And what do Americans do at Christmas? We shop 'til we drop baby!
This post is mainly for myself. But if even one person slightly changes their shopping habits this holiday season because of reading this, then I'll call that a win. Why do I keep coming back to shopping Biblically and responsibly?
The Bible calls us to it (check out James 5:1-4).
I keep running into stories like this: Which tires are on your car? and Where do you get your sports equipment?
Here's a specific list of questions I'm going to attempt to live by over the next two months (and longer). I challenge you to ask yourself at least 1 of these questions each time you shop this holiday season:
Before you shop:
- Do I need this? If Yes, go to question #2. If No, stop here.
- Do I already have it? Think about this one carefully, we often re-buy stuff we already have because we have so much. If Yes, stop here. If No, go to question #3.
- Can I make it myself? If Yes, go for it! If No, go to question #4.
- Can I upgrade or repair something I own rather than buying it? If Yes, go for it! If No, go to question #5.
- Can I buy it used? Used is better than new in that it keeps something out of the junkyard (for a while longer at least.) If Yes, go for it. (Check out ebay.com, half.com, paperbackswap.com to get started.) If No, go to “When You Shop”.
- Is it made in the USA? If Yes, go for it. If No, go to question #2.
- It it made in a developed country? (Check out this list.) If Yes, go for it. If No, go to question #3.
- Does it have any fair trade certification? If Yes, go for it. If No, go to question #4.
- Is what you’re buying known to be produced with child or forced labor? Check this report (starting at page 17). If Yes, find a similar product from a better place. If No, go to question #5.
- How does this product or company rate on goodguide.com? (Bar-code scanning app available for smartphones.) If you’re satisfied with the rating, go to question #6. If you have concerns, look around for a similar product, then go to #6.
- How does the product or company rate on free2work.org? (Bar-code scanning app available for smartphones.) If you’re satisfied with the rating, go to question #7. If you have concerns, look around for a similar product, then to to #7.
- One last time: Do you really need it?
Last thing: Drop a comment or reply to my email if you'd be interested in some sort of "pocket guide" version of this that you could easily take with you while shopping.