May 2022 Newsletter
Issue #63
Simple Living
In 1920, the average floor area of a new single-family home in the U.S. was 1,048 square feet and the average floor area per person was 242 square feet.

Today, the average size of a single-family home in the US is about 2,600 square feet and the average square footage per person is more than 1,000.

The average floor area has more than doubled since 1920 but the square footage per person has more than quadrupled. The reason for this is that the average household size declined from 4.34 people in 1920 to 2.54 people -- a historic low.

Homes in the U.S. are among the largest in the world, surpassed only by Australia.

Industry wide, an average of 6-12 new fashion collections are marketed every year.

Fast fashion brands such as H&M or Zara market between 12 to 24 collections each year -- at least twice the industry standard.

Impulse buying
Impulse shopping is a $17.78 billion market in the U.S.

84% of Americans say they have succumbed to impulsive online shopping.

54% of shoppers admit spending more than $100 on an impulse buy. 20% of shoppers have spent at least $1,000 on an impulse buy.

46% of Americans say that they regretted an impulse purchase.

Reasons people give for making an impulse buying decision in order:

Storage Space
There is nearly 1.8 billion square feet of rentable self-storage space in the United States. Idaho has the most rentable square footage per person at 10.76 square feet and New York has the least space with 2.52 square feet.

32% of storage is used for cleaning out a garage or basement for more living space
Planned Obsolescence
A policy of designing a product with an artificially limited useful life or a purposely frail design, so that it becomes obsolete after a certain pre-determined period of time.

  • Products can no longer be updated with the latest version of the operating system or new peripherals cannot be connected because the port standard has changed.

  • Fashion designers change the style of products to make the older ones appear less desirable.

  • Products simply stop working or are deactivated after a certain date, forcing consumers to replace them even if they are still in a usable condition.

