Over at Lifehack, Dustin Wax does more than go green by buying into all the current marketing hype of “green products.” He gives us foundational principals for being better stewards and more ethical shoppers.

Too much of our world market is out of sight, and therefore out of mind. Since we don’t see the lives of the Bolivian granny who makes our chic shopping bags, or the Indonesian teenager who makes our shoes, or the Chinese mother who assembles our iPods,we don’t think about it. And we don’t think about the tremendous amount of resources it takes to get raw materials from Africa, North America, Asia, and somewhere in the Pacific to some factory in China to put together an mp3 player which will then be shipped (using resources again from all over the world) to some store in Oregon (that is again assembled using materials from all over the world) and into our pocket (of pants made in the next town over from the iPod factory, using cotton grown in Africa and rivets made of steel from Japan on machines made in Europe from materials mined in…).

On the other hand, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of attending a local farmer’s market, you’ve experienced something few of us do these days: an encounter with a part of your community, an actual living and breathing person, who made something for you to eat. There were some global resources used (even organic farmers use tractors, and they needed a truck to bring their stuff to market) but most of the labor and material involved came out of your local area — the soil you’re standing on, the person in front of you. You have a relationship with this person, and with their land. Your land.

In the last couple of months, I came across Pam Hogeweide’s site: How God Mess Up My Religion. She is ruminating about many things in her current post including:

  • Is the church like this woman I once knew who was so easily offended? You had to tread lightly around her or you’d set her off and get a scolding. I can be like that myself. At particular times of the month. Is the church like this? Like a woman at particular times of the month? Is she touchy?
  • My friend Kim said to me once that the church offers a cultural-like transition, showing people that they need to dress a certain way and talk a certain way. But where’s the gospel? she asked.

Sally has some pretty spring pictures and poetry up on her site.

At Chicago Carless, Mark Doyle is pondering how long do you need to live in Chicago before you are a Chicagoan?

On the other hand, drawing a distinction between Chicagoans by birth and Chicagoans by choice could just be the result of surprise. Let’s face it, how sane can anyone be who adopts as his home a place with a six-month winter? (I always say, Chicago taught me what cold is: in New York, 20 degrees keeps us indoors; in Chicago, 20 degrees opens our coats to the heat wave).

Yet so many are drawn to Chicago and stay. Generations of families, tens of thousands of families, began here with the arrival of immigrant parents from Italy and Ireland and Poland and Mexico. When innumerable Midwestern farm kids and children from teeny, tiny prairie towns go to sleep at night and dream of someday finding fame and fortune in the big city, it’s the Windy City that billows through many young minds.

And very occasionally a New Yorker finds his way here, too.

How long does it take for them all to become Chicagoans? Years? Lifetimes? Generations?