Today is the day I kick off my “31 days without Walmart”, and to be honest, I wouldn’t be going to Walmart today anyway. Or anywhere else for that matter. I have strep throat, and I’m contagious until I’ve been on my antibiotics for 24 hours. “Don’t go anywhere,” my doctor said. “You’ll spread this around.”
Okey dokey. You don’t have to twist my arm to get me to stay home in pajamas. So while I sit here nursing my hot tea and Advil, it’s a good time to recap the mission of this project.
First and foremost, I want to emphasize again this is not a Walmart-bashing month. Walmart is just my go-to StuffMart, so cutting it out for a month will make the most difference to me. If you’re going to join me, you can cut out any StuffMart you want.
Here are the goals:
1) To pay more attention to the products we buy. On the advice of my allergist, a few years ago I cut out all artificial colors and flavors, along with preservatives like BHA, BHT, TBHQ, Sodium Benzoate from my food in attempt to get rid of some itchy skin problems. What I learned reading labels is that there is a lot of artificial crap in the food we eat. And reading other product labels? Man, I buy a lot of stuff made in China. Do you know how workers are treated in China? I didn’t, until I started investigating.
2) Support local businesses whenever possible. The goal this month is to spend my money at businesses that are locally-based or owned. (Thankfully, Wegmans counts!)
3) Buy locally produced products if possible. Given the choice between a squash grown in Groveland, NY or in Mexico, I’ll go for the one in Groveland, NY even if it’s more expensive. Either that, or I skip it all together. I won’t know where a lot of products come from, but the goal is to at least ask.
Before I make any purchase, I need to consider at least one the above goals. The end goal is to be a more educated consumer, and by eliminating Walmart as a shopping option, I’m forced to think before I spend – or eat, get dressed, wrap a gift. You get the picture.
Care to join me?