Current Events


Since the 1990’s genetically engineered foods have been on the market, mostly unbeknown to the consumer. The vegetables, fruits, and packaged goods you purchase could contain scientifically modified ingredients. On top of being a little Frankenstein-ish, GMO foods are terrifying because there have been no long term studies done on them, there is a possible genetic effect on humans which is unknown, and doctors have cited it as possible causes of some food allergies and diseases.   Is there a way to know whether you are purchasing a GMO food? Not currently. It’s always a risk, even for items labeled “natural” on the shelves.

 

 

Next week, all of that may change in California. This election, Proposition 37 proposes GMO food be labeled as such for the benefit of the consumers. The law would require any food from plant or animal that contains GMO ingredients to be labeled with a few exemptions. Farm animals fed GMO grain, restaurants, and alcohol are all exempt from this current law as they are regulated differently  It also bars GMO products from labeling themselves as “natural,” which unfortunately is an unregulated marketing word.

Living in California and a huge organic supporter, we are excited for the possibility of this law. Consumers have a right to know what is going in their bodies and it seems the populace agrees. The latest polls are showing over 60% of California voters are in favor of the proposition. Plus one look at who is against it, will make up your mind quickly, Monsanto has been a huge critic, pouring gobs of money into the opposition campaign. They are quite possibly the largest GMO farming corporation that has come under fire for labor violations recently. Would you trust those guys? 

Other than knowing what we are putting into our bodies, passing such a law is so important is that it will set a precedent for other states to follow suit. Organic advocates, parents, and pretty much everyone who buys food will win in the long run if this law is passed. Well, you know that slogan: you are what you eat, and we certainly don’t want to be something made in a lab. Please Vote YES on Prop 37!

 

Now that both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions have been completed and we are headed into a heated 90 day battle between the big choice of two candidates, it’s time to start comparing them. Unfortunately, when it comes to the environment, neither are looking so hot (unlike our planet….but that’s another story).  Sure, one is  lesser of the two evils when it comes to energy policy, but it would be nice if we had a few more people to choose from (once again…that’s another story).  And since there are no third-party candidates who are likely to take any votes from these two, let’s just look at them!

Let’s start with the newcomer, Mitt Romney. AP and Romney share an interesting history, as he was once the governor of our founding state: Massachusetts.  Now you might wonder how such a progressive state would vote in a conservative, well he ran on a different platform back then (yet again…that’s another story). If we were talking about Romney from 6 years ago, this would be a different story. In fact, some of his environmental moves have inspired some of Obama’s.

However, let’s talk Romney running today. He does have some interesting ties to Big Oil and has accepted campaign donations from them. In return, he has stated that he will expand drilling for both gas and oil in the United States. He also plans on extending the Big Oil tax cuts and subsidies, yet at the same time, opposes any tax incentives to alternative energy production within the US. And on that note, he is also against raising standards for energy efficiency in general. He seems to oppose any environmental technology advances, even making the statements: “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it,” and “[fuel efficiency standards are] disadvantageous for domestic manufacturers.” Even further frustrating is his stance on public lands. He has supported the Paul Ryan budget that calls for the selling of 3.3 million acres of public lands to private industry. And don’t even get me started on Global Warming, although once stating that humans were speeding up the production of carbon emissions, he now mocks that idea.

If this future seems a little bleak, we do have a little better news coming from the blue camp. During the 2008 election, Obama spoke a LOT about the environment, clean energy, and green jobs. However, his track record as President hasn’t actually put these ideas into motion. He has mentioned in State of the Union addresses and taken a pledge  that the Federal government should cut oil subsidies and use them to invest in alternative energy.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened in the last four years. Perhaps it something for the future four years? He has also mentioned  investing Federal funds in alternative energies, however, he lists “clean” coal and nuclear as sources of renewable energy. In a bit of good news, he has put into place some energy efficiency standards that will bring commercial facilities to be more efficient by 2025, initiated new rules on emissions from coal power plants that will save lives, and set a goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025.

