'Love does no harm to its neighbour.' (Romans 13:10) But while our lifestyles consume more and more energy, our poorer neighbours are suffering. Reflect on ways to love our neighbours in our increasingly connected world.
You may know that we are currently in the middle of FairTrade Fortnight, when we're encouraged to buy Fairtrade products and thereby ensure that the producers get a fairer deal. I'm a big fan of Fairtrade and think its an incredible vision - we've already seen how global trade patterns have been influenced by this relatively small movement.
This week The Guardian had a fairtrade supplement, which was excellent, highlighting various projects which exist entirely due to the Fairtrade movement - producers are not only given a fair, guaranteed wage for their produce, but the communities they live in are supported as well, so that they are able to become self-sustaining and not dependent on hand outs.
I always try to buy Fairtrade products, but I've renewed my commitment to buy them every time I can. Another issue highlighted was that of mainstream brands which have a 'fairtrade' line - like Nestle, for example, which has a couple of lines of Fairtrade coffee alongside its other non-Fairtrade lines. I'm a bit cynical about some of these lines - they can be used by the manufacturer to brush up their image a bit while not really being commited, so where possible, I prefer to choose a Fairtrade product from a company which has ethics at the heart of its vision.