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

Winter Gardening

Winter gardening, ever heard of it? I’ve heard of ‘winter sowing’ (I’ll write more about that in January) but not winter gardening. Strangely enough I found myself doing just that earlier this week. For some reason we had an unusually long fall this year so several of the fall plants continued to look nice even through November. This just isn’t normal for Michigan! Last year we had snow fall in October!

In addition to the unusually long fall, I must confess I’m a bit of a procrastinator. Needless to say I looked absolutely silly trimming perennials and digging up annuals underneath a layer of frozen snow and leaves! I had to just sit back and laugh at myself! I sure learned my lesson though! Next year I might just trim down the plants in October!

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