Early on, I decided I wanted to fill Easter baskets for our two grand kiddos ONLY with items labeled "Made in the USA"!
While I knew this would be a task, I didn't know how MUCH of a task it would turn out to be. . . until I got serious about actually finding goodies that met my simple standard.
It started with the baskets.
As I looked on the bottoms of the "typical" Easter baskets I saw piled in every store in the weeks before the "big day", I quickly knew my "Made in the USA" quest was already off to a rough start. Clearly, China and Mexico seemed to have cornered this market in the States. . . it must be that old "price point" thing. Import = cheap.
When it became apparent to me that the stores were were intent on selling only imported Easter Baskets, I figured I'd have to "be open" to objects other than the normal looking Easter basket to fill with treats for the grands. That's why I was pretty happy when I came upon these two old wooden produce containers at our local Goodwill.
I have to say, there were no identifying marks on them telling me where they were actually produced, but I figured I would loosen my "Made in the USA" label standard a bit on this one, since these were not "new" types of containers. After all, they had character. They no doubt once served to display fruit or vegetables...maybe in a produce stand on the side of the road or perhaps a farmer's market.
Whatever they once held didn't really matter....this year they would hold Easter Goodies for my grandchildren.
My first big score of "Made in America" came when I actually found Biodegradable Easter grass (American made!!!) at our local HY-VEE grocery store!!! So I bought a bag of PINK and . . .
and a bag of green!
The next hurdle was finding USA made little bunnies, chicks, dogs, cats, skunks.....ANYTHING soft and cuddly.....to put in the baskets.
The places I looked were: Target, Walmart, K-Mart, Barnes and Noble, our local grocery stores. . . any place where I saw stuffed animals for sale.
Sadly, every fluffy little number I checked sported a tag that proudly read "Made in China".
Since I had put off shopping for furry critters until Easter week, I didn't have time to check on line and order Made in USA items, such as the ones featured on this sight HERE.
It warms my heart to know that they are "out there". . .it's just not easy to find them. Nor are they cheap. Price point. . . a big part of the problem. "WE" want cheap. Imports are cheap. That's one of the reasons our stores are piled to their ceilings with CHEAP. That's what we tend to buy!!!! :(
So, on the Eve of Easter Eve (Friday :) I quickly made a couple of extremely simplistic bunnies to put in the baskets. The Grand Boy's had green and yellow ribbon , as his room is decorated in John Deere motif.....and the Grand Girl's bunny sported a couple of Wizard of Oz colors because that's how her room is embellished!
Twiggy put her little love kisses on each one!
I always include some books in the baskets.
WELL....do you know how many books are actually printed in CHINA and else where. . . . and NOT in the USA?
I was really upset about that one....what an eyeopener that was for me. We did come up with a few. . . these are the Grand Girl's.
The only one I found printed in the USA, for the Grand Boy, came from a local antique shop.
Now, I know that books for kiddos, printed in the USA, are out there, too. . . but it is a challenge to find them. You can go on line for help.
I think I was the most shocked to find that most of the Easter books our local Barnes and Nobel carried were not printed in the USA. I guess I can see it at places like Walmart and K-mart...places known for their massive amounts of imported products and, thus, low price points. I didn't expect it from Barnes and Nobel. . . an actual bookstore.
This particular box of Crayola Crayons were made in the USA, but I don't think all of their products are.
ANNIE'S Bunny Graham friends are MADE IN THE USA!!!
While not all Rubbermaid products are Made in the USA, these sippy bottles are. . . and my Grands LOVE sippy bottles. One thing I did not check on, before I bought them, was if these items are BPA free. So, I just now got on their website and read that they are. Whew.
The ONLY actual "toy" I found that was MADE in the USA was this cheap plastic bowling set!!! I found it at K-Mart and I have to tell you that I nearly collapsed in the toy aisle, clutching my wildly palpitating heart, when I picked it up and checked on the place of manufacturing!
Every other item I looked at, including baby dolls to balls to jump ropes to bubbles. . . were all made in China or Mexico. :(
I also know, from a follow up to Diane Sawyer's special "Made in America" that there are lots of toys makers in America. In fact, I just Googled "list of American made toys" and came up with this awesome link HERE!
and I'm guessing that in the end, that's what matters.
THE STONE RABBIT liked my MADE IN THE USA Easter baskets and felt that my efforts paid off.
He knows how frustrated I am with the outlandish amount of imported items that are stacked on the shelves of our stores.
He also knows that I don't have a problem with the concept of "global economy" and how, in theory, it's a good thing for everyone to share the talents and skills of their laborers all over the world.
However, at this particular time in our country's history, we are so financially owned by China. . . .to the tune of over 800 billion dollars. This was "our" own doing, but to rub salt into that wound, so MANY of our manufacturing jobs are now over there. . . so now, not only do we owe them gobs of money . . .we are forced to buy their products, many of which used to be made here. . .by our own workforce. . . in the USA.
I am not very knowledgeable about big business or manufacturing issues. . .importing, exporting. . .all of that stuff. . . but I do know "we" have to start supporting "our own" for the sake of our economy. . .our workers.
We have to pay more attention to where products are made and give real consideration to those made right HERE, in the United States of America. Typically, "quality" is reason enough to purchase from American manufactures, but if "price point" is what keeps us away from supporting our own products, perhaps we need to focus on not buying so MUCH....but rather fewer, well-made ones.
OK. . . this is supposed to be a happy Easter post, so I'll stop with my grinching about this subject.
THE STONE RABBIT says he really enjoyed nibbling on the last of the PEEPS. . . but pointed out to me that this basket, used by the Grand Kiddo's Daddy when he was little, has the word MEXICO stamped in the bottom!!!!!!
"Well, rats". . . I thought. . . then I told him, "I guess that's OK because now it's considered a "vintage" item. :)
Please visit Beverly of HOW SWEET THE SOUND. . .where you will find SOOOOO many bloggers eager to share their PINKS with YOU!
Happy Pink Saturday and remember to BUY MADE IN THE USA whenever you can!!!
Below are just a few of the great links I found for finding American Made Easter Items: