Saturday, April 27, 2013
With Earth Day quickly approaching I feel compelled to connect the dots between Fair Trade and our Earth. Earth Day encourages greater awareness of both our planet and the forces that threaten its health and future. Fair Trade encourages not only respect for the producers but respect for the environment that produces many of the products that we rely on, purchase and consume.
Fair Trade is based on several principles that Fair Trade Organizations must follow in their day-to-day work and monitor to ensure that these principles are upheld. One of these principles, “Respect for the Environment”, is defined as follows from the World Fair Trade Organization or WFTO:
Organizations which produce Fair Trade products maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They use production technologies that seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible use renewable energy technologies that minimize greenhouse gas emissions. They seek to minimize the impact of their waste stream on the environment. Fair Trade agricultural commodity producers minimize their environmental impacts, by using organic or low pesticide use production methods wherever possible.As a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation, our entire supply chain is to “Cultivate Environmental Stewardship”. That is, to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Producers must actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources.
No doubt that if you have browsed a Fair Trade shop you have noticed how the artisans reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. Fair Trade encourages environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire trading chain. This not only makes for beautifully creative products, but a beautiful
planet as well.
For social and environmental responsibility, we can, and should purchase locally grown produce as much as possible. But the truth is that we rely on many products not grown locally, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas, coconuts, and the list continues. Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Cottonseed Oil and Palm Oil are used in the making of soaps and many cosmetics we use.
According to Fair Trade USA, for Fair Trade Certified products, the most toxic chemicals are not used and there are no GMOs. Fair Trade organizations develop a strategic approach to integrated pest management, the safe use and handling of agrochemicals, responsible waste management, protection of soil and water and biodiversity, and reduction of energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
Fair Trade not only cares for the producers, it cares for the planet and it’s growing. An estimated 30% of Fair Trade farmer organizations invest their premiums for community development into initiatives such as reforestation, water
conservation, environmental education and organic certification. In fact, over
half of all Fair Trade imports into the U.S. are certified organic.
When we think of preserving our planet there are so many small changes we can make, small changes in habits that have a positive impact on real people, animals and beautiful places. So, the next time you shut off all the lights in the house, grab that re-usable shopping bag and water bottle and hop on your bike to the market, you can look for that Fair Trade label and know you have taken one more step to respect our planet. By stepping up and making changes in our everyday habits and changes in the way we purchase, we can make a difference.
Although Earth Day 2013 is officially recognized on April 22nd, the Healdsburg High School will be sponsoring their Eleventh Annual Earth Day Festival in the Healdsburg Plaza on Saturday, April 20th from 11 – 5. If last year was any indication, this year’s event will be another great day that goes beyond high school and embraces community. This family-friendly, multi-cultural celebration will feature powerful speakers and wonderful entertainers celebrating our planet and the people who inhabit it.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Over the entire school day we completed 6 Presentations on Human Trafficking & Modern Day Slavery to over 500 students of Healdsburg High School. After a brief introduction we viewed a 30 min abridged version of "NOT MY LIFE", a documentary filmed on 5 continents and 12 countries. After the viewing we discussed ways to get involved and make a difference. We talked about organizations working to make a difference, like the Polaris Proje...ct, International Justice Mission & Not For Sale. We left feeling charged knowing that so many young people really care and want to make a difference and proud to be part of a socially responsible town that stands for global relationships based on fairness and mutual respect.
We look forward to continued outreach and promotion of businesses locally while eliminating the exploitation of producers globally. We strongly believe that poverty and lack of opportunity are the common denominators for many forms of exploitation. We believe that Fair Trade is a means to eradicate sweat shops, forced labor, child labor and debt bondage. We encourage conscience consumerism so please "Shop Local" first and "Shop Fair Trade" for those products not produced locally.
By successfully pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1-888-373-7888), conducting trainings, and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project creates long-term solutions that move our society closer to a world without slavery. Learn more at www.polarisproject.org.
International Justice Mission
International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to promote functioning public justice systems. http://www.ijm.org/
Not For Sale
Not For Sale creates tools that engage business, government and grassroots in order to incubate and grow social enterprises to benefit enslaved and vulnerable communities. Through social projects spanning the globe in countries like Peru, the Netherlands, India, Thailand and South Africa, Not For Sale works to provide restoration, challenge institutional thinking, and create new futures for survivors. http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/
Their mission is to harness economic power-the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace-to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. To work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come. http://www.greenamerica.org/
Free2WorkHave you ever wondered where your consumer electronics come from?
