Monday, March 23, 2009
My New Year's resolution was (is) to think about how I spend my dollar. Not only to be more economical, but more importantly, to be a more eco-aware consumer. I'm trying really hard to not buy things that are made over seas...the environmental restrictions in developing nations are considerably lower than in the US (lots of toxins released into their environments), wages earned in factories are barely enough to even feed oneself, and the amount of energy used to transport goods across the world into the hands of the American consumer are astronomical.
One of the easiest solutions to this conundrum is to buy local! In La Paz, if I'm going to buy a little souvenir, I always ask where it was made. For the most part, vendors are usually the fabricators (ex. jewelery). It is a good feeling knowing that you are supporting local economies and labor thru your purchases. I've been wanting to buy a pair of sandals that are not flip-flops. My dad told me to get some Mexican Huaraches. He bought a pair when he was my age, and used them in Europe for several years. While doing some errands the other day, I kept an eye open for a Huarache stand. I stumbled upon a mercado and jackpot! Stands full of Mexican goods: blankets, cowboys hats, etc. After half an hour of mentally debating just what style I wanted, I settled on a pair of light suede stappy Huaraches. The vendor said that they are made in Juarez. One thing I really like about my new sandals is the fact that they use used tire treads as the soles! A some-what green product too! Now it is just a matter of breaking them in :)