I try really hard to support local businesses and businesses that have fair business practices by paying their employees a fair wage, and not using suppliers that engage in child, slave or underpaid labour. I think it's good for the economy, good for the people I buy from, and I know it's good for my soul. When I can, I like to buy right from the source. I would so much rather buy carrots from the farmer that planted the seeds and dug them up than from the produce isle at Safeway. I 'm pretty sure that they taste better that way! I love buying homemade goods off Etsy. One of my favourite shops is Ten Thousand Villages, a shop that markets products from artisans in low-income countries that have been fairly purchased and made from sustainable resources.
I'm not, by any means, perfect. I would love to say I wear all organic, local clothing, but my vanity stands in my way. I like to avoid it, but I find myself in Walmart every once in a while looking for a good deal. I know that most of the chocolate in the world is produced by child slavery (that's right, I said slavery), yet, I still enjoy a chocolate bar every once in a while.
Still, what would we be if were weren't always trying to reach perfection. So, I try. I don't think being poor is any excuse. I can certainly live with less and use the money I do have to purchase responsibly. Living out of a few suitcases for the past six months has taught me I can live with very little of what I own, and I certainly don't need the vast majority of the things I want. And, if it comes down to it, I would rather live without than have someone else, a slave child in Africa, a factory worker in China, pay the real cost for me. So, I continually try to make more responsible purchasing choices, and am totally inspired by people who do better than me.
Last weekend we went to the Farmers Market at Sandpoint, which is one of my favourite farmers' markets of all. It not only has fabulous produce, meat, dairy and baked goods, local and usually organic, but it has local artisans selling their handmade treasures. And, they usually have some sort of musical entertainment too. Eli's favourite part of the farmers' market is definitely splash fountain in the middle of the square!