We are pleased with some of these initiatives, but disappointed in his track record. He does support green jobs and promised 5 million, however, we haven’t really seen that plan come to fruition. He’s also increased offshore drilling and done little in the way of ending fracking. He also has spoken for fighting Global Warming in the past, but has failed to mention it in this campaign or done little to work on this issue over the past four years. However, it should be noted the State Department under his administration is working on international pollution regulations. That being said, he has a pretty inconsistent record on environmental policy. 

So there you have it, a quick rundown of both main candidates views on the environment. It’s looking like we have a choice of a C or F student. So take your pick! Personally, we will have to go with the lesser of two evils on the environmental front. Here’s to hoping over the next few months the campaign focuses on these environmental issue a little more!

Let the games begin! The nation and world have been captivated by the Olympic spirit for the past few weeks. Like most, we have been glued to our devices trying to catch all the games, especially soccer. While watching, we started to wonder, are there any Olympic athletes who stick to a plant-based diet? Turns out there are plenty!  Some might balk at a vegetarian athlete and feel they wouldn’t be able to keep up due to lack of protein and such, but many have proven that wrong, becoming elite athletes and Olympic winners.  In case you aren’t sure who to root for or just want to copy their awesome healthy diet, we thought we’d discuss some of the best of the best.

Since the Olympics are being hosted by the Brits, we thought we’d start there. Early in the games you may have heard the name Lizzie Armistead, as she won Britain’s first medal of the games in women’s cycling. She was the apple of Britain’s eye for bringing in their very first medal of the London games, but her diet was also being highly publicized. The 23-year-old athlete has been living a vegetarian lifestyle since the age of 10, when she decided to hold the meat.

But it isn’t just our friends across the pond who are going plant-based. A month or so before the games began, veteran Olympic swimmer, Natalie Coughlin discussed her mostly plant-based diet in an interview with Fitness magazine. She said she needs to be in tip-top shape while competing and for her that means following a vegetarian diet. Coughlin talks of how she grows her own veggies, sticks to a lot of greens, and loves to make smoothies with “coconut water, kale, spinach and romaine lettuce mixed with apples, celery, or pineapple.” She finished the London games by winning a Bronze along with her US swimming teammates.

Our neighbors to the North also have a plant-based athlete to boast of.  Dylan Wykes, a champion marathon runner who will be competing in the London Olympics this weekend, first went vegetarian based on personal ethics. Preparing for the 2012 Olympics, his diet garnered some press. He discussed how protein intake is highly important for distance runners, but he eats protein rich foods such as quinoa, beans, and leafy greens while training. Wykes is one of the best runners hailing from Canada in decades and veggie fueled performance is highly anticipated.

London will not only be hosting vegetarian athletes on the field, but off as well. Former US soccer Olympian Kara Lang, whose career was cut short due to a knee injury, is a women’s soccer analyst this summer. She went vegan while she was still playing soccer and received plenty of flack for it. Her coaches and trainers were worried it would affect her performance, but she pushed on and proved them wrong. She eats mostly whole foods and limits her intake of faux meats. Of her experience with the vegan diet, she stated My body was just more efficient…If you become a vegan and you do it properly, you’re not eating processed food anymore. Instead of spending all this energy clearing out toxins and metabolizing food we’re not meant to eat, your body can focus on recovery.”

It is definitely inspiring to see these top of the line Olympians thriving on a plant-based diet and receiving publicity for it. It’s not only current athletes, there are plenty of famous historic veggie Olympians including Carl Lewis, Murray “Seaweed Streak” Rose, and Charlene Wong to name a few. Check out Ecorazzi’s great article on the Top 10 Historic Vegetarian and Vegan Olympians for more information. We salute all the awesome veg top athletes competing in the London Olympics!

