Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kevin Lee - Blog #1

Be Green Challenge Week 1

When I first heard about the "Be Green" Challenge, I thought that this would be easy for me because I do not really go shopping except for food. Then I found out that it might not be as easy as I thought it would be.

I usually do not go shopping unless it is something that is really necessary. Even though I do not shop often, I do a lot of browsing online to see if I would want anything in the future. I used to shop a lot on Amazon for many things because I wanted them, but now I rarely shop on Amazon unless I really need to. These past two years I have been shopping on a website called AmiAmi that sells items from Japan. I have not shopped on that website recently because there has not been anything I want on it. So, I can honestly say that I have not done any shopping for a while.

 However, I do like to keep certain items in my cart to see if their prices drop after certain periods of time. For example, I do not buy clothes online, but I do buy games or Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and I have about 10 things in my Amazon cart right now: all of which are Yu-Gi-Oh cards. They have been in there for a while because I have been waiting to see if the prices would drop. On Veteran’s Day, my friend and I found a deal online for a UC Davis hoodie; however, since I am doing this challenge, I could not buy it on the spot. I decided to keep the order in my cart to wait to see if the deal would change later. This first week has been okay for me since I do not usually shop for items.

Watching last week’s documentary, Made In L.A., made me think twice about the clothes I have or have been buying because I did not know that the garment workers had faced that kind of crisis. After watching those clips from China Blue, the other documentary we watched last week, I felt really horrible that children had to work in those factories. These documentaries made me think about “Santa’s Sweatshop” and how the workers mentioned in the article had to work in horrible conditions and how much they have to sacrifice to make clothes for us. This really made me think twice about buying clothes and whether or not I should buy more clothes.

However, at the end of “Santa’s Sweatshop”, the authors talked about some recommendations that consumers can take when buying items, such as seeing where things are made or if the conditions in which the items were made were ideal. These recommendations made me think about the organization I am part of called Tzu-Chi (TC). Tzu-Chi is a non-profit organization from Taiwan that helps provide disaster relief around the world, as well as promoting the idea of Environmental Protection. The materials made by Tzu-Chi are all made from recyclable materials, such as plastic bottles and such. 

Tzu-Chi believes in preserving the environment and human health which is why they do not force workers to work in horrible conditions, instead people volunteer to help Tzu-Chi with their work. Therefore, it is safe to say that even though the items made from Tzu-Chi are from factories, I can buy items from Tzu-Chi because I know that there is no one suffering from making these items.

China Blue. Dir. Micha X. Peled. Teddy Bear Films Inc., 2005. DVD. 
Holstein, Palmer, Ur-Rehman and Ito. “Santa’s Sweatshop: In a Global Economy, it’s Hard to Know Who Made Your Gift—and Under What Conditions.”
Made in L.A. Dir. Almudena Carracedo. Independent Television Service, 2007. DVD.
"Turning Bottles into Blankets." YouTube. N.p., 5 Nov. 2009. Web. 16 Nov. 2014. .

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