Good with the bad

Ikea is opening up a store about 8 miles from our house on July 27th. The heating and cooling system has some environmentally-friendly aspects that are unparalleled.

I love so much of what they sell. Cool. Sometimes inexpensive. Often high quality. But I know that many of their products were built with laborers working under non-ideal conditions in China. And Ikea has had some problems with the rights of workers in their factories outside of China.

Alternative to that? Not much. If we all bought fair-trade everything, we wouldn’t drive any car. Or watch any TV. Or enjoy using any computer.

On way forward is to do some things to make a difference. Buying fair trade coffee or chocolate is a small thing, but it will impact the farmers who worked hard to get you those beans. Maybe some day the fair trade movement will extend to furniture. And cool lights.