As we are coming to the end of January, our beliefs and values are beginning to take on measurable and explainable characteristics. And while this list will surely bend and shape through several metamorphoses as the year progresses, this is where it stands today. I plan to update this list occasionally through the comments and a few post updates.
So here goes...
The Hierarchy of Need
For an item to meet the highest qualification of our "hierarchy of need", it must work it's way up on this list. For an item to be purchased at all, it must meet at least one item on this list. If an item does not meet any of these requirements, it is not needed.
1) bought from a locally based/owned business (if vacationing, then local means "local to the place I am visiting")
2) made locally (excellent!)
3) made of natural materials (when applicable and possible)
4) made of recycled/recyclable, compostable, and/or reusable materials
5) made without chemicals (when necessary to the item)
6) made regionally (alrighty then.)
7) made in the USA (acceptable, and then some.)
8) made in North America (hmmm...okay.)
9) made pretty much anywhere but China out of parts made pretty much anywhere but China (this one will go as soon as I am sure it can actually be done from where I now abide)
It's possible that I may mess up from time-to-time...but, hopefully that will happen less and less as time goes by. So far, I have only slipped twice - cotton balls and toner from Walgreens, which I returned and for which I have already repented, and just a few days ago, stockings from Safeway because nowhere else was open that offered anything but medical support hose. (I love living in a retirement community.)
The rule for buying clothing/shoes/accessories and toys:
If an item is purchased, an already owned item must be given away.
The rules for food/beverages:
No high-fructose corn-syrup.
Whole grain when possible.
No hormones, antibiotics, or other unnecessary "stuff".
As little packaging as possible (bulk is better).
Bought at local groceries, co-ops, farmer's markets, etc.
Made from scratch as often as feasible (bread, yogurt, pasta, tortillas, and granola bars are on our list of things to make at home - and canning some fruits and vegetables will be a summer project).
Household cleaning products:
For now, as natural as possible...eventually, made at home (see the link in my "google this" list - Thanks for that, C.)
Personal care products:
As natural as possible...from companies who do no animal testing.
That's all I can think of for now, but feel free to offer suggestions. We aren't dieting and are not waging war against sugar, fat, caffeine, or liquor...so those are not regulated on our list. We do try to avoid "fake" versions of most ingredients...butter instead of margarine, raw sugar instead of artificial sweeteners...that sort of thing. But, as we are learning as we go, advice and input are welcome. Know that we are baby-stepping it, so not all suggestions are those we will implement today. Putting it on our to-do list is a possibility, however. So type away...