Toilet repair. In July, there appeared to be water leaking from underneath the toilet. From previous experience, I suspected that the wax ring seal needed to be replaced. Two of the parts for the repair, the wax ring and flange reinforcement, were made in the U.S. For the third part, I wanted to use brass bolts, and the thicker/sturdier ones were made in China.
Tools. While I have just about every tool needed for home repair, I recently need to purchase a screwdriver that was shaped like an allen wrench (or hex key wrench) to access a screw in a limited access region. The tool I found was made in China. It seems many tools are now produced in China.
Food. While my wife usually does the grocery shopping, in the past two months I did about 5 trips. In the fruit section, I noticed that strawberry, blue berry and raspberry packages now specifically say, "Grown in U.S.A." on them. However, many other foods, e.g. bread, sausages, and chips, show a U.S. address for the manufacturer, but do not specify if the product was made in the U.S. or if the components were from the U.S. While I did not purchase them, some packages of frozen vegetables showed the origin of the components, e.g. U.S. , China, Spain, Mexico, etc.
Deck maintenance products. We are currently doing routine maintenance on our outdoor deck by cleaning and resealing it. Virtually all the products were Made in the U.S.A. The Chlorox bleach, the Elmer's Epoxy Wood Repair, and the Olympic Maximum Semi-Transparent sealer were all made in the U.S. The Loctite Sumo glue was made in Germany. The Elmer's Bottled Wood Stabilizer was manfactured in Canada and packaged in the U.S. None of the products specifically mentioned the country of origin for the components used in manufacture.
While not rigorous, it appears non-durable home repair products are still mostly made in the U.S. Also, it appears a number of food products that are made in the U.S. can be found. However, it is not clear whether the components used in manufacture are also made in the U.S. On the other hand, durable products, such as tools, seem to be mostly made in China nowadays.
At this point, I don't plan to make any changes to my purchase decisions. However, I will continue to monitor location of manufacture.
For more on New Beginnings, check back every Sunday for the next segment.
Photo Credit: morgueFile.com, Ray Forester