An idea I wrestle with constantly is that there's no such thing as "cheap". In some way or another, everything has a cost. When we as consumers buy cheaper versions of products, there are several ways that this lower cost is made up. The sad and unfortunate reality is that the cost is usually made up in what is considered to be unimaginable conditions for the people producing the products. The other alternative, though not mutually exclusive from the first, is that a consumer is paying for their product by giving up quality and longevity.
By being "cheap," both human ethic and quality are sacrificed.
Nothing is cheap. Somebody is paying the price for our purchases and for the lifestyles we chose to live. When it comes to food and drinks, the same realities apply. As consumers, we choose where we compromise:
Farmers' Living Conditions | Land & Waterways Pumped with Chemicals | Animals Raised Unnaturally
Everything has a cost. Just because we as consumers think we're saving money and therefore doing a good thing by being frugal, we're actually being fooled into letting others pay the cost. And yet, in small and BIG ways, change is taking place everyday.
I had a friend in Philly who owned a coffee shop--actually two.
Blew is a coffee shop owner committed to using ethically sourced goods: coffees, teas, pastries, art...Her commitment to sourcing ethical and when possible, local goods for her shop, she is setting an example for us all that living a little less selflessly isn't so impossible after all. In her words,
"Everything in the store follows our 4 values: local, organic, relational trade, and made with love. We want to encourage that it is possible to live simply, healthy, and aware lives. "
It's my tendency to think on a global level, to think in terms of how everyone and everything is connected. Because of this, I'm especially drawn to coffee shops like Frannie Lou's that hold to the same values. It's all too easy for us humans to think that our actions don't cause ripples that effect others around the world. That just isn't true. In fact, I'm starting to think that our individual actions and choices are perhaps the only way to make a difference worldwide.
Personal sacrifice in our daily lives is necessary for the sake of compassion and justice, and for the sake of our neighbors--near and far alike.
Featured Shop: Franny Lou's Porch
2400 Coral St // Philadelphia, PA