Buying American made is an easy way to feel great about the choices you make as a consumer. You have the power to strengthen your local economy and protect the environment with each buying decision.
• The Facts •
- More you spend in your community the more stays in your community. Nearly double.
- Creates a flexible diversity of businesses in community that can better adjust to changing economic conditions/needs.
- Local economies become less susceptible to recession.
- Encourages use of local raw materials. (Wool/Wood/Produce/People) Further localizing the supply chain.
- Higher velocity circulation of money. In a local business less profits are made while more money goes into local acquisition of supplies/printing/talent/advertising- instead of sent out of the area as dividends.
- Local Makers are much more likely to re-use/recycle. 59.3% 'usually/occasionally'/ 7%- ALWAYS.
- If every family in America spent $10/month at local business, over $9.3B would be returned directly into our economy.
- $68 local economic activity @ local stores VS $48 @ big box/chain stores for every $100 spent.
- 3.5X more wealth is created by shopping locally.
- Cuts down on packaging/transportation/processing wastes.
POLLUTION & PRODUCT SAFETY
- China, our largest trade partner, rapid growth fueled in part by huge increases in coal production- over 3.2B tons/yr in 2011 over 3x more than America.
- China produces over 70% power via coal fire- pollution created even on the other side of the world has real repercussions for America.
- Over 29% of SF pollution comes directly from China, swept across the Pacific. Problem for entire West Coast of US.
- Consumer Product Safety Commission is tasked with keeping Americans safe from potentially hazardous products/imports by spreading info/recalls. Some products inevitably slip through.
- Contaminated food products, toys, and building materials that contain dangerous chemicals such as high levels of lead and formaldehyde are commonly imported.
- Even after bans/recalls are imposed on international products- online retailers may still allow for the import of dangerous products to America.
- Endangered wood/animals/peoples are further threatened. Illegal sources.
- Common problems with flammability/ incomplete or misleading labeling/ structural integrity gray areas with imports.
- Copyright/intellectual property infringements.
- American manufacturers abide by strict regulations to protect the environment. Not so elsewhere.
THE IMPACT OF CONTAINER SHIPS
- If international shipping was a country, it would be the 9th highest emitter of CO2 in the world. Higher than Iran, S. Korea, and Canada.
- Annually, ONE ship produces as much emissions as 50 million cars!
- One ship uses up to 16 tons of fuel per hour. Shipping accounts for nearly 90% of fuel consumed yearly.
- 7.29 Million barrels of fuel a day used by shipping industry.
- Largely unregulated emissions due to operation in international waters.
- 30-40% reduction in fuel use possible per ship on new construction, but reductions are voluntary/costly to producers.
- 129 billion new cars on the road= equivalent to emissions of JUST THE NEW SHIPS in production now.
- 60,000 premature deaths a year due to emissions of ships.
- Just 16 ships = emissions of all cars on the road today- annually.
- More we import the more these ships will be used.
- For imported products- raw materials are often shipped to producing nation, then finished products are \shipped to consuming nations. Not just one trip- multiple trips.
UNIQUE/ CUSTOMIZED DESIGNS
- Meet your makers and be involved in the design/production process. Whether products for your business or personal.
- Large retailers/buyers limit selection to highest selling/lowest cost items- deciding what is available to you in your area and when.
- Customized service before and after you buy. Product maintenance/guarantee- local business remains invested in the quality/functionality of their product even after you've taken it home.
- Take pride in owning one of a kind items. Pieces become art/personal/irreplaceable.
- Ability to get only what you need when you need it. No bulk/impulse/discount buying dictating what you consume and when.
- Support artisans that represent your area and your values by using materials that come from your community.
- QUALITY- locally made goods are almost ALWAYS higher quality.
- Countries that manufacture American electronics and other goods often rely on cheap, disposable labor to cut costs.
- Workers can expect to, in some cases, work for cents an hour/12+hr shifts with little freedom during or between shifts.
- We export demand for a product or service, but we do not export our oversight/ labor standards and protections for workers.
- Although on the decline since 2000, child labor still employs 168 million minors world wide.
- Highest # of children workers in areas where we import from commonly. Asia/Pacific
- OSHA- Occupational Safety & Health Admin- protects the rights/safety of American workers by setting and enforcing health/safety standards and by providing resources, training, and follow up.
- Minimum wage laws, workers comp, social security, sick pay etc- buying USA made reinforces all of these advancements, while discouraging the opposite/lack in developing areas.
- 'Sweatshop' labor conditions continue to supply america with products/goods esp. garment industry
- Look for Fair Trade- this assures certain standards in production and source materials.
While buying imported goods may seem relatively harmless- the ecological, economic, and social impacts of relying on global trade are BIG and unsustainable. Feel good about what you buy and support your local makers, builders, and artisans by shopping USA made. Get to know the people who keep the engine of your local economy humming.