Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thought, care and strategy...
I think the Shopping Code goes something like this...
5. Buy local.
6. Buy organic.
7. Avoid products that are imported from a country with a disregard for child safety and a terrible environmental record.
Not easy. I know. A lot of people have no problem with this, but some of us are weak consumers, on a budget, eager for cheap thrills, short of time and creative juice... Truthfully: Selective shopping, making things by hand, buying local and organic, spurning cute and affordable toys and decor, in favor of nothing or something from a boutique, well... it's a luxury. Still, I think it behooves each of us to at least think about what we consume, why we consume and how we consume. Hey, this ain't no sermon... I am trying to pump myself up here.
So, the other day, when I was watching Anna Maria on Martha, I was happy to see a *how it's made* kind of segment at the Nordic Ware factory. Alex and I remember driving by the headquarters last summer on our Twin Cities Tour. I love those segments on the Martha Stewart Show when she features industry, craftsmanship, skilled people, workers... and I loved realizing that there is a wonderful American product, still made in the USA! Yay for Bundt pans... tee hee!
What else is made at home? And if not in the USA, at least in countries that haven't had a year of recalls and scary track records... So, I am on a mission to be on the look-out for options, choices, & possibilities. I am not a person that relishes shopping... I like to get out of the house, sure... and I like finding something I have in mind, but usually I count on a few stores I find reliable and then I am in and out. But, as long as I am in a store, I am going to make an extra effort to find things that are made somewhere other than China, and then I am going to pass along the tip here at Chickenblog.
My boys might insist I start with their all time favorite product, company and lifestyle... have you guessed? LEGO and it's bricks and blocks are, for the most part, not made in China. We breathed a huge sigh of relief about this, because LEGO has never failed to make the top 10 of all three boys' wish lists. The everlasting, creative, engineer training toy is a fantastic product. We can't say enough good things about LEGO bricks.
As for me, a sentimental favorite is PLAYMOBIL... I cannot resist those charming details and themes, especially the little chickens, bunnies, farmers, kitchens, hats and tractors. Like LEGO, they are pricey, but again, like LEGO, they are a toy that lasts, and one set can provide plenty of play fun for many years.
It was a happy discovery when I learned that Mad Libs is made in the USA! Is it just us? We love these silly books. And, really they aren't just silly, they are a sneaky learning device that any home-schooling family would appreciate. We bring Mad Libs out often, and always enjoy the fun.
Who remembers "Yes and Know Invisible Ink Books?" I always found these so intriguing, and the couple of times I got to play with them, they filled some slow time with a little amusement. You may have a super-sleuth in the house or someone that loves to puzzle and learn, and "Invisible Ink" books are made in the USA.
Holly. Holly, dare we give you another puzzle? There are a lot of really beautiful puzzles and I was happy to see there are many made in the USA and Germany. A click on the Ravensburger website even brings up an article about their safety testing standards.
Wow, I found quite a bit and I haven't finished going through my list. I am going to take a break for now... all this shopping has worn me out.