We’re trying to make simple, good decisions here at TexasNorth*. [Note that text in brown takes you to a related article if you click on it.]
We are trying to recycle as much as possible. This means Paper Gator at church, which is easy… but then recyling at the 10 Mile drop-off as well. You can recycle everything! Our trash company charges $14 a month for a very limited service, so we cancelled and have been doing only paper for a year…but that just wasn’t sitting well with me. The more I use and the more I watch other people use (and the more I drive by the Coopersville landfill) the more I want to contribute less to that cause. SO. We’re gonna make a cutie-old-barn-wood bench for the front porch with some wooden bins inside that I can simply pull out and throw in the back of Boo and head in to Rockford once a month. Simple, right? Double function bench/Mulder recycling center, better conscience. Good. Simple.
We are trying to avoid plastic…for infinite reasons. Some are aesthetic: I don’t want huge bulky red and yellow toys in the living room- they don’t match my chicken coop window from GrandPap’s. Some are functional: I don’t like what I’ve been reading about plastics and alternatives are so easily found that it just makes sense to choose other things. So, a stainless steel sippy cup for Rylie. Less plastic toys…more wooden ones… less disposable diapers… more cloth… less plastic bags, more cloth market bags. Good.
We’re not trying to overhaul our little world. We’re just trying to slowly incorporate better decisions into our everyday life here on the farm- from food to purchases to chores to play. I want to teach Rylie to think. I think we give up because everything else is just so darn easy these days. I’m finding, though, that the alternatives are not any less easy… you just have to train your brain to go to Option #2.
The hardest area is clothing…I have long been a fan of knowing where your clothes are made and buying smartly- quality, factory knowledge, etc. American clothing is hard to find. Insport is a fun new find at the local running shop- 95% USA made. But, obviously…most of our clothing is bought on a need-basis, not for a greater cause. When you just simply need some pants that fit- dangit, you don’t spend 2 months researching employee benfit packages for the workers in the Thailand Gap factory. Well, I don’t, I should say. So, I’d like an easy decision here. I’d like to find a place I can just buy and feel good about. American Apparel, right? They have a fantastically succesful business form. They make everything right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. They have every shirt style you can imagine…plain and simple and perfect and logo-free. Organic if you want. Purple if you want. Baby size, if you want.
Problem: the owner is a punk. He’s a real self-admitted goon. He admits to sleeping with employees. He admits AA advertising is soft porn. He admits the model shots are meant to suggest creepy-basement-web sex photos. Disturbing at the very least, people. We all agree. So, my question is- how much do I care about that? Do I boycott this because it’s- HE’S- disgusting? Or do I admit I know nothing about other owners and may be unknowingly supporting their drug habits as well, just with less press? Do I buy because the company is right on? I seriously go back and forth…back and forth.
You tell me- anonymously, if you wish. I am torn. Speak the wisdom, folks. Speak it.
She’s still sleeping. 8:54am.
* Please note that our decisions are simply that- our decisions– and are not meant to fix the world or alienate anyone. When you come to the farm, you will find plastic toys and coolwhip tupperware. You will find questionable music and serious junk food. I’m just trying to do less bad. I’m a big fan of less. In fact, I’m gonna go lie down on the couch right now and do less.*