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01 November 2007

Maddy Mouse & holiday musing

M4 M2 M5

She's more ham than mouse.  ; )

M3 M1

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.

On Saturday night, Ali is going to a party as Twiggy and her boyfriend will be Zoolander.  Hahaha, I can't wait.

* * * * * *

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.

Comments

great post, vicki. as a senior manager in a small company i can attest to all that juggling. it's not easy, but it's also better than the alternative of working for the big guy too.

I agree about the questionable quality of what and how in our products we see on store shelves these days. Everything is connected to a global market. It is difficult to find, even with local small companies, items that don't have something from another slave-employer country. Seems our troubles tripled with China becoming part of our trading treaties.

You are raising your own, and other's awareness and that's a good thing. Maddy looks adorable.

I've been looking at clothing labels (and shoes)...it's impossible to find anything not made in China in the big/box stores. It's hard enough even in more upscale shops. We are truly in a quandary when it comes to what to wear, drive and eat!

Oh, and Ali is cute, cute, cute!!

Oops, I mean Maddie;-)

First Cute Maddy Mouse. I cannot WAIT to see Twiggy and Zoolander!
Second, I JUST posted about this made in China issue. I'm so PO'd over it, that we are striving this year for a China free holiday. Its going to be hard with little ones into action figures and such, but as a country, we have to do SOMETHING. The only thing they understand is the bottom line, so lets all go out and hit them where it hurts.

Yea Vicki!! Go girl....

And yes - Maddy is adorable.

Maddie is adorable.

Very well said. Granted I am my own boss, bit it is hard to keep prices low when you are still trying to pay the bills on what you owe the vendors. Such a vicious cycle.

Hear, hear. I try to buy local whenever I can. W@lmart is a dirty word at my house.

Good on you! Reminds me of when Kate was 2, she was intently staring at the bottom of one of her toys and asked, "Mommy, why is everything made in China?", I plotzed.

what an adorable little mouse :-)
It is indeed a dilemma for all of us about buying with integrity. I vote for buying local whenever my budget can afford it. also, buying organic food all the time.
we do our best - and that is important, isn't it?

I love Maddie the mouse!
Go you for your pledge! I've been trying to live more "ethically" for a few years now, but I fall off the wagon fairly often (and I only just twigged that craft supplies count too! I have absolutely no idea where and how any of my fabric was produced, let alone the haberdashery...)

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