Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Made in the USA
Last night at dinner I cheerfully announced to the family that for the remainder of 2008 we are going to buy only products made in these United States of America. Ben didn't say much except 'why'? and I answered that I thought it might be important for us and the kids to pay more attention to where the things we buy come from, and that how we spend our money ought to help people here at home.
The motion passed - 1 enthusiastic vote and 3 here-she-goes-again votes.
Like Barbara Kingsolver, the author who wrote "Animal Vegetable Miracle" about spending a year eating only local food, we had to decide on some exceptions to the rule. Like Barbara we chose to exempt coffee (mom, dad) and unlike Barbara chose to exempt bananas (7yo, 4yo). Sorry, but there's only so much one can do with apples, applesauce, and frozen berries. Florida citrus is in. Colombian grapes are buh-bye. Maybe next year we'll ditch the bananas.
I think that our biggest challenge will be with clothes. We made a little subrule there too. If we cannot find clothing for the kids that was made in the USA, we'll allow second hand clothes from garage sales, re-stores or Goodwill/Savers/St. Vincent de Paul. Also allowed are what the 4yo calls "handy downs" from older cousins.
I wanted to get a new laptop this year. I'll have to ditch that idea. Waiting until next year isn't going to change the world, that's for certain, and I realize it is just a deferment, but a big part of this challenge is for us to stop and think about the things that we buy, rather than just gettin' and spendin' and layin' waste our powers.
We haven't decided how to handle gifts from others. I guess we'll just have to go with it and graciously accept something given to us, just as long as the kids don't use birthdays and christmas lists as an endo around the rule. We did decide that Ben's work supplies will have to be exempt. He may use that as his own endo. That would be cheating.
I will keep you posted throughout the year on what we find.
>>Before I could hit post, Ben called. He wanted to know if he should buy some Christmas lights he found on sale for 50 cents a string. "Where were they made?" I asked. He said he'd check. Bet we aren't getting cheap lights.