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Our decision to not buy Made in China doesn’t mean we buy only “Made in the USA” or “Made in Canada” (although given a choice, we try to).  We live in a global world, and things come from all over.  Here are a couple of the principles we use to live our NMiC lifestyle, and our guidelines – our personal NMiC rules.  Although we were NMiC for about a year before creating this site, this page is the first time we’ve put these rules or principles in writing. 

...substitution...

We still buy shoes.  We just don’t buy shoes from China. 

A lot of the questions we get asked (do you think it makes a difference? Aren’t you making poverty worse?) seem to assume that we’ve stopped buying shoes, stopped spending our money.

We still buy shoes.  We just buy Brazilian shoes. Italian shoes, even Israeli shoes. 

So our dollars go create employment in Brazil instead of China.  Brazil needs our trade just as much as any developing country, but unlike China, Brazil is a democracy.  Brazil also has freedom of religion, and has made great strides in reducing dependence on oil.  And Brazil’s probably not going to invade Taiwan, or anywhere for that matter.

..self-denial...

Ok.  There are some things we can’t find that are NMiC.  We needed an alarm clock for our guest room for nearly 2 years, but couldn’t find one NMiC.  Whenever we had guests, we used one of the ones from the Master bedroom (doesn’t every couple have 2 alarm clocks?)

Many times, NMiC has simply meant going without something. Often, the thing that we thought we “needed” was in fact just something we wanted.

...our NMiC Guidelines...

We’re not going to buy Made in China stuff… what about things we already own?  Used (this from an e-bay addict)?  Gifts?  Work?

1.     We don’t buy any “MiC” with our own money.  This includes new and used items, and anything labeled as made in China, PRC, Hong Kong, or Macau, or listing components from one of these on the box.

2.     If something doesn’t say the country of origin, we try to contact the manufacturer, or take a guess.  Food is usually safe.  Some things (Walgreen’s store-brand items, for instance) are rarely labeled on the package, but are usually made in China (we don’t open packages in the store any more – we just don’t buy Walgreen’s stuff).  Toys are almost invariably MiC.

3.     Gifts from family. Although we ask family to try to respect NMiC, we also tell them that it’s their decisions.  Our kids have become pretty adept at convincing Grandma or Nona to buy them that MiC item they can’t get otherwise.

4.     Other gifts.  For birthdays, we try to choose a theme that at least points parents in a NMiC direction, but we don’t tell people not to buy MiC.  Good themes, “Crayola”, “Reading Rainbow”, “Lego”.  Not so good, “Spiderman”, “Polly Pocket”, and just about any movie theme.

5.     Replacement parts.  This has been tricky.  See (link) Breaking the NMic Rule.  Here we weigh the cost/impact of full replacement versus just the part.

6.     Internet Purchases.  We buy a lot of things on the Internet.  Most websites don’t list country of manufacture for items they sell (but check out http://www.directproaudio.com/ if you’re a musician!), but will be happy to e-mail you with the information.  See our Links for a list of some of the best… and some of the worst websites for telling where things are made.





 

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