Saturday, April 25, 2009

An Eco-Action Day

The weather around here has been such a treat, there is a warm breeze with partly cloudy skies - gorgeous! Yesterday was sunnier yet and my friend Craig and I went park hopping! Began the day with a matcha smoothie at Cafe Mondo and then ended up at Malden Park picking up garbage. Yes, that's right my goal has already been fulfilled - most likely motivated by keeping that Gandhi quote in mind. It reminded us that it is hypocritical to complain about the state of things without at least trying to improve them yourself.

Later we made a trip to Ten Thousand Villages on the West end of Windsor. This non-profit fair trade organization has stores accross Canada. They operate on principles of fair trade offering a variety of handmade goods where the individuals who made them receive fair compensation for their labour. It always surprises me to find out how little people know about this wonderful place. I want everything in that store! It is always the perfect place for buying gifts aswell. The coffee there is absoultely my favourite to buy around here and you get a free cup of whatever delicious roast they have chosen for the day. I am almost finished a dark roast from Peru so I picked up another dark roast but this time chose to support Ethiopia. Ten Thousand Villages has a number of recycling initiatives. For example alot of the products come from recycled materials and you can also do things like bring back the bags you bought coffee beans in.

"Fair Trade supports practices that minimalize environmental impact by using reclaimed or recycled materials, encouraging organic production, and limiting shipment of product by air"

At least go check it out and see what they have - give and be given to!

The Underlying Principles of Ten Thousand Villages:

At Ten Thousand Villages, we stand behind IFAT and have also added a few principles of our own:

  1. We honour the value of seeking to bring justice and hope to the poor.
  2. We trade with artisan groups who pay fair wages and demonstrate concern for their members’ welfare.
  3. We provide consistent purchases, advances and prompt final payments to artisans.
  4. We increase market share in North America for fairly traded handicrafts.
  5. We market quality products that are crafted by otherwise underemployed artisans.
  6. We build sustainable operations using a variety of sales channels, including a network of stores with a common identity.
  7. We choose handicrafts that reflect and reinforce rich cultural traditions, that are environmentally sensitive and which appeal to North American consumers.
  8. We encourage North American customers to learn about fair trade and to appreciate artisans’ cultural heritage and life circumstances with joy and respect.
  9. We use resources carefully and value volunteers who work in our North American operations.

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