And to think that we contribute to this every time we buy something that says "Made in China". Take a look around your house, your closet, your car, your kitchen, even your refrigerator and freezer. How many things did you find that say "Made in China"? Did you even realize that jar of chopped garlic came from China?
I know it's hard. Especially when it's shiny or new or oh, such a great price! Been there, done that. Still struggling with that every time I walk into a store (as you can tell from my Cupcake post). Every. Time.
I'm not against buying anything from China (sort of). I understand we live in a global business environment and want to support other countries (and vice versa) through trade. I love the bamboo bowl I bought several years ago through Ten Thousand Villages - handmade by artisans in Vietnam through one of their special arts programs. I love the scarf I bargained back and forth for in a Portugal flea market. But there are some countries with very strong, rigorous environmental and human rights laws or with great programs that work directly with struggling artists or crafters. And there are some countries that, simply put, suck at all that. We just need to be more aware of which countries those are and put pressure with our purchasing dollars to encourage them to change their ways.
It gets to a point that you have to stop blaming others for the problems we see in the news (like this air pollution article) and take some of the blame ourselves for our every day decisions.
It gets to a point that we can no longer say "I don't care. I don't live in China so this is not relevant to me."
It gets to a point that you look in the mirror and ask what is happening to us as human beings.
Or worse, you look at your child and wonder what it's going to be like for their generation and feel fear for them.
It gets to a point where you stay up late to write a blog post about all this to share with people even though you've worked hard at your full time job all day, cooked dinner, cleaned up and washed dishes, did a load of laundry, read the kids some stories and brushed their teeth and now all you want to do is just crawl into bed and go to sleep. Even if just one person reads it and thinks twice about their next purchase or the next time they throw something in the trash, it was worth it.
We are all in this together, but individual actions matter.