Don rightly points out that making resolutions often sets up one for failure when the resolutions aren’t met. That doesn’t mean, though, that I can’t try. So, here are my 2008 resolutions (goals? hopes?):
- I want to lose weight, and keep it off. I lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago on a very low calorie diet, but regained it all by poor eating habits. This time, at least at first, I’m going to try to do it on my own, by making good food choices – lots of veggies and fruits, cut way down on breads, pastas, etc. If I’m successful, I’ll look better, and it’ll help my bum ankle, as well.
- I’m going to be more cognizant of social justice in my purchasing decisions. For the past couple of years, we’ve been good about purchasing Fair Trade Coffee, at first (and still occasionally) from Ten Thousand Villages, but my church has now adopted Fair Trade Coffee as its standard. We use the coffee at the church, as well as sell it. Our supplier is Planet Bean Coffee in Guelph, itself a cooperative that has the added benefit of promoting a coffee named Cafe Feminino. Cafe Feminino is not only Fair Trade coffee, it also helps women from a society that’s not always woman-friendly.
In 2008, I’m going to expand my fair trade horizons, and do what I can to purchase clothing and other goods from vendors who care about how their products are produced. We started this year by purchasing all of our Christmas presents through Ten Thousand Villages (a favorite vendor, because it not only assures that the makers of the products are fairly compensated, but it is also an effort of the Mennonite Central Committee, an excellent group (along with other organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee) promoting peace.
But I digress . . . making a decision to purchase items that are fairly produced, non-exploitive is not all that easy. Fair Trade coffee is always labelled as Fair Trade Certified. But when looking at other items – be they socks, spatulas, or whatever – how is the purchaser to know if a child was exploited in the manufacture of the item? And I won’t become a protectionist, either. While I know that it’s unlikely that a US worker is not being exploited, at least in the same way that perhaps a Chinese worker might be, I don’t think that’s a reason to adopt the “Buy US” mentality. (Of course, I needn’t mention that the “Buy US” approach would be a bit absurd as we live in Canada.) We are very much in a global economy (Lou Dobbs, the idiot, notwithstanding), and I have no problem with a spatula being manufactured in Indonesia. I do have a problem if the low-price-above-all-else mentality causes the spatula to be manufactured by children, or if a living wage isn’t paid.
As I figure out how to do this, I’ll share with you. I welcome any and all ideas!
- I’m going to figure out who I’m going to support for President. (Well, that’s not really a resolution – it’s a decision, one that I have to make soon if I want to vote in the Dems Abroad primary.)
- I’m going to try to be better with paperwork.
- I’d like to take up drumming in a drumming circle, perhaps with a djembe.
- I’m going to be a more regular blogger.
Well, that should be enough to get me started and keep me busy. Here’s wishing to you a gentle 2008 – may lots of good things come your way.