Taking the time to consider where things come from and what they're made out of is an important step toward living sustainably. Finding things Made in the USA is not as easy as one would think, although it probably depends on where you shop. Questions to ask yourself before making a purchase:

  • Is this item made in line with my values?
  • Am I supporting the local economy?
  • Are the people who produce this item treated and compensated fairly?
  • Is this item built to last?

WHERE TO BUY LOCAL PRODUCTS and SERVICES?

One of my favorites is Whitehall Candle Co.

Designed to evoke the senses and relax the soul, each candle is hand-crafted and individually packaged, one at a time and are conceived with an uncanny attention to detail and design. Soy-based and made by artist Shawn Whitehall in Walnut Creek! They can be purchased online whitehallcandleco.com  or at the Walnut Creek farmers market.


Good guide for finding toys made in the USA:

http://www.howtobuyamerican.com/content/ba-toys.shtml


Please join this discussion and share your ideas! Remember that it's easy to find flaws in pretty much everything and we all have different values, so please refrain from criticizing others' suggestions.

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Also fairly local is the Berkeley Farmer's Market and Craft Fair. It will be 12/, 12/10, 12/17.  I will be selling my recycled glass jewelry and accessories.  AND if local produce and local crafts were not enough, they will be having a light bulb and Christmas tree light exchange. 

http://www.ecologycenter.org/calendar/event.php?eventID=36933

For nontoxic chemical free products see nirvana safe haven. To save money for clients we dont have a store but work on the web. If people need samples of pure wool nontoxic carpets and fabrics  or wool for organic bedding  we can oblige. see http://nontoxic.com.

This is a business run by a 77 year old previously very ill chemically injured lady who now spends her time trying to save you from her fate. daliya robson at 925 472 8868  

It's great to consider the lifecycle of a product before your purchase it, from cradle to grave. My business, Lemonade Boutique which is a green children's consignment store carries lots of handmade items from local artists such as art frames, girls tutus, hand crocheted hair accessories, hand sew bibs, etc. and I also try to carry new merchandise which is from companies which are local, green or are at least making strong efforts to be green. We carry a large selection of new children's toys so please consider shopping local before hitting the mall. My store is at Ygnacio Plaza near Sports Basement. Please stop by and say hello!

I'm curious if Whitehall carries candles that are scented with essential oils?

 

 

 

when considering a gift to bring to a holiday event, I  especially like to shop local wineries! Parkmon Vineyards in Moraga for instance! Come to our triannual  Movie Nights www.greenrheem.org to sample different local wineries. We are putting together our 2012 schedule. But Save Jan 17th for the showing of the movie: Bag It. Think Global: Eat, drink and shop local! we will have wine and food samples at 6, film at 7--with shorts and discussion after the movie!

Lynda

From looking at the website it looks like Whitehall uses synthetic (chemically derived) fragrances, not essential oils (plant derived). 

Where do your fragrances come from

Our fragrances are manufactured here in the USA by well respected perfume houses in New York and New Jersey.


After doing the Green Festival, I've realized that there is quite a spectrum when it comes to "green" products. I went in being so strict with myself feeling like every single component had to be recycled. Only to find lots of products with one main "green" component and several others that were not. Or made in the 3rd world. While I think it is important to have high standards, realize that people making handmade goods need to try sell at a price people will actually pay. We also have to source materials and sometimes that one missing component that will make our product 100% green is also going to double the price of the product. I'm not saying that any one approach is right or wrong, just that sometimes is can be a complex equation. 

To me green means healthy, orgnically grown, free or all  pesticides and dangerous chemicals . Nontoxic sustainable and not poisoning people and the planet. This is sustainable and anything else that is dangerous to air water or people is not sustainable. daliya@nontoxic.com

Captain Vineyards of Moraga, is the first and only Green winery in Contra Costa County and won the county sustainable award in 2010.  we welcome all to visit our web site, contact us and try our locally grown wines.  we do offer gift baskets and gift certificate for wine tastings and tour of our vineyard. 

captainvineyards.com

Thank you for this feedback Fleurette--I agree. It's easy to find flaws in most decisions or products when it comes to sustainability. We're dealing with a society that's gotten so far out of touch with what it means to live in harmony with natural systems...we're lucky to find much of anything made in America.  It's going to take each of us to take small steps and large efforts to recreate a viable world. What's important is that we are turning around. Rather than criticizing things for not being perfect, let's be positive and support those who are taking steps in the right direction.

Lafayette-based, ECOlunchboxes, offers quality eco-friendly lunchware, including 100% cotton artisan lunchbags made by fair trade artisans in India, and toxic-free, BPA-free stainless steel food containers.  Good for kids and adults of all ages!  Items are available on their website at www.ecolunchboxes.com.  And, from now through December 31st, get 10% off any retail order.  Just add the Coupon Code "hmr" when checking out!  Happy Waste-free Eating!

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