The popsicles are melting and the temperature gage continues to rise. The kids have taken to the streets to cool off under the stream of the fire hydrant and even the dogs are hiding under the shade of the trees. It’s a bonafide heat wave! If this sounds familiar, it’s because the US has been under a nationwide heat wave for the past few weeks. Yes, it is the middle of July, but is there something more sinister at work? With temperatures rising steadily, a lack of winter, and crazy, unpredictable weather, it’s hard not to pose the question. In fact, last week the entire country suffered temperatures well into the 100’s.

In a new study from the American Meterological Society they answer that very question. It states that heat waves are directly related to global warming and  they are on the rise!  The study points out that several heat waves have been connected to human-made global warming. These heat waves include last year’s brutal heat in Texas which was considered 20 times more likely to occur due to global warming and November’s warmer than normal temperature in England was 62 times more likely.   This study marks a new feature in climate science, where it has usually taken years to compile weather studies, this one was able to be analyzed and published within several months. This is groundbreaking science that is sure to help shed some light on the issues we are to face.

If you thought that was bad news, it only gets worse. In another study published by Stanford last year stated that the US is “likely to undergo extreme summer temperature shifts within 60 years.  Yup, expect more droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, tornados, fires, floods and any other weather extreme that will terrify and complicate our modern lives. But not all disasters have been directly connected to global warming including recent floods in Thailand. Monsoons are common in Thailand and researches have related these particular floods to rapid development, meaning more people in more vulnerable areas.

And as the temperature continues to rise, we lose more and more of our polar ice. In 2011, the Artic warmed as a whole and was at it’s second lowest level since we humans started keeping track. In case you haven’t heard, this is causing the sea levels to rise at a steady pace.  Higher sea levels means less land for humans and animals alike and with our population reaching 7 billion, major social issues are headed our way.

Basically all this news is bleak and a bit scary. Is there anything we can do? It’s unlikely we will be able to slow the affects already set in motion. However, we need to get serious about changing our ways. What we have done to the Earth over the last Century needs to stop now. We need to figure out more sustainable energy and stop using gasoline like it’s water running from a tap. We also need to start planning for the future. Rather than deny the Earth is warming, we, as a society, must plan for the future. Acting now, could save countless lives and resources. You and I need to start pressuring our leaders to pay attention to these issues and we need to change our everyday actions. The heat is on, as the say, so let’s cool it down.

It’s May 1st and to many that means a day of Spring flowers and Maypoles, but today stands for so much more. May 1st is also International Worker’s Day and while that may sound like a far cry from an American holiday, the history and meaning of May Day is just that: American.  The origins of this day date back to 1886 in Chicago, IL.  During this time, there were no laws regulating the work day, meaning employers could force their employees to work long hours and there was little employees could do. No 8-hour comforts existed as we have in this century.  But the labor movement was making motions.  They had set May 1st, 1886 as the day in which the 8-hour work day would be set by law.

Tensions ran high as a general strike was called in Chicago. Tens of thousands of workers took to the streets in a mostly peaceful protest. But like many protests, police were quickly on the scene and an unidentified person through a bomb into the chaos. The blast and resulting police gunfire ended the lives of eleven and wounded countless others. What followed was a Nineteenth Century witch hunt where eight labor organizers and labeled “anarchists” were convicted, seven sentenced to death.  In the years that followed, they were pardoned as there was not enough evidence to connect them and the investigation and trials were seen as questionable.

You may recall this historic event as the Haymarket Affair. Not only was it a historical moment in labor rights history but it directly affects your personal every day life, as you enjoy the perks of an eight-hour work day without the threat of loss of life. In 1890, demonstrations were called to commemorate the lives lost that fateful day in Chicago. It is a way to remember the struggles workers have endured over the years.  For over a hundred years, May Day has become the official holiday in many countries around the world.  In the US, it is an unofficial holiday but is still of top importance for workers around the country.

