frozen with an overwhelming panic from not knowing where to begin, Everyday Justice fires readers up and leaves them ready to change the world—starting right in their everyday lives. Clawson's well-researched and well-written book flows with stories of evil and good, monsters and heroes. It's a must-read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of what loving our neighbors should look like."
Will Samson
"With both tenderness and everyday practicality, Julie Clawson invites all of us into a more complete way of following Jesus. By providing simple, concrete ways to seek justice in our daily lives, Everyday Justice is a great resource to get you started or keep you going on the journey toward acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with your God."
Tony Jones (www.tonyj.net)
"Living justly is an overwhelming task these days. How do I know whether the coffee I'm drinking was fairly grown? Or whether my jeans were made by a twelve-year-old? It's daunting, and we're tempted toward apathy. That's why Julie Clawson has done us such a service in writing Everyday Justice—in readable, compelling prose, she lays out the truth behind some of the products we use every day, and she gives us practical steps for living justly in a consumeristic age. She avoids guilt trips and writes personally. This book is needed and deserves a wide readership."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830836284
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 8/25/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 336,815
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Clawson has a masters degree in intercultural studies from Wheaton College. She's worked as both a children's ministry director and as a co-pastor. But currently she spends the bulk of her time as a stay-at-home mom in Austin, Texas. While she might like to be volunteering at the local community garden or mentoring at-risk youth, the important and very full-time job of caring for her two toddlers keeps her close to home. It's been in the home environment, however, that Clawson's learned the profound lesson that she can make a big difference for the cause of justice, no matter what stage of life she's in.

Through paying closer attention to the injustices in the world around her and listening more closely to the calls for justice throughout Scripture, Clawson started to uncover little things she could do to subvert systems of injustice. Buying fair trade coffee and slave-free chocolate. Growing some of her own food. Driving less. Hanging her clothes out to dry. With these kinds of decisions, she discovered, we can either support systems of injustice, or we can put our faith into action and love people through basic day-to-day choices. Her book, Everyday Justice, is in many ways a reminder that serving God and seeking justice is for everyone, no matter what your life looks like.

When she's not changing cloth diapers or shopping fair trade, Clawson is busy blogging regularly at julieclawson.com and everydayjustice.net. She is also the moderator of and regular contributor to Emerging Women (www.emergingwomen.us) and Emerging Parents (www.emergingparents.com) and posts regularly at the God's Politics Blog (http://blog.sojo.net/).

In her few minutes of spare time Clawson enjoys listening to the likes of U2 and David Wilcox. She loves watching epic tales like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars and slightly less epic tales like Lost and Heroes, because these pop culture tales often serve not only as a reminder that the world is full of injustices, but as encouragement to anyone who wants to make things better.

Tom Sine is constantly on the lookout for "mustard seeds"—seemingly insignificant acts that bring faith and compassion to hopeless situations. As cofounder of Mustard Seed Associates, he prepares others to think critically and creatively about the global community and how to serve it according to God's great vision.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Tom and Christine Sine
Warning! Read Before Proceeding
Introduction
1 Coffee: Fair Trade and the Daily Latte
2 Chocolate: Modern-Day Slavery Exposed
3 Cars: The Global and Local Impact of Oil Consumption
4 Food: Choosing to Eat Ethically
5 Clothes: The Story Behind What We Wear
6 Waste: The High Price of Our Dirty Little Habits
7 Debt: Proclaiming Jubilee to the Nations
Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Notes
About the Author

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2009

    Well-written, challenging, and compelling

    Everyday Justice challenged me to become a more ethical consumer, based on biblical mandates for justice. If you've been running in social justice circles for a while then some of the topics in this book might be familiar (child slavery in the manufacture of chocolate, or fair wages for coffee farmers). However, Julie does cover some new ground that is both important and significant (more on that later...).

    However, one other thing that sets this book apart is its strong reliance on the Bible for supporting why it's important to think before you buy. In that respect, I would highly recommend this book for people who don't see why it's important to consider where the things they buy come from, or who choose what to buy based purely on finding the lowest price. The book explains that everything we buy is made from something and by someone, and it's manufacture, distribution, and disposal have consequences on the environment which in turn directly impacts someone, somewhere. It challenges us to look both ways along that stream to see the face of those who are impacted and make choices that honor them as beloved children of God. Then, as much as we are able, it challenges us not to be complicit with injustice, whether that be through paying unfair wages, misusing resources, or otherwise exploiting other people. It's not easy, but often it's possible to find alternatives to the current mainstream options, or to advocate for changes to the existing system.

    Everyone will be talking about the one thing that no one is talking about - disposable diapers/feminine products. It's kind of icky, but kudos to Julie for bringing it up. This is another one where we are encouraged to make the best choice given your situation. For instance, sometimes you are required to use disposable products (such as in daycares or nurseries), but you can still try to reduce consumption in other areas. A friend reminded me that in the film "Little Women", in pretty much every scene you could see the girls folding white cloths. In a house full of women...well, let's just say they weren't dish towels. Thanks to the discussion of this topic in Everyday Justice, I went looking for what women in the developing world use for "sustainable" pads - and unfortunately, the options aren't good. The "homespun" options include rags, bark, and mud...and if rags are an option, many women don't have access to water to clean them. Without access to appropriate sanitary protection, women may miss up to 50 days a year of work or school, which leads to inequity in income and education. Perhaps my take-away from this discussion will be to attempt to reduce consumption and to find a more ethical option than what I use now, but to also advocate for women who don't have the options that I do as a woman in the US.

    Some of the suggestions offered in the book seem radical, but nothing seems to be suggested without good reason. Living sustainably in a way that cares for other people (our neighbor) and God's creation isn't necessarily as convenient as living as a blissfully unaware consumer. However, if the Bible can be believed as true (and I think that most of the audience for this book would agree that it can), then "everyday justice" becomes an avenue for "everyday worship".

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    Posted June 24, 2011

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