Maddy Mouse & holiday musing
She's more ham than mouse. ; )
There's candy left in the bowl -- though the bell rang only three times, they were fairly big groups. There was a ghost, a miniature police officer ("Officer Awesome"), Elmo, a bunch of others. My favorite part of Halloween, for sure, is answering the door.
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There's been so much in the news about lead paint and recalls of toys made in China. A feature this week on one of the local news channels. Two young nephews come to mind, and I am concerned.
Usually pitched right into recycling, yesterday I turned the pages of the BigStuffMart flyer I found in my mailbox. I noticed some long-sleeve, V-neck, all-cotton shirts -- the kind I like -- advertised for, I don't know, less than $7. Pretty tempting. Certainly not made in the USA at that price. (Remember when that BigStuffMart was all about Made in America?) The shirt could be made many other places besides China, for sure, but one thing they all have in common is cheap(er) labor and different (sub-) standards and regulations for materials and the manufacture of goods.
I gave my dad a book about wildflowers in Wisconsin a few years ago. He was vehemently anti-anything-made-in-China even then and his first comment to me about the book was that it was made in China. I hadn't even noticed. My husband noted that China doesn't have the environmental regulations governing the types of inks and materials used in printing -- they're cheaper to produce, have better and more intense color; hang the environment.
These things were on my mind as I contemplated the $7 shirt. Tempting at that price, you know? I wonder about the dyes used for the fabric, though, even the processes for producing the fabric. What kind of exposure? What is next to my skin? It made me wonder about many things -- my clothing, my bedding, the upholstery in my car, the cookware I use everyday, silverware and dishes?
I'm going to strive for a responsible Christmas this year. My money may not buy as much, but I'm going to try and make it buy better. It'll take some research, but my aim is to support small businesses and companies that care about the quality of their material and products, the environment, and, mostly, about their employees. Working for a small business, I witness daily the juggling act that takes place, the anguish and frustration in trying to keep prices low enough to both attract new work and keep old clients, but charging enough to cover the overhead, with health coverage being one of the biggest concerns, and keeping people working.