Nothing excites me more than having a 30% off coupon for Kohl's in my purse and then trolling the clearance and sales racks to pay next to nothing for my clothes. I love finding a bargain.
However, if I want to live with a global perspective, maybe my bargain hunter tendencies aren't serving anyone but myself. If I only want to pay $7 for a shirt, and Kohl's probably only wants to pay $3 or $4 for it, then the person making it probably isn't earning crap. (I don't actually know anything about the purchasing policies of Kohl's Department Store, just using my common sense here.)
Global justice is a newer term that means to narrow the gap between the first and third worlds; the goal is to address the exploitation that occurs in many poor countries, to raise the standard of living in the third world and create sustainability in those areas, and to halt the corporate takeover of the world, in a nutshell.
While I don't live in as much awareness of these issues as I probably could, we all need to understand that we vote with our dollars. This weekend as we are out spending our money, whether for leisure or necessity, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. The term fair trade means what it says...it is a fair price for something that helps the producer of that item earn a decent price. No lowballing or corporate bullying here. Look for the fair trade logo when you shop.
2. We can impact someone on a different continent by checking out www.tenthousandvillages.com, a collection of businesses selling jewelry, bags, baskets, and many other items. It's worth a look.
3. Visit the Story of Stuff website to see where your stuff comes from and the impact it has on the rest of the world.
4. Buying local and buying green are the trend these days. It might cost a few dollars more, but most of us can afford it.
5. One person can make a difference, because all together, we are lots of people making lots of choices, one decision at a time. Don't get overwhelmed. Just do what you can.
This global justice/awareness thing isn't about feeling guilty for what you have. It's about being a good steward and a citizen of the world.