A town full of empty buildings, closed signs, and homeless people. This was the sight I was greeted with after returning to my home town after seven years in Japan.

I recently watched “Death by China“, a movie about how all the products coming from China, and the policies and methods that are used to create them, are destroying America. Since I have been out of the country for so long, the change has not been gradual.

A lot of the information in this video wasn’t new to me. It’s no surprise that there are bad and unsafe working conditions, government subsidizing, and products being made that contain toxic chemicals. What’s new is how I choose to act on this information.made in china

In the past, I would have thought, “Yeah, it’s bad, but what can I do” or “the companies have all the power, so nothing will change”.

Lately, though, I have come to realize that I do have influence and something that gives me back a bit of power. I have a choice. I can choose when, where, and what to spend my money on. Similar to how I decided to stop buying processed foods, dairy, and most meats after watching a number of documentaries and reading a number of books about nutrition, I can choose not to purchase products made in China or from companies who have practices I disagree with.

I can also choose to support companies who produce their products here in the US. I think very few companies are ethical. They care about profits, but if they can make more money by staying in the US, they will.

I’ve been at it for about a week, but buying US made goods hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Some things are a little more expensive, some a little cheaper, but most seem better made. In the long run, I think I may actually save money because of the products I put back that are made in China. I also feel really great about making the purchases. It may be small, but I feel I am making a difference.

Please watch the movie and see what you think. Have you ever put something back because it was made in China? Do you try to find US made? Have you noticed that disappearance of shops and factories in your town?