Posted by: mosblog | November 2, 2008

Reading Changes Things

   So we recently started getting the Relevant Magazine again. I’ve always read it from front to back because of the way it makes you think. I don’t always agree with everything I read, but man have I been changed from their issue this month.

First, I read an article about an organization called “Charity: Water.” It’s basically all about how much of the rest of the world’s sufferings/deaths stem from the fact that they don’t have clean water to drink. “More than 1.1 billion people live without access to safe water, with 42,000 losing their lives because of it every WEEK! 90% of them are under the age of 5.” The guy who started the organization a few years ago has been raising money to put in wells all over the place. It costs about $5,000 to put one in, but he’s doing it little by little. One way is through a campaign called “Born in September” which is when the guy was born. Anyway, it’s all of these small donations that have lent to the cause (along with big ones too), and 100% of the money goes to the project. So cool!

The second article I read in Relevant is all about Fair Trade and the fact that we don’t know if what we’re buying has been made by a little child in a sweatshop for little to no pay…and how often times we don’t even care. There is true slavery going on today and we’re profiting from it. Super sad!

Where have the two articles taken me? Well, I’m not totally sure yet….but I know I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas and the insane amount of money spent on crap every year. I really want this year to be different, not just by asking someone to donate money instead of buying me something, but I want to change Bella and Noah’s thoughts on it too. Also, I want to use our money more wisely, figure out how to cut costs and donate the money to Charity: Water or something locally. I’ve been too “me-focused” and would like to change that.

One idea I’ve had for giving gifts (I LOVE to give gifts and most people I give to have actual needs. They aren’t the person who has everything types.) is to buy things from the Thrift Store and make them into something cooler. For example…recently on Etsy.com I saw a pointed princess hat that was made from an old lady’s fancy dress that the person had bought for a few dollars at a Thrift Store. In my mind, this idea would not only cut down on buying from sweatshops, it would make things more personal, give me a little hobby, cost less, reduce waste, support a local store, and be more fun.

Do you have any ideas for Christmas gifts, decor, foods, activities, etc that would aid this mindset? If so, I’d love to hear them!

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Responses

  1. How great that you have been reading those articles– as a shop owner it has been really important to me that I get my yarn from wholesalers that support fair trade and labor practices. And since every color of yarn and every bolt of fabric comes in it’s own bag, I stopped buying shopping bags for the store and I simply reuse the shipping bags. I give an extra stamp on the frequent buyer cards for the customers who bring their own bags or don’t take one of mine.

    A really great way to make some cool gifts are to buy some wool sweaters at the thrift store, and remake them into something else. By steeking, sewing, or felting you can make stuffed critters, purses, aprons, all kinds of cool stuff. A friend of mine even makes diaper covers for her kids cloth diapers. If you find a a sweater that’s made out a beautiful yarn, but not something you’d ever wear, you can unravel it and reuse the yarn for something else.

    I could go on and on…..I love the mantra reduce, reuse, recycle.

    Hope you and the fam are well!


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