About six years ago, I participated in my first May Day protest in Sacramento, CA (capital of California).  There were hundreds of thousands, largely farm workers, marching for Immigrant Rights. For far too long, slavery has existed in our country under the guise of cheap food. I was there, in the thick of it. Seeing first-hand how organizing can make a difference and that May Day can still have an impact. Although we are still struggling to protect farm workers under the same laws that many of us take for granted: eight-hour work days, five-day work weeks, and basic needs, the demonstration shone light on the issue.

And now as I write this from Oakland, CA, I can hear the helicopters circling hundreds of Occupy and labor union strikers standing up for financial and social reform in our country.  It doesn’t take much to see that a growing disparity is happening in the US. As the economy continues to tank, the people who are baring the weight are the workers.  The struggle still continues for farm workers, for factory workers, for nurses, teachers, police officers, and others carrying the load.  So while purchasing union-made, Fair Trade, and supporting UFW and the likes is important in our day-to-day lives, don’t forget the struggles the existed before and still continue to this day. Use May Day as a platform for your voice to be heard. Thousands of workers and students are going on strike and marching through the streets to demand reform today. Will you join them?

With the 2012 election fast approaching and the possibility of a party change in the White House becoming more real every day, we decided to take a closer look at the four Republican candidates and their views on the environment. As global climate change becomes a more imminent threat every day, it is crucial to put all candidates under a microscope. An overall understanding of how Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum have voted on and vocalized environmental policy in the past will reveal the potential outcomes for the future – and help shed light on the possible changes, adoptions, and dangers we may face through 2012 and beyond.

In a nutshell, here are the environmental policies of the 2012 Republican Candidates.

Mitt Romney is relatively moderate amongst some of his fellow GOP candidates. Although he acknowledges climate change as scientific fact, Romney is apparently confused about whether or not it’s human-related issue. He declared in June that he “believes the world is getting warmer” and that “humans contribute to that.” Yet in August, he said that he “didn’t know” if the “world getting hotter… is mostly caused by humans.” Unlike his fellow running mates, Romney has avoided bashing and demonizing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At the same time, as Massachusetts governor, Romney rejected cap-and-trade emissions programs, believing they would “rocket energy prices.” He seeks to reduce “the regulatory burden” on industry and energy producers. And in the 2007 Supreme Court case Massachusetts vs. EPA, Romney was against supporting EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. Romney does, however, support drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Western lands, the outer continental shelves, Alaska, and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He also supports to the use of fracking to obtain shale gas. Romney is critical of Obama’s handling of Solyndra, yet, as governor, selectively invested in alterative energy – overall favoring private investment in solar, wind, and nuclear energy.

Newt Gingrich, like Romney, has expressed varying opinions on the cause and origins of climate change, both accepting and denying the human role in it. Hailed by many environmentalists for his involvement in Al Gore’s much-circulated 2008 “We Can Solve It” campaign, Gingrich stated that the US “must take action to address global climate change.” However, three years later in a Fox interview, Gingrich deftly commented that the ad was “the dumbest thing [he’s] done in recent years.” Gingrich believes that the EPA is “job killing” and seeks to replace it with what he calls the “Environmental Solutions Agency” devoted to research, “more energy, more jobs, and a better environment simultaneously.” Like Romney, he opposes cap-and-trade regulations. Gingrich has flip-flopped in his support of carbon emission regulations and potential incentives for carbon-sequestering technology development, but overall appears to stand in support of some sort of CO2 regulation. Gingrich hopes to maximize oil, gas, and “clean coal” production, allowing oil/natural gas industries to drill offshore reserves blocked for development through federal royalties.With oil and gas royalties, Gingrich has promised to fund clean energy research, being primarily in support of nuclear and wind energies.

