Saturday, March 08, 2008

12 Resolutions February Wrap/ March intro

February wrap up:
Well it’s very evident that I am a horrible vegetarian. I started the month off and only 2 days later, a slip. I probably slipped about 4 times before I got to the final week of the month, and there is where it all went off the rails as they say…it was just too easy not to think about what I was eating. (I think I finished the last day with a big bowl of Texas chili, but hey, when in Dallas. I'll have it known, I had the tuna when we ate at Morton's.) So I might revisit this goal later in the year to see if I can try to be better at it, but for now, a definite failure. But March is another day, isn’t it Scarlett?

So March’s goal is roughly based on Sara Bongiorni’s book “A Year Without ‘Made in China’.” It was her decision to try to survive a full year without any product purchased for her family bearing that ubiquitous ‘Made in China’ label—a fairly easy undertaking for me who doesn’t shop often and lives alone, but she felt overwhelmed by having to feel like she wasn’t depriving her two children (both under the age of 5). In fact, I disagree a bit with her methods: It is slightly cruel to spend a child’s life telling them that toys are great and wonderful and then all of a sudden change your mind and say “Nope, no more China toys,” cutting them off cold turkey. And then parade them up and down a toy store aisle showing them all the things they can no longer have. When her kid cries to her and asks her to have 2 more children and tell them when they’re born and not when older that China things are bad, even a four-year old gets it. Because nearly every toy sold in America is manufactured in China. Last year’s lead paint scare has probably done little to change the fact that toys are Chinese.

The other issue I have with her boycott is that she is boycotting products that are indigenously Chinese: she feels guilty that she overlooked that Mandarin oranges are Chinese, which seems silly to me—the point of the boycott was to show how China has taken over production of so many products that were originally produced in other places, as far as I can tell, Mandarin oranges are exclusively Chinese.

The Bongiorno’s boycott has made them more thoughtful, more conscious of their shopping habits and that is exactly what I am going to do with my own attempt at a Chinese boycott this year. I’m going with a cold turkey boycott for the month of March, and hopefully continue with a “buy China when it is the only practical option” in the future. But I plan to keep my purchasing traits unaffected: the best way to stay free from China products or (other sweatshop goods) is to stay a conscious consumer: buy only what you need, buy from reputable companies, buy for durability, dual function and take care of it once you get it home!

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