Saturday, October 31, 2009

Yes, yes, yes

I just finished reading Michelle's blog here. Yes, Yes, Yes! She is writing about the fact that she is "done" with consumer pressure! If you have read me for long, you know that this is one of the things that I struggling with in my own life. I am sick of stuff. I feel as though I am smothering in stuff. And I want it gone. But, Michelle made a statement in her entry that really struck home:

"I don't want my money to support that economy of make it in one country and ship it thousands of miles to me, while my friends and neighbors struggle and lose their jobs here at home."

What would happen if we all stopped, just stopped, buying anything that was manufactured overseas? This, to me, is the one thing that would solve our economic woes more than any stimulus monies. So many of us are already reusing and repurposing goods in our lives, so why not just stop buying those things made overseas? I know there are things that we feel we cannot do without that come from overseas, but really, couldn't we do without many of these items?

Michelle has relit the fire in me. I'd love a national movement to begin with just you and me. I'd love to see each of us encourage others to stop the madness of buying things we really don't need or will have to replace in a year because the quality is so poor. We used to teach our children to say "NO to drugs." What if we said "NO to imports"?

What do you think? Is it possible to make the change? Can it start with one person??


  1. My son and I just had a conversation about this a couple days ago. I was telling him about a movement which has started in our "Downtown" to encourage people to shop locally.

    I almost always shopped locally until we were left with little income. Sometimes now I buy from Wal Mart just because it is so much cheaper in some (but not all) groceries.

    Christopher told me about his Econ class at the community college. They learned how Wal Mart actually hurts our economy in the long run while providing cheaper products for some. He says there are actually books written about it.

    I am all for shopping locally whenever possible. That's why we still purchase as many groceries as possible from our old "neighborhood" grocery which is a chain but only in our state.

  2. Here is the "movement" we learned about on our local news. It is called the 3/50 Project:

  3. Stuff...... Yes, I too have been working for years at simplifying my life in every area. Downsizing and keeping only things that I believe are useful or beautiful has been one plumbline to which I've adhered.

    I think actively supporting more of our local craftsmen, farmers, shopkeepers, etc is another guideline we could include, where possible, too.

    I recently watched a Rick Steves travel video. He and his crew were visiting a small village in Italy, where they still did many of their things locally and by hand, e.g. one family still made shelves and shelves of homemade cheeses that they handled individually (not with machines) and their butchers showed us how they cured their proscuitto meats (sp?) the old-fashioned way.

    It made me homesick for something....... these people seemed to have a real joy of living about them, I think because they still played an integral, creative role in their livlihood, e.g. making many of their own foods.

    From watching these people, them seemed to have a great sense of satisfaction and enjoyment of the simple things in life, that wonderful quality I think many of us in North America have traded for "cheaper, faster, and more convenient".

    I don't need more cheap junk that breaks in a week; I don't need 5 cups of coffee that taste like mud because they've been whipped up in a hurry; I no longer want to sacrifice quality for convenience.

    So, Brenda, thanks for the thought of the day! Sharing my comments seems to put things back in perspective for me.

    Happy Day!!

  4. Lovely points! Thanks for the link, Brenda! I have heard that WalMart actually comes into a region and destroys local business by delibrately lowering prices to undercut local businesses. I think of fabric stores or needlework shops, in particular. I miss my LYS and LFS. But, they couldn't compete. Now, WalMart no longer has fabric locally. What's a gal to do??

  5. I'm all for simplifying. But I'm always torn. If I don't shop then the stores would go out of business and more people would be out of work. Unfortunately , there's always a flip side to every argument. I just saw a book review on Bookspan about a book called Cheap. One of the interesting things that the author brought up was how all our self-serve stores such as Target, Wal-Mart etc. lull us to buy more because we are not waited on any longer. Just pile more junk in the cart. Buy more clothes that don't fit because there's no one there to help you, etc. And don't bother to return it if it doesn't work out because oh well, it was cheap anyhow. It was very interesting.

  6. What an interesting idea! I hadn't considered the fact that no service lead to more shopping. Where I grew up, there were many stores on Main Street where you walked in and the counter person served you. If you were buying clothes, she would ask your size (if she had never seen you before, otherwise, she knew!) and then go to a certain area of the store, select several boxes and walk them to the counter for you to browse. I loved it! You make a great point, Jane!

  7. We would appreciate things more if we had to do without. Our Wal-Marts quit selling material here and I have to drive over an hour to go to Joanns. The material is more and when I go I have to get what I can. If they don't have the color I want, I have to get what will do, just like in the old, old days. It has done me good though. I appreciate the fact that I can even buy material. We just had a conversation about this Wed. after a nurse told us that hepatitus is on the rise from foods coming from over seas. We can make a difference.

  8. Good Morning Matty! I agree with Brenda. We are very much in support of buying local and the 3/50 Project (so much so that I did a post on the 3/50 project earlier this year). This isn't to say I've entirely abandoned the big box stores like Costco, Target (and now Old Navy ;) but my purchases there are minimal, to say the least. (About four visits per year.)

    Ideally, I agree strongly with buying only things made in the U.S. and locally. That being said, so much of what is available is imported. My neighbor told me she had a very difficult time trying to find sandals for her young daughter that were made in the U.S. . She finally found a pair at Stride Rite (but, FYI, they no longer make them, it was one of their last U.S. made pairs in stock). On top of that, they cost her fifty dollars (her daughter is five). I tell this story because, for those of us who are consciously making an effort to think before we buy, and buy local and U.S. made products, it is a bit of work and hard on the budget at times. That's not to say it's impossible, and the idea is a good and noble one, to be sure, and one that we strive to implement, even if it takes more time and a little more money.

    Regarding food. We never buy foods imported from overseas knowingly. If we eat out we try to stay away from chains and the like (as they've been known to import food from overseas). Most of our "fast" food is from one local company that has supported local farmers for the past fifty years. Their quality is always high and the cost reasonable. Other than that, we pretty much eat at home a lot, buying local produce from the farmer's markets here, and farm stands in San Diego when we go to visit my dad a few times per month. (You can see the food growing beside the house, and the family that grows it is the family that's selling it to us.)

    As always, thanks so much for the thought provoking post, and the link! Sorry to be so long winded (as usual ;).


  9. Hi Tracey!

    Such excellent points! We struggled to find my husband shoes made in the USA. We discovered that the ones he liked were cut out elsewhere and ASSEMBLED in the US. Such a shock!

    Buying local food is almost a religion in this area. We are near Barbara Kingslover's farm and restuarant (have you read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"?? Great book!). I believe that this has influenced many local folks. Farmer's markets are finally springing up everywhere and offering a wider variety of foods.

    I guess the best we can hope to do is be as supportive as possible with our local shops and growers, don't you? Every journey begins with just that first step!

    Thank you for adding to our conversation! You certainly gave us all something more to consider!



  10. We live in the country west of the DFW metroplex. Our shopping is limited, as it is a 50-mile drive to cross the I-35 barrier. We have some real farmer markets, often picking up fresh harvests from friends, returning the favor when we can. I haven't been part of a 'movement', but I firmly believe in helping the neighbors in our country before looking to others. So many in our community are in need of jobs. Buy as local as you are able before spreading your budget around. It helps!


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!