Ron Paul’s stance on environmental policy may be one of the most misunderstood and confusing topics on the agenda. The main reason why? He says that global warming is “the greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years.” Ultimately Paul seeks to eliminate all environmental protections. As a libertarian, he believes that anyone who suffers personal or property damage from pollution should attack the company responsible, answering “directly to property owners in court for the damages, not Washington.” We all know that it is neither this simple nor this easy, and his plan to dismantle the EPA would likely have irreparable individual and large-scale damages with no one to clean up after them. Paul, like his fellow candidates, has voted against cap-and-trade, being both against regulations and of the belief that such regulations would destroy American jobs. Among the stranger elements of Paul’s environmental agenda is the plan to repeal the federal tax on gasoline, creating a major gap in funding for roads and infrastructure (as well as ultimately serving to perpetuate American reliance on oil). He also hopes to lift “government roadblocks” on nuclear power development, favoring tax incentives over subsidies for alternative energy purchase/production. Paul aims to remove federal restrictions and regulations on drilling and coal, prompting what would likely turn out to be a corporate free-for-all on domestic drilling.

Rick Santorum may just out-extreme Ron Paul. He has called the research linking humans to global warming “junk science” that is “patently absurd.” He once eloquently said that climate change is “a beautifully concocted scheme” that is “just an excuse for more government control of your life.” Santorum also plans to abolish the EPA and its “job-killing radical regulatory approaches,” subsequently repealing all Obama-era EPA regulations. He has stated that he wants to “refocus [the EPA’s] mission on safe and clean water and air and commonsense conservation.” However, Santorum has consistently voted against an increase in renewable energy and regulations for cleaner air. Santorum has also supported a limit increase on mercury emissions from power plants, pushing heavily for nuclear energy. He has stated his hope to “put aside our dreams of ‘green jobs,” believing that we should instead focus on the “great domestic resources at our disposal.” Santorum plans to eliminate all agriculture and energy subsidies within four years, thereby cutting subsidies for solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources. He wants an “all of the above” energy policy, calling on the pursuit of oil, coal, natural gas, and anything else we can get our hands on – this would include drilling in his preferred location, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Santorum has, however, proposed scaling back on all “oppressive regulation” that prohibits drilling in other locations.

Hopefully this summary has made navigating the complicated views of the Republican candidates a little more simple. Environmental policy itself is not a simple thing, regardless of party lines. Fortunately it appears to be at the forefront of 2012’s election (or, at least,not on the back burner). While public discussion of these complicated issues is in itself a positive sign of progression toward federal policy, we cannot lose sight of the embedded danger in some of these words and policies. This election falls at a critical juncture for the planet, with the proverbial clock ticking: The next president of the United States will have some major environmental decisions to make, ones that will forever change the safety, serenity, and sanity of our Earth. Inform yourself as the election nears.

Ask yourself if any of the above candidates seem prepared to take on these enormous challenges. Educate yourself, educate others, and make sure to vote in November 2012 – not just for a president, but for the planet, as well. Tell us your take on the Republican candidates and the environment.

-Jessica Nicholson 

This weekend, the old rivalry of New England versus New York will play out on the arena of the 2012 Super Bowl. As most American customs, Super Bowl Sunday is a day to gather with loved ones, eat a bunch of unhealthy food, and drink your little heart out! And just as most parties, it can be extremely wasteful. But it doesn’t have to be. There are a number of ways to throw a Superbowl Party and keep it be a low-waste, environmentally friendly affair. We have put together a list of tips to help you host a green Super Bowl fiesta! Now, go Pats (sorry we are a bit Boston biased).

Tip 1-Use E-vites or Mass Texts: Instead of sending out or handing out printed invites, opt for inviting your guests via email or text. Also, Facebook is an easy way to communicate with your friends and allows guests to talk amoung themselves.

Tip 2-Use Re-usable or Compostable Dishes: One easy way to cut down on your waste is using re-usable dishes. It might make a big mess and will require extra work, but you will be happy not to throw out a huge trash bag at the end of the night. If you just can’t bare the thought of doing all those dishes after the big game, you can use compostable dishes as an alternative. Compostable dishes come in utensils, cups, and plates.

Tip 3-Serve Organic & Local Food: Instead of opting for the usual snacks, which come in packaging such as chips and dips, make everything from your local market. If you purchase goods from the farmer’s market, you won’t have any packaging to throw out. You could also have the food catered from a local, organic restaurant. If you bring you own dishes or re-use the ones they supply, you will also reduce your waste.

