Speaking at a conference on environmental theology at World Youth Day in Rio a few summers ago, my father Stratford Caldecott described the development of papal teaching about our ‘environmental vocation’. In the end, he had to deliver the talk by video, because he was too ill with his prostate cancer to travel. The cancer killed him last summer, but not before he had written his last book about Catholic Social teaching and his vision of how Christians can build a better world, entitled Not as the World Gives.
My father and I often talked about how hard it was to know how to put all of our good intentions and theory into practice. My own interest in ethical consumerism, fair trade, social justice, and responsible environmental stewardship was formed by his gentle reminders throughout my childhood that the world is a precious gift, and we have a responsibility to try and leave it better than we found it.
That is why I am creating an ethical lifestyle website called A Better Place, dedicated to my father’s memory. It will be a free resource for all, a cross between an online lifestyle magazine and a listings or product reviewing website promoting brands and products that are beautiful, useful, and have a positive impact. It will cover all areas of life, from conflict-free and fairly traded technology and clothing to green cleaning products, in a user-friendly and visually attractive way. It will be a guide to the good life (in every sense of the phrase), which empowers us all to make a difference without spending money we wouldn’t otherwise be spending.
We are raising the money needed to fund this project on Crowdfunder, and only have a few weeks left to reach our target amount; every pledge, whether great or small, helps. You can find out more about A Better Place and how to pledge, here.
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