A few months ago, I created a Wishpot registry list for the new baby along with a Christmas wish list for Jack and myself. I already knew that Jack’s list would basically solely consist of products from my very favorite children’s store – Nova Natural Toys and Crafts, where everything is either U.S.-made or fairly traded in other countries, made primarily with natural materials, and very high-quality (making it more than worth the higher prices). The baby’s registry consisted of several things from Nova Natural, along with simple organic layette items, cloth diapers, blankets, a carseat, a sling, and a few other items. I’d learned with Jack that over-registering is easy, and all those baby trinkets really aren’t that necessary afterall.
It wasn’t until recently that I thought, “Hey…did I really consider all the factors when I registered at Wishpot?” What I mean is…I may have considered the “healthier” alternative (i.e. little to no plastic, etc), but did I really think about everyone involved? Who’s making this stuff? Are they being paid fairly for it?
I went back over my lists and researched every single company. I deleted the items that were made internationally by companies who wouldn’t/didn’t disclose manufacturing information. I was delighted to discover that the Britax Diplomat carseat we registered for is made in the U.S., in spite of the fact that it is neither chemical- or plastic-free. I was also happy to find out that Bummis, BumGenius, SlingEzee and Planet Wise all promise either fair trade or U.S. and/or Canada production only – and, they are environmentally conscious companies – a double whammy!
In addition to ensuring fair working conditions and pay, I believe it’s important to consider the materials used (packaging, too!). That’s why I registered the way I did. That’s why all of Jack’s Christmas wishlist items are either made of wood or high quality organic cotton (such as this doll and these fruits and veggies) and other natural materials.
When I heard about Amy’s new challenge on Jenny’s blog, I knew it would be good to get the word out about the No Plastic Holiday Challenge. What better time to really make our gifts count? It’s time for us to consider everyone involved in our Christmas lists – it’s not just about the giver and the receiver. It’s about the person whose efforts went into creating the product, their age, their treatment, the companies who hire them and pay them fairly/unfairly, the advertising methods, the packaging used, and the waste involved throughout the whole process (which effects our planet and the animals and people that live on it!). These things do matter, and no one is exempt from that responsibility.
As for gift ideas for friends and family members, consider homemade gifts, or purchasing from stores like Nova Natural Toys and Crafts, Willow Toys, The Hunger Site Store, and Ten Thousand Villages, to name just a few.
I’d like to encourage all of my readers to take part in this challenge. Let’s open our eyes to the impact of our everyday choices. It’s time to do the right thing.