Saturday, August 30, 2014

App Teacher

For those who are into technology, I have created a new blog entitled App Teacher.  Not only does it cover new Apps but also certification opportunities and how to design your own app.  I think many teachers are leaning that way, designing apps for the classes they teach.

App Teacher:

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Child Labor is down one-third from 2000

According to a September 2013 report by the ILO (International Labor Organization), Child Labor is down one-third from 2000. Although that is a step in the right direction, there are still 168 million child laborers out there as defined by the ILO.

Child Labor down

There are a few ways to go about making this drop even greater for the future.

According to the linked report above, child laborers are mostly found in Agriculture (59% or 98 million). So for those in North America, U.K., and Australia (leading farming areas around the world) we can continue to buy from local farmers within our communities. I was slightly surprised to see that the local grocery store did supply concentrate apple juice that was MADE IN CHINA (Im not yelling...usually the tag or label is in all caps).

The Child Labor Coalition has some great articles in regards to Child Labor in our everyday products.

I have to wonder however, after reading the Minimum Age Convention, especially Article 6 and 7. Is it truly down or is it a numbers game to make it look like it dropped?

Is adult slave labor on the rise? Hence the drop in child labor, or part of it.

Or is Child trafficking up and less kids to work in warehouses or the fields?

Oddly, ILO reports that Child labor is low risk in the UK but Child trafficking is on the rise.

So are we slowly ending Child Labor or are we moving the numbers around to make it look like we are?

I think its a bit of both but overall we are stopping it one child at a time.

So when in doubt, if you can't buy locally buy from lower risk areas of the world:




New Zealand


United States


South Korea



Any others please let me know.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Proudly designed in the U.S. hand crafted in China

 I am starting to see more product out there that is made in the U.S.  Or perhaps I am just getting lucky.  This post title was inspired by a new popular tag on various items from sport team garden gnomes to Christian Crosses.

"Proudly designed in U.S.A.
 Handcrafted in China"

Could it be that corporate is responding to the whole Made in China thing attempting to make a transition or are they trying to create a thought in the consumer to visualize a man or woman (or child) comfortably sitting at a work bench with all the proper tools and time necessary to carve out each sports garden gnome. Perhaps a Craftsman with glasses sitting under a light with a carving knife as he or she enjoys some tea.

I guess the question is, what do you think of when you read the above tag? Do you think Fair Trade? Laugh?

All thoughts or opposing questions are welcomed.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Great Link from New Balance

For those who are interested.  New Balance shoes has come out with a USA COLLECTION.   Made in USA Factories by U.S. workers. 

Check out the link below:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

China Blue (Documentary)

This Documentary is about one factory in Shaxi, China that assembles jeans.  The name of the factory is called Lifeng and is considered to be one of the better factories in China for workers according to a Chinese/U.S. Inspector (who was fired and jailed for writing up too many factories).  Here are some of the facts provided in the documentary:

-Shift Hours: 8:00 A.M.-7:00 P.M. Manatory Overtime: 7:00 P.M.-2:00 A.M.
-Factory workers must work 7 days a week.
-Hourly wage at this factory is a half a Yuan per hour.  That comes out to about 9 cents per hour in U.S. coinage (as of 9/17/2011).
-If you want hot water for your dorm, its one Yuan per bucket. 
-You get paid once a month
-If you skip out for a quick half hour break during your shift and you are a new worker (3 months or less) get your whole paycheck taken away.

What I took away from this documentary was but might not be the average for all factory workers are:
-The average factory worker makes about 80 US dollars a paycheck after all of the deductions. Some who worked crazy were clearing $250 per month.
 -This factory hires minors (These are minors according to the Chinese Government) from ages 14-16 with illegal but real Chinese I.D.'s).
-The factory owners do not get paid great.  Just enough to get by slightly comfortably.
-The buyers make the biggest profit, sometimes up to 1200% profit on one order.

Keep in mind that this is an above average great factory for workers in China.  I could only imagine the lesser quality factories or bad factories.

For one Levi buyer out of the U.K. with the Lifeng Factory, they buy one pair of jeans for $4 (including shipping) they then turn around and sell it for $38-43 per pair.
 The factory owner does not make much profit, if he is selling a pair of jeans for $4 but then has to pay a worker, food costs, room and board, supplies, shipping.  So although an owner does not have to do the long physical labor he still has to work about 10-12 hours a day (like many workers world wide) just to provide for his/her family. 
Is it worth putting all of those factory workers through that just to live slightly better than the rest? 

Who is to blame: 

Global Over-Consumpiton or the factory workers or the Chinese Governement? 

I look forward to your comments...Pro or Con.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Work in Progress

We are still gathering companies for the site and doing research.  Feel free to post a comment with any questions that you may have.  I am curious to hear from consumers who disagree.

Many more posts coming in the next week. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Two way street...kind-of

Here is a state-by-state break down on how much each state exports to China according to the US-China Business Council:

The second link covers how much the US imports from China.  Table 8 clearly shows we are number 1 among top export destinations.

So to get a little political here (and putting all other moral issues aside), is all this importing from China hurting or helping our economy?  The math looks easy to me, hopefully some one can explain why importing so much from China is good for the US economy in the long run.

I notice Canada or Mexico is not on the list...I wonder if we just pass along merchandise to them under NAFTA? Or they simply do not have as much materials and merchandise from China.  Can someone make a run to Canada or Mexico this weekend and do some research for me?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Where to draw the line

Is there ever a time or place when it is okay to ignore the tag?  I think Yes!!!  Not many places but a few. 

1.  Garage Sales and Thrift Stores. 
Many Thrift Stores work off of donations and hence do not buy products that they sell.  Simple enough.  Its all about recycling.  Any thoughts?

2.  Going Out Of Business!!! Everything Must Go!!!
First off, I am sad that my favorite bookstore is closing...with that said...I was there with the kids a few days ago when I could not help but think that the store is not re-ordering anything anymore...whatever is in their warehouse will be shipped and sold until its since the damage is done and the product was already made and sold to a company that is now going out of business, is it okay to ignore the tag? 
I guess from a local economy standpoint...its okay but what about from a spiritual/moral standpoint? 

Where do we draw the line here? 

Any other places that you can think of?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jacob Bromwell

For those who like food preperation accessories for their kitchen, fireplace, or campfire check out Jacob Bromwell ( before running out to one of the big box companies.  They are made in the USA and not over priced!  They also come with a Lifetime Guarantee.  You can read more about their Lifetime Guarantee here:

Here is a list of their top sellers:

We are still learning all of the functions of Blogger and will soon have their catalog on this blog.  But in the meantime feel free to click on their links and shop!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Aquinas and More

The first company we are featuring is Aquinas and More.  They are based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  If you teach Sunday School or are simply looking for a religious gift, they've got you covered!  You wont find any Made in China tags with this company.

You can read more about this company here:

You can also read about their Good Faith Guarantee here:

Here is a link to their main page:

I especially have issues buying religious gifts or religious shirts that do not have a made in China tag, so I am excited about this company.