What I've Been Reading Instead of Cleaning My House

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sorry, America

So I'm failing miserably in my quest to only buy American-made products. In fact, I've stopped looking. With all the back-to-school shopping I've had to do, I'm just happy to get everything on the list.

On the upside, I heard my daughter say as she was loading up her backpack, "Hey, this planner was printed in the USA!"

I'll take that as a small victory.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

America, I've Failed You

So I've been failing miserably in my quest to only buy things "made in America" for the month of August.

It started because my children were revolting (in more ways than one) over having to forego on their precious "back-to-school" clothes shopping because most items are made overseas.

I must admit that I've stopped looking at labels and tags.

Just the other day when I was grocery shopping, I bought tuna (Philippines), Nutella (Canada) and bananas (Ecuador).

America, do you forgive me? I've been cheering for you loudly during the Olympic Games. Does that make up for it?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Feeling a Little Gassy?

Source: Energy Information Administration
Credit: Nelson Hsu / NPR

As I was filling up my car with gasoline, it all of a sudden dawned on me -- oh, wait! I'm supposed to be buying only goods made in the USA this month. What about gas?  

So, where DO we get our gas/oil from?  

As you can see by the above graph, it's certainly not where I thought we were getting it. We always hear about the Middle East when it comes to oil, but they only account for 12.9 percent -- a whopping 87.1 percent comes from other places.  

Most of our oil comes from right here in the old US of A. Yay, us! Who else is right in the mix? Canada. You've got to watch them. Those sneaky Canadians are just getting ready to take over the world.  

On the upside, about 79 percent of all the oil is refined right here in America.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Oh, Canada!

So on Saturday I went shopping at one of those big box stores. Since I was only buying food, I figured I was pretty safe in everything being from the United States (I didn't even bother to look at the bananas).

But I was dismayed to find out that I had to put back the dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and the Nutella. Alas, both are made in ... Canada!

Canada? Really? I didn't realize anything was produced by our frozen neighbors to the north. (Cue legions of hockey playing, Nanaimo bar eating, maple syrup pouring, Mountie loving, Canadians to start attacking me for that comment -- but they'll do it very politely and self-assured that their national health insurance plan will stitch me right up)

Friday, August 3, 2012

I'm Proud to Be an American...shopper

So yesterday I did some shopping. I went to the grocery store, so that was pretty easy to get all things American (sorry, no bananas -- they were from Ecuador). I was glad to see that most paper products had a very large and proud "Made in the USA" label on them.

But then my daughter needed to buy a birthday present for a friend. We went to a toy store and much like everything else in there, it was made in China.

Then I had to buy a new charger for one of our devices. I knew that wouldn't be made in the USA. But instead of saying "made in China," it said "assembled in China."

Which brings me to my next question: can you really know where things are made? As I'm reading the labels, many of them don't say where they're made, only where they're "assembled" or even worse, where they're "distributed from." What is that supposed to mean? Aren't ALL things I buy in the United States distributed from the US? And if they're assembled somewhere, where did the parts come from that you're assembling? Very confusing.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Made in the USA" August

A few weeks ago I found out that my job had been outsourced to India. This was a job that I've had for the past 11 years and have loved very much, a job I would be happy to do the rest of my life.

So that prompted my August experiment of trying to only buy things made in the good ol' US of A. I may have lost my job, but I'll try to help others hang onto theirs.

Here are the rules:
Before buying anything, I have to find out where it was made.
If it's made in the United States, yay! I buy it.
If it's not, I try to find one that is made in America.
If there isn't one made in America, I either do without or blog about it.
Buying things second-hand count as "American-made."

Already my husband Nigel is rebelling. I said that we might not be having any bananas this month because they're not grown in America (good for me because I don't like bananas). He said, "Yes, they are. They grow them in Brazil or something." I said, "Brazil isn't in America." He retorted with, "Brazil is in SOUTH America."

I think it's going to be a very long month.