Tip 4-Get a Keg: Normally Superbowl parties revolve around food which creates tons of waste in beer bottles and cans. Although, these can be recycled, you can reduce waste, by purchasing a keg. Not only will you be supporting local business, but possibly organic if any breweries exist near you. You can also be sure you won’t run out of beer. A sure fire way to reduce your waste and keep your guests happy!

Tip 5-Clean Responsibly:  When you are cleaning up the mess and washing those dishes, be sure to use environmentally friendly products such as vinegar or eco brands like Method or 7th Generation. Using these options will reduce your impact on the environment as they do not contain toxins and are biodegradable.

At the beginning of every year, the car shows in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles premiere their brand new models.  The shiny sportscar used to be the highlight, followed by the family sized comfort SUVS, but these days a new kid on the block is getting all the attention.  The greenest cars on the market are what everyone is talking about come the new year. 

Since the advent of the hybrid, more and more companies are offering their versions as well as electric, biodiesel, and natural gas  cars. This year was no different. The big news was that VW announced they will be making an electric Beetle! This is exciting news for VW lovers, as the Beetle is a very popular model. Unfortunately, the introduction was just a concept and they won’t be out until 2013 or later.

But the good news is there are some exciting cars on the market! For instance, Ford is producing a Focus completely electric. Also, making an appearance was a natural gas powered Honda Civic, a newly improved Toyota Prius, a plug in electric Mitsubishi, and a diesel (which can run on bio diesel) VW Passat . The later which one the 2012 Motor Trend of the Year Award.

All five of these models make up the Top 5 Finalists for Greenest Car of the Year. The 2011 reward went to none other than the Chevy Volt. All these new technologies and greener cars is very encouraging, however it is important to remember they are not a perfect solution to the energy crisis. They are one step closer to cleaner travel. Either way, we are excited that there are greener options out there, than just plain old gasoline car. It is also great to see  more and more manufacturers produce green models.

Now, which one drives better? And which one is truly greener? That we will have to save for another post, perhaps when we have the chance to test drive a few models!

 

In mid December a groundbreaking law was quietly approved in Albany, NY. Not even a month later the same exciting law went into effect in Sacramento, CA, with people in line to sign up. So what could this new innovative law be? It is the beginning of a new era in responsible companies! Both California and New York were the first to enact a law that would include conscious corporations as a type of business. Not only will these new laws benefit the corporations who are certified, but society.

Companies who will be classified as “Benefit Corporations” will be held accountable for how their business impact the environment, their workers, and their community. They will be required to publicly publish environmental and social performance which will be monitored by third parties. Basically, this is going to provide a new frontier of transparency for the consumer and a new era of corporate responsibility. The New York law was largely written and sponsored by B-Corp, which has spearheaded the idea of the benefit corporation for a while now. Their co-founder, Andrew Kassay, urged the importance of this law taking effect, “The benefit corporation bill will unlock billions of dollars in impact investment capital and enable entrepreneurs across [NY] to start businesses that solve some of society’s greatest challenges.

The real question is, will corporations and businesses make this move? Will they want to become a Benefit Corp? It seems likely, especially in the wake of California’s inauguration of the bill. Classification of Benefit Corporation began on January 3rd, 2012, with twelve eager companies ready to sign up! The first and possibly the largest to sign up was the clothing company, Patagonia, which has long lead the way in environmental outdoor clothing. They had championed the bill and wanted to show their support by being the first company to file in 2012. Founder and CEO, Yvon Chouinard, released a statement about the historic day: “Patagonia is trying to build a company that could last 100 years. Benefit corporation legislation creates the legal framework to enable mission-driven companies like Patagonia to stay mission-driven through succession, capital raises, and even changes in ownership.” Some other companies who signed up this year were Give Something Back Office Supplies, Green Retirement Plans, and Thinkshift Communication to name a few.

