Monthly Archives: April 2014

Can’t stay away from shopping? Try thrifting

A part from being passionate about not made in China/buy local, I also love to reduce, reuse, recycle. Love and practice it. A lot. (My colleagues may have heard my tree-saving speech once or twice)

These two “interests” go well together! How?

When you buy reused, or what we call previously owned, it doesn’t matter where it was made. Somebody already bought it and sent a positive (devastating “please make more”) signal to the manufacturer that this item is wanted. So the damage is done. Now, the most important thing is that the product gets used instead of it riding the fast lane to the landfill.

So let’s say you are looking for something that is (almost) always made in China, like toys. That’s easy to find used, and often in good condition at places like eBay. Barbie used to be from all over Asia, now she is only Chinese, but she is always on eBay!

For me, what I am looking for is a nice beach-style ceiling fan for my outdoor area. I haven’t been able to find a single one not made in the far east. I googled but only found alternative-style fans made in USA. So I’m going to check out all the local resale shops for something previously owned. Wish me luck!

(I wrote the other day about the money you save by buying not made in China – here is another reason. Pre-owned stuff cost less!)

For my plants, from Europe with love

I had been looking for a watering can for a while and found this cute one at Home Goods. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a plastic item like this one not made in China. This one is German. Ja, bitte.

Lucky me and lucky plants.  Now they actually have a chance of making it.


I looked up the brand online, Koziol, and it is very interesting for sure. All their products are 100% made in Germany. So a safe haven for a NMIC-shopper like me (yay!).

I don’t mind supporting the Europeans, they need some income to that union.

Here’s a quote from Koziol’s webpage “We are a one-stop manufacturing shop. Modeling, development, construction, mold-making, production, shipping, marketing. Forget the Far East”. Yes please!!

They never use BPAs or softeners. All of their production waste is recycled into other products, so the production line is zero waste. To me, that’s so important when dealing with plastics and a must to be an eco-friendly company.

Love, love, love their concept and products. Check them out here. 

All the money you will be saving…!

I believe the general perception is that one might need a lot of money to buy “not made in China” items.

It is true that American made products cost more. Cost being defined as “cash out of pocket needed to become the owner of an item”. Not cost for the environment, the world’s resources etc. US products cost more because it costs more to make them (labor, utilities, raw materials, facilities , regulations etc). That makes sense.

However, I like to think about all the money I am actually saving by saying no to Chinese goods. I am sure I am not the only one who sometimes buy things I don’t need.

For example, you know when you stand in line at Starbucks and see a vintage style mug you don’t need but kind of want? Well, you will be saving 10 bucks right there since the label will say made in China.

Maybe you are eyeing another fashionable smartphone case (for your Chinese smartphone). Read the label and it’s a no go! Cute jewelry by the checkout of your favorite store…another fluffy animal for the baby…. You get the picture.

Most likely around 80% of your impulse purchases will stop. Less consumerism, no need for more storage room and more money in your pocket! It’s a win-win! (Your hubby will love the new you! LOL)

Lake Powell Resort – the most awesome place

During our road trip in the Grand Circle last month, we did get to try a few hotels along the way in addition to the backcountry campsites we stayed at. We always like staying a local hotels instead of the big chain ones. It supports the local communities we visit and normally leads to new discoveries, excellent food and a better night’s sleep.

We spent one night at the magnificent View Hotel in Monument Valley National Park on the Arizona-Utah border. They had American-made towels (yay!) but unfortunately their complementary body lotion and shampoo were made in China, with eco-something in the name. Of course, being on a not made in China challenge, I don’t see how made in China and eco go together. Other than that, I must say the room was excellent. The restaurant served up some interesting well-made, Native American inspired food, which we got to enjoy with non-alcoholic beer.

The View Hotel

The Lake Powell Resort (beautifully located on the lake) must be the most eco-awesome place ever. They had dispensers for the soap instead of little bottles (so did Hotel Blue in ABQ), a recycling station in the room, compostable plastic cups made in USA from recycled material and self shutting balcony doors to preserve energy.

IMG_2284 IMG_2283

The menu in the resort lounge informed us that all ingredients used were locally sourced whenever possible. The food was good, the view even better.

Eco-friendly Lake Powell Resort

The resort also had a big gift shop with lots of cool locally made stuff and Native American art. Most of the items were nice to haves, not need to haves, like the magnet I decided to take home. It reads: “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives”. If only more people thought about empowering and taking care of the place they live instead of draining it from its resources!

Made in USA magnet!

Speaking of magnets, 10 years ago I swear all magnets I saw and bought when traveling around this big country were made in USA. Now, you have to really look for them. It feels wrong to me, shopping for souvenirs made in China in an American national park gift shop.

Can something imported even be classified a souvenir? I think not.