Lately, I have been yearning for a simple life and have been slowly redoing our home life. The children were aghast when I got rid of 90% of their toys and my husband was quietly amused when several plastic tub turned into wicker baskets. :D I have been disappointed with Wal Mart for some time now and slowly pulling away from shopping there. A year ago, we were in there at least once a week. However, Carey saw a documentary about Wal Mart (see the links below) and their unethical practices. Grrrr............. What I learned left a bad aftertaste, so I started using more local stores. The items may be more expensive, and not only does it keep the money local but I love the feeling I have when I bring home a wooden toy lovingly made for the kids instead of a cheap plastic one, or the taste of organic grown food. It got to the point that I was complaining after every trip to Wal Mart and I think I was driving poor Carey up the wall. They didn't have what I wanted, the shelves were poorly stocked, they were poorly prepared (no snow boots in the middle of winter?), a small choice in items I did want or need and it goes on and on. But I was still in the mind set of "I can't afford to shop anywhere else". So although I disliked their practices, you could still find me in there at least twic a month buying diapers, or any other essentials I thought I needed at the time.
And then I received an invitation to sign a petition asking for Wal Mart to stop using child labor in Bangladesh (In fact, I was one of the first 2k people to sign it.) and that clinched it. I was absolutely appalled to learn that they were doing this. Child labor is wrong, and it's even more heinous when done for profit. If you wish to sign the petition, you can find it here. Enough is enough and are no longer going to be shopping there. It's only a small part in their multi-billion dollar industry, but I figure on average we spent over a thousand dollars a year there. My husband is a full time student, so we have a very tiny income. However, there are standards that one must uphold for the sake of well-being. The excuse of "it's less expensive at Wal Mart" is just that. You definitely get what you pay for. Sure you get more for your money, but they have no pride. Everything made there is cheap and won't last very long, prompting you to come back to replace it. I would much rather spend $40 on something that is beautiful, well made and will last vs. buying several cheap items for the same amount.
Not shopping at Wal Mart is forcing me to finally use local stores and I have found a huge plethora of stuff I didn't know was available in the smaller stores. I assumed I could only find it at Wal Mart and I was soooo wrong. We have not been in Wal Mart in almost two weeks and I have had a huge feeling of freedom. We definitely have to watch our money closer since it no longer goes quite as far, but this has also triggered a huge change of lifestyle, which is to the benefit of us all.
I'm not alone! Check out these links for more information.
The Man Who Said No To Wal Mart
Boycott Wal Mart
The High Cost of Low Price - a documentary