I was at dinner with some people I know rather well a few months back and we were having a discussion about Wal-Mart. I will not shop there. First thing is I hate the way it smells. That cheap plastic off-gassing smell makes me nauseous. The second thing is that they have global business practices that I completely disagree with. I pay attention to the economists and analysts and I listened to a very interesting radio documentary about how Wal-Mart is able to lower their prices so much below other discount stores. I just can’t get on board with it. It plays on the supposed innate greed of the suppliers to not lose a million dollar sale. I won’t go into the details but in the end it forces the supplier to always sell its product at a severely discounted price, forcing them to close their manufacturing in Canada, Europe and the U.S and then move them to countries were they can pay their workers a lower wage. All of this so you can get your item 50 cents cheaper. Their practices in the purchasing of global products has dramatically changed everyone’s lives on the planet. Not to mention the carbon footprint of each of their stores with their 24 hour shopping and their kilometers and kilometers of asphalt parking lots creating a loss of natural drainage and excessive heat retention. This is why I will spend a few dollars more for a similar item elsewhere. I will be nobel and stick to my beliefs.
This started over 5 years ago with the distaste of that smell. It moved into a greater understanding of their business practices and that I refuse participate. I know that everyone else in business also may or may not do unconscionable things. I’m not naive so that led me to thinking about everything I buy and who makes it.
Slowly I have been changing how much I buy and where. All of this has had me thinking about how I live my life.
I have come to a number of conclusions:
I want quality over quantity.
I want to know who made it.
I will see if I can find what I need at the second-hand store or antique store first.
I will see if anyone I know has one they aren’t needing or using anymore.
I will see if I can make it myself.
I will make my own food stuffs like bread, pickles, jam, sausages etc..
I will spend more time gardening.
I will reconfigure or re-use something I already have.
When I buy new I will buy the best I can afford.
I won’t spend my time lying around watching T.V trying to forget things that are hard.
I will engage my life in things I know will make a difference no matter how small because it matters.
Now, don’t start thinking I’m some young thing with my head in the clouds and life will come down and crush me. I have already been crushed and I still believe this, besides I’m much closer to 40 than to 30. I have always thought this, and thinking like most people where what I do doesn’t matter just doesn’t sit right with me. I just frankly don’t believe that’s true. I know that everything I do everyday makes a tiny difference and those add up. They just do. Besides, homemade tastes so much better and I have a tonne of fun making things. I think soap will be my next challenge. Laughing with a few friends while trying to get things right is so much better than any T.V programme going. So, for the few people who read this, turn off the T.V. and make something you’ve never tried. Something you’ve always wanted to. The internet has thousands of pages to help you. For bread I recommend a book called 200 Fast and Easy Artisan Breads, No-knead, One Bowl by Judith Fertig. Published by Robert Rose. You will never buy bread again.