  • Goods are not repairable or batteries are not replaceable.
For more on Simple Living, click here.
25 Simple Living Youtube Channels
A media database from Feedspot, that offers a selection of personal blogs, podcasts and youtubers concerned with simple living. Selections are based on rankings by subscribers, number of views and video counts. Learn more.
For more Simple Living resources, click here.
Becoming Minimalist
A resource designed to inspire people to pursue their greatest passions by owning fewer possessions. Created by Joshua Becker, Wall Street Journal best-selling author of The More of Less and The Minimalist Home. Learn more.
For more Simple Living resources, click here.
Other Resources
Tax Justice for All
A interactive calculator from Network to illustrate the implications of taxing and spending decisions at the federal level. Allows participants to build ones own U.S. budget -- choosing between15 major categories of both tax and spending policies. Describes options and tracks totals to show financial consequences of choices. Learn more.
For more the U.S. Budget, click here.
Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy
A nonpartisan research and policy institute that advances federal and state policies to help build a nation where everyone — regardless of income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ZIP code, immigration status, or disability status — has the resources they need to thrive and share in the nation’s prosperity. Combines rigorous research and analysis, strategic communications, and effective advocacy to shape debates and affect policy, both nationally and in states.
For more on the U.S. Budget, click here.
A New Story of Justice:
Nonviolence and Restorative Justice
A resource from the The Metta Center For Nonviolence. This short animation highlights the differences between restorative justice and our current system of retributive justice & provides statistical evidence that this approach works in a variety of settings.
For more on the Criminal Justice System,
We Welcome
A movement that believes that God is passionate about welcoming and works to create a culture of welcome together from our tables at home to the halls of Congress. Resources include Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), In the News Section, Ideas for Taking Action and a downloadable .pdf file, Better Conversations: A Discussion Guide, How to Move from Political Debate to Productive Dialogue. Learn more. 
For more on Refugees, click here.
Immigration Advocates Network
A program of Pro Bono Net, dedicated to expanding access to immigration legal resources and information through collaboration and technology. IAN was created in 2007 by leading immigrants' rights organizations, to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them. IAN creates their own tools, builds platforms for others, and works with partners to harness the power of technology and collective action to better support immigrants and their advocates. Learn more.
For more on Immigration, click here.
Sacred Water: Oceans & Ecosystems
A program from JustFaith Ministries, where participants -- in the context of a small group community -- explore their relationships with water, in both the Christian Scriptures and their daily lives. Participants are equipped to help restore the health of our oceans, waterways, and ecosystems through advocacy, grassroots organizing, and daily decision-making. Consists of eight 2-hour sessions and an immersion experience. Learn more.
For more on the Environment, click here.
Earth Day
Works to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Growing out of the first Earth Day in 1970, it is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 150,000 partners in over 192 countries to drive positive action for our planet. Learn more.
For more on the Environment, click here.
Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and
the Battle for Truth 
By Elizabeth Williamson. Based on hundreds of hours of research, interviews, and access to exclusive sources and materials, an investigation of the aftermath of a school shooting, the work of Sandy Hook parents who fought to defend themselves, and the truth of their children’s fate against the frenzied distortions of online deniers and conspiracy theorists. It is the story of their battle to preserve their loved ones’ legacies even in the face of threats to their own lives. Through exhaustive reporting, narrative storytelling, and intimate portraits, Sandy Hook is the definitive book on one of the most shocking cultural ruptures of the internet era.
For more on Gun Violence, click here.
Americans for Tax Fairness
ATF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization consisting of more than 420 national, state and local endorsing organizations united in support of a fair tax system that works for all Americans. ATF was established to help make the economy work for all — with adequate levels of investment in critical areas that create and sustain jobs and a balanced and equitable approach to decisions on the federal budget. This requires raising sufficient revenues with everyone, including corporations, paying their fair share of taxes. ATF’s primary purpose is to educate and mobilize the public to get policymakers to support comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater federal revenue to reduce inequality and to meet America’s growing needs. Learn more.
For more Economic Justice, click here.
Rising: Learning from Women’s Leadership in Catholic Ministries
By Carolyn Woo. Offers reflections on first-person narratives of a range of women involved in leadership positions in Catholic ministries -- social justice, Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and religious congregations, educational, media, diocesan, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) etc. Examines the range of leadership roles that women play in the Catholic Church & explores the particular challenge that women face, as well their distinctive styles of leadership, while pointing toward an expanded understanding of ministry and leadership in the church. Contributors represent a broad range of women in leadership positions, ranging from the conservative Becket Fund, to Sr. Simone Campbell, Kerry Robinson, Kerry Weber (America media), Sr. Carol Keehan (Catholic Health Association), Kim Daniels (staff for USCCB), etc. Read more.
For more on Gender Inequality, click here.
The Crucible of Racism:
Ignatian Spirituality and the Power of Hope
By Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J. The author describes his painful journey learning about racism in the U.S. after he arrived here from Haiti to pursue graduate studies and to begin his training as a Jesuit. This experience became a kind of crucible for him which also included becoming more aware of the ambiguous history of his own religious order. But the basic principles of Jesuit formation―the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and the “discernment of spirits,” the examination of conscience, the imaginative identification with Jesus in his sufferings, death, and resurrection―became an entry to his own journey of hope and resurrection. He believes that these principles and practices, hold promise of conversion and healing for a church and a society still caught in the crucible of racism.
For more on Racism, click here.
The Ethics of Encounter: Christian Neighbor Love as a Practice of Solidarity
By Marcus Mescher. Provides an ethical framework for the “culture of encounter” that Pope Francis calls us to build. Serves as a creative and constructive proposal for what it would take to build a “culture of encounter” in an American context marked by rising individualism, racial tensions, class segregation, hyper-partisanship, and echo chambers online. The work of Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, provides a case study for overcoming fear, hatred, and trauma in order to practice Christian neighbor love that aspires for solidarity. Read more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Dorothy Day on Pilgrimage: The Sixties
Edited by Robert Ellsberg. A collection of Dorothy Day's "On Pilgrimage" columns from the 1960s is a chronicle of faith and action. Living among the poor and seeking God in her daily life, Dorothy Day had a special vantage point during this tumultuous decade, marked by the Cuban Revolution, Vatican II, the struggle for Civil Rights, Vietnam protests, and the rise of the United Farmworkers. A chronicle of faith and action through a decade of protest, idealism and change. Read more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Important Dates This Month
Individuals Honored This Month
May 1st

We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.
May 9th

I want a change, and a radical change. I want a change from an acquisitive society to a functional society, from a society of go-getters to a society of go-givers.
May 9th

Instead of building the peace by attacking injustices like starvation, disease, illiteracy, political and economic servitude, we spend trillions of dollars on war, until hatred and conflict have become the international preoccupation.
May 9th

How can we expect fate to let a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up undividedly to a righteous cause?
May 19th

Here is what we seek: a compassion that can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it.
May 20th

I am convinced that it is still best that I speak the truth, even if it costs me my life.
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To learn more, click here.

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