Shopping is Important

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It's holiday shopping time! You can choose how to spend your $. Go to the mall and give your $ to people who get their merchanidise from wherever, or you can go to an alternative gift fair and buy fair trade items that directly benefit the craftspeople who made them. I'm going to 3 alternative gift fairs this year. I've bought gifts from Uganda, Chile, and India. They're just as nice as anything I could get at the mall. Look into thekarmamarket.com and find out what fair trade aims for - a living wage for everyone. Who could be against that?

It's too late to see Fast Food Nation. We saw it with about 5 strangers last weekend. It was delicious and disturbing. When you go to Mickey D's, you're not just getting food that's bad for you, you're supporting a system that rewards ranchers for keeping their cattle in crowded unsanitary feedlots, that forces slaughterhouses to hire undocumented workers to keep the food cheap, and the advertising machine that keeps people going there. Instead of playing that game, give your $ directly to farmers through a Community Supported Agriculture group in your area. Search CSA and Your Town to hook up to organic veggies delivered to your home or close to it that come directly from the farmer who grew them. Healthy, cheap, and delicious.

Shopping is Important is taking most of December off to devote more time to careful shopping. My wish for you (and for myself) for 2007 is to make time to consider whether your actions are consistent with your values. I think this is one thing that draws people to church on Christmas eve. If you haven't been to church in a while, check it out. We found the UU on Christmas eve 3 years ago, and it's made a wonderful difference in our lives. The UU is not for everyone. Shop for the church that's right for you. Happy Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Christmas, Winter Solstice!

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