The Ramadan Compact seems to have trickled into my every shopping experience.
I went to Target (my most favorite shopping venue) yesterday to buy a gift for my nephew and a few friends who have young children.
As I walked down the toy aisles looking at the selection I had second thoughts about purchasing anything. I looked at all that packaging for just one toy and could not stomach having it go into the landfill.
More importantly, and I have been having this on-again off-again conversation with my sister, what am I teaching the children around me. As an adult I have had to struggle with realizing that happiness and fulfillment do not come from things. I often wonder if I learned this lesson as a child and if I am, inadvertently, teaching the young children in my life this lesson?
Here’s another dilemma. I like giving gifts to kids. It’s just so much and fun and they get such joy out of it.
As I stood among the selection of toys contemplating what to do, a few choice thoughts crossed my mind.
1. I could go ahead and purchase toys. I mean who at the Ramadan Compact would know that I was living out of integrity with my core values.
2. I could not purchase anything and explain the environmental and socio-political impact of purchasing toys to the kiddies. I just have a feeling that would not work.
3. I could give each kid a little certificate that says “A donation was made on your behalf to plant trees” or “save the whales”. That would go over really well with a five year old, don’t you think?
What is the middle of the road answer to wanting to be a responsible global environmental citizen and spoil a few kids with stuff they will play with for a few hours and then forget?
I did buy a few toys. Actually I bought kids craft kits packed in cloth bags with minimal packaging. As a bonus I will stuff the bags with candy. I figure the parents will really enjoy having their kids hyped up on sugar.
With the marvel of the internet I found a great activity. Having the kids hunt for treasure…Argh! I am creating a treasure map and inviting all the kiddies (about five very loud kids) over to my parents place to go treasure hunting. At the end of the treasure hunt they get their treasure (or craft kits).
Sure it’s not gold, or Sponge Bob, or Dora the Explorer paraphernalia. But isn’t the fun in searching for the treasure, sharing the fun, and getting doped up on sugar than the actual treasure. Something like…”it’s the journey not the destination that’s important”.
I’ll let you all know how it goes.
P.S. Some Companies that Make Ethical Eco-Friendly Toys (just found this in an internet search after I purchased the craft kits).