July 5th, 2019
As YWAM Vancouver we’d like to heartily welcome you to Sustainable Soapbox. Perhaps you’ve already seen Sustainable Soapbox posts on our social media, but today we’ll give you a more formal introduction. Without much further ado, allow us to tell you all about what Sustainable Soapbox is, and why exactly it exists. Let’s start with the juicy one…
WHY SUSTAINABLE SOAPBOX EXISTS
As a Christian missions organisation we enjoy many opportunities to travel and build relationships with people all over the world. We’ve listened to locals and played with children and studied with mothers and shared the gospel with families. We’ve been hosted by many and fed by many, but we’ve also seen extremes of suffering and poverty. Arriving back in Canada after those experiences can feel like a jolt. Sustainable Soapbox was birthed out of that discomfort; out of being home from a mission trip and feeling severed from the people met. Over time the question formulated, “Is my life connected to these people in any way?” This led to a much more difficult question, “Does my life contribute to their struggle?" In the past few years we’ve become convinced and passionate that the answer to both of those questions is yes. Yes, we are incredibly connected to our international brothers and sisters, right from Canada. And yes, if we’re not careful, our day to day decisions can easily add to another person’s plight. Thanks to the global economy, we wake up and dress in threads from Bangladesh, bite into a banana from Guatemala, sip coffee grown in Kenya, doodle on paper from Greenland’s trees, break with a cup of tea from Nepal and throw out trash that might float its way to Indonesia. All these connections are simply part of the age we live in and they’re each opportunities to make a stand. How can we use our decisions to be a blessing? How can we use our decisions to love our international neighbour as we love ourselves?
WHAT SUSTAINABLE SOAPBOX IS
Here are some of our Sustainable Soapbox ways:
We talk. Every week our staff discuss topics to do with conscious decision making. We’ve talked about things like coffee, chocolate, recycling, boycotting plastic, eating in season and understanding certification labels.
We recycle. We’re still learning and we’re not perfect, but we see the importance of recycling and now collect extra materials to drop off to local collection centres.
We buy in-line with our values, like empowering women. All our Mission Adventures tees this Summer were made by Freeset, a social enterprise employing women in India. We’re currently reevaluating our other merchandise and how we can buy ethically and thoughtfully.
We print on FSC certified paper.
We drink Fairtrade certified coffee.
We give our guest speakers water in a glass, not in a plastic water bottle.
In a world full of hardship and injustice, we believe that every dollar votes for the type of world we want to live in, and the type of businesses we want to support. We feel passionate and optimistic that we actually can make a difference. And that includes you too! Why not have a look through our Instagram to see our previous Sustainable Soapbox posts? You can come back to our blog again throughout Summer to find more posts explaining the vibrant world of Sustainable Soapbox.