Originally Posted by AbigailsMomSarah
What would you do, or have you done?
Shopping has become such a hard thing to do!
In general, what I do is this (not necessarily all applies to school supplies):
1. First decide if it's something we need. Is there another widget that we already have which could substitute? If not, move on to #2.
2. Is it something I need to own or could we rent or borrow it? If we could rent or borrow it, we do that instead of purchasing it. If not, move on to #3.
3. Can I find it used at a garage sale, estate sale, flea market, thrift store, etc? If so, we do. If not, move on to #4.
4. Can I find it at a locally owned business? If so, we do. If not, move on to #5.
5. Can I purchase it by mail order? If so, we do. If not, move on to #6.
6. If all of the above aren't options, then we purchase it new from a non-locally owned store.
In the case of school supplies we have a fabulous little hardware/general store within 3 blocks of our house.
: They carry darn near about any household item I could ever need. In fact, we shopped there this morning to pick up some cheesecloth and vegetable peelers. Their parking lot was FULL and there were two long lines at the cash registers.
I have absolutely no idea whether or not their employees have great health benefits and don't know if they discriminate based upon race, gender, etc. I know they stock items from countries other than the US. They may not be much more ethical in many regards than the local big box store.
Was my purchase more ethical than driving across town to shop the local Super Wal-Mart. I have no idea whether or not it was based upon the value systems of other families.
I do know that I was at #4 on my list.
I make choices for my family based upon my values and morals.
I wish I had a scorecard for every business in my community, but I don't.
I try to make choices that don't contribute to low standards of living for my neighbors (whether they're next door or across an ocean). I try to make choices that don't contribute to the harm of another person. I try to interact with ethically responsible people. Heck, I'm trying to BE an ethically responsible person.
Ultimately I believe you need to be true to your values and morals.