Welcome to Stuff-Mart

I’m so thankful to have been raised in a family that valued thriftiness. My parents didn’t have an abundance of money but they spent what they had wisely and we were happy and content. Their frugal lifestyle rubbed off on me and I too try to be careful with how I spend money. Sometimes though what is called ‘frugality’ is actually stinginess.

With so many things made overseas now we can get practically anything we want quite cheaply. The problem is that it’s not really as good a deal as we might think. Especially with goods made in China the workers are not always paid fairly or treated well. So perhaps when we go to buy something inexpensive, it would be good to ask ourselves, “why is this item so inexpensive? Is someone not making a decent living so that I can get this item inexpensively? Is someone exploiting others by using cheap labor only to make themselves stinking rich?” Must others suffer so that we can have more? Not only do those overseas lose out but we do too. Because we have such easy access to so many things for such a cheap price, we don’t value things as much. Wouldn’t it be better to buy LESS goods (and get good quality items that help others to earn a decent living in the process) than to buy LOTS and LOTS of cheap items that clutter our homes and make us stressed? America has become obsessed with STUFF. We seem to have this idea that if we just get ‘this’ or just own ‘that’ we’ll be happy and life will be easy. It’s a lie.

Some of my goals for this year:
Live simply
Act justly
Be thankful

Fair Giving

Amazingly we live in a society where we can get whatever we want, whenever we want it and it doesn’t even cost much. The cost however is an illusion. Although the cost may not be much for us, what we buy often comes at a great cost to those making it. Working conditions overseas aren’t what they are here in the United States. Overseas workers barely make anything for their labor and are even sometimes mistreated, beaten or enslaved. 

When you think about it this isn’t a good arrangement for anyone. Those who make the goods suffer and those of us who buy suffer (although not nearly in the same way). What do I mean by the consumer suffering? Well, when we can get so many things cheaply, it destroys our sense of value in them. Suddenly we find we don’t appreciate what we have because it was so easy to obtain and we have so MUCH of it! Try simplifying your lifestyle and see what happens! You might be surprised!

Maybe this Christmas instead of buying lots of cheap goods consider buying just a few items made using fair labor practices. How would the season be different if instead of stressing ourselves to find lots of “things” to give our friends and family, we just gave them one special gift from the heart? We can’t control how others respond to Christmas but we can control our own spending and our own attitude.
As a starting point, here’s one place I’ve found where you can purchase fair trade gifts but you can also just do an internet search for “fair trade” and that should give you loads of options.

Global Exchange Store

Child Soldiers

It seems hard to believe that anyone would be so cruel as to force a child to kill. Yet the reality is this happens around the world on a regular basis. Nine different countries have been implicated. Out of those nine countries, eight of them receive U.S. military aid. Please support the Child Soldier Prevention Act.!

Check out this short video: Children in the Ranks

The Meatrix

Most conventional farms today don’t look anything like what you see in children’s books. Yet, many people aren’t even aware of the reality of the situation. The people at Sustainable Table and Free Range Studios have done an amazing job shedding light on the situation. I highly recommend you check out their short animated film The Meatrix.  It’s hilarious, creative and unfortunately quite true.

Support your local small farms. It’s better for everyone!

Page 2 of 2 pages  <  1 2