The supply chain for consumer electronics is complex, composed of many layers, and involves many parties. This makes it difficult to trace where labor abuses occur. Most products travel through various parts of the world, and the making of electronics is a prime example of that. Our goal at Free2Work is to shed light on this process.
Take a look at the ongoing research the Free2Work team is conducting to decipher the consumer electronic supply chain. From conflict mines in the Congo to the electronics we rely on, follow the supply chain to see the global reach of our consumer goods. http://www.free2work.org/
Green America's Guide to Fair Trade
Finding Fair Trade resources has never been easier! Want to know where to get the latest Fair Trade products? Need organizing material for your business or organization? Discover all the possibilities of Fair Trade in Green America’s new full color Guide to Fair Trade! Inside you'll find descriptions of dozens of national and international Fair Trade products. http://www.greenamerica.org/PDF/GuideFairTrade.pdf
Green America's Guide to Ending Sweatshops
Finding sweat-free products has never been easier! Want to know where to get the latest sweat-free fashions? Need organizing material for your business or organization? Inside you'll find a complete guide to a sweat-free wardrobe, an interview with a former sweatshop worker, and the dirt on the worst apparel producing corporations. http://www.greenamerica.org/PDF/EndingSweatshops.pdf
The Better World Shopping Guide
The only comprehensive guide for socially and environmentally responsible consumers available, this book ranks every product on the shelf from A to F so you can quickly tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys” — turning your grocery list into a powerful tool to change the world. Representing over 15 years of distilled research, data is organized into the most common product categories including coffee, energy bars, computers, gasoline, clothing, banks, cars, water and more. http://www.betterworldshopper.com/book.html
There are better policy approaches and better options, ones that literally save the lives of children and teens.
Safe Harbor laws are that better option. These laws define these sexually exploited children as victims of abuse, help them find protection and support, and grant them immunity from prosecution for prostitution while they are under 18 years of age.
Safe Harbor laws also can increase funding for specialized services like long-term housing, mental health care, educational support, and job training to help these children recover. Thirty-nine states lack these basic Safe Harbor protections – including Texas, Michigan, Nebraska, and Louisiana. Every state can do more to increase services for child victims of sex trafficking. http://www.change.org/petitions/state-lawmakers-kids-not-criminals-pass-safe-harbor-laws?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=url_share&utm_campaign=url_share_after_sign
President Obama will begin his second term as our nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation – the great promise of freedom to America’s slaves authored by President Lincoln. As Dr Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “There is but one way to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation. That is to make its declarations of freedom real…”
Now is the perfect time to ask President Obama to use his second term to help make freedom real for children and families around the world waiting for rescue. Join us in asking the president to lead on a comprehensive plan to eradicate slavery at home and abroad. http://freedomcommons.ijm.org/action-alert/ask-president-help-make-freedom-real?utm_source=Bitly&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=Obama2013
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Fair Trade Healdsburg joins the Rio Lindo Academy for their Fair for Fairness Revo Event in the West Plaza, Healdsburg on April 22nd from 12-4pm. The event will include Music, Speakers, Food and Information. For more information check out RIOLINDO.ORG/REVO and FACEBOOK.COM/GROUPS/REVORIO
Earth Day Festival in Healdsburg
On Saturday, April 21st, Fair Trade Healdsburg joins the Progressive Club of Healdsburg High School for the 10th Annual Earth Day Festival in the downtown Healdsburg Plaza from 11am–5pm. The goal is to host many of the progressive elements of our community in celebration. We’re also there to educate and empower each other to take action to preserve the world we live in.
Speakers include Congressional candidate Norman Solomon, KPFA’s Miguel Molina, Amy Jolly of the Climate Protection Campaign, Rosa Azucena Becerra from the Committee for Immigrant Rights, Don McEnhill from Russian River Keepers, Ray Ballestero from Fair Trade Healdsburg, Ivis Sanchez from the North Bay Organizing Project, C.J. Holmes from Occupy Our Homes, and County Supervisor Mike McGuire.
Entertainment for the day includes Hoytus and One Heart, Happy Accident, Hannah & Sky, The Hopheads, Tricky Dick & the Hooligans, Attila Nagy, Misael Chavez, Stare at the Sun, and the HHS Jazz Hounds. As well as popular music; the American Indian Movement’s Native Resistance Drum Group, Danza Azteca Xantotl, and Yo Yo Man will perform.
The stage will be embraced by over 30 booths from various community, environmental and social justice organizations. There will be food and there will be a Children’s Garden complete with free face painting and visits from Yo Yo Man (bring your yo yos). Art and science displays will grace one section of the plaza with student art that is available for purchase.