Major corporations such as Patagonia and smaller green/socially conscious businesses signing up means good news for the consumer and new Benefit Corporation classification. This could also mean good news for states like NY and CA who adopt this legislation. With the economy causing businesses to flee these states due to high taxes, bureaucracy, and expensive property, this could be a useful for drawing in new business or keeping other socially conscious businesses in state.

A new way of business has begun and we are happy to see it happen. Even better news, in both NY and CA, the bills were able to pass without much object. This means the political and social climate is accepting of transparent business tactics and changes like these could take hold in other states. Now if only more states could come on board, Benefit corporations could flourish in our nation. 

This Saturday, May 14th is World Fair Trade Day!! What does that mean, you ask? Well, the Second Sunday in May, that doesn’t fall on Mother’s Day is used to celebrate and raise awareness for Fair Trade.  Every year there is an overall theme, this year’s being “TRADE FOR PEOPLE – Fair Trade your world.”  This theme largely rests on the idea that there is a human factor to producing goods and the best way to support ethical working conditions is to be a consumer of fair trade goods.  There a number of great ways to celebrate World Fair Trade Day as well as all year long.

We at Autonomie Project hosted a World Fair Trade Day Tee Design Contest, where we asked artists to submit their best t-shirt design that portrays fair trade. We had a wonderful response and have come up with Top Three Finalists. We are asking everyone to go and vote for their favorite design. The one with the most votes by midnight on May 13th will be declared the winner on World Fair Trade Day and have their tee made by us! 25% of the profits of the shirt will be donated to Fair Trade Resource Network and Fair Trade Boston. Check it out today and go vote!

But if you didn’t get a chance to be a part of our contest, check out these other ways to celebrate fair trade! Happy World Fair Trade Day!

Best Ways to Celebrate World Fair Trade Day 

1) Events: All around the world, local communities will be putting on fun events this weekend ranging from Fair Trade breakfasts to wine tastings and even trunk shows.  Some great events include the Fair Trade USA’s Wake up the World Brunch in San Francisco, Boulder, CO will be putting on a Fair Trade Crawl, and Los Angeles will be hosting a Fair Trade Bazaar. Autonomie will be celebrating World Fair Trade Day in style at two bike rides 3,000 miles apart. We will be handing out free fair trade goodies along the stops for both Boston’s Fair Trade Bike Ride and Berkeley’s Tour de Fair.   For events in your neck of the woods, check out this handy World Fair Trade Day Events Search.

2) Host a Breakfast: Fair Trade USA is promoting the idea of supporting fair trade and starting with breakfast. If you can’t make it or afford to attend their brunch, why not host your own? You can put together a fair trade breakfast using only fair trade ingredients for your family, friends, co-workers, or even classmates. This is a great way to challenge your cooking skills, eat delicious foods, and educated those you love. Almost every ingredient for breakfast can be found fair trade including coffee and tea. For ideas and recipes check out Fair Trade USA’s Wake Up the World website.

3) Toast to Fair Trade:  Since it is a Saturday, why not toast your glass to the efforts of fair trade with some fair trade liquor! Luckily there is now fair trade wine and vodka on the market. There are a few bars out there that serve these ethical indulgences, but if you can’t find a place near you, stay in! Get a group of friends together, fill your glasses with fair trade spirits and toast to World Fair Trade Day! We have a great fair trade and organic cocktail recipe backlog.

4) Get Artsy: If you have little one’s in your life, use this as a teaching moment. You can ask them to sit down and create a drawing that best describes fair trade to them. Here’s your chance to explain what fair trade is and why it is

important to celebrate it. You can then help them create some adorable art while learning a life lesson!

3) Purchase Fair Trade: In honor of World Fair Trade Day, why not keep it simple? The best way to celebrate fair trade is to support it! There are now hundreds of fair trade products including clothing, sugar, coffee, flowers, and even vodka. You can show your solidarity with the workers of the world by making sure every purchase you make this Saturday is in fact fair trade.

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