Happy New Year!!! It is now a new year, a new decade, and possibly a new era? 2010 holds great potential for the promotion of Fair Trade! So when you are putting your new year’s resolutions into practice take a moment to think of the Fair Trade movement. 2008 was a great year for Fair Trade sales, as worldwide and in the US they were up across the board! And it seems 2009 looks about the same. For us in the movement, this is incredibly encouraging for the new year. We are excited to see where Fair Trade will go in the next decade.

You might now be asking yourself, in what ways can I help? We have put together a short list of ways you can help Fair Trade in the 2010. You may call it a Fair Trade New Year Resolution List or maybe just some ideas on how to do your part in the coming decade.

AP’s Fair Trade New Year Suggestions!

1) Organize 2010 with Fair Trade: That’s right! Start 2010 off right with the purchase of the first Fair Trade calendar. Not only are these great calendars aesthetically pleasing but they directly benefit the Fair Trade Resource Network and all their efforts throughout the year. The calendars feature 24 pages of winning and beautiful photos from Fair Trade producers, fun facts about Fair Trade, and a list of stores that carry fair trade products. Why not decorate your desk at work or at home with this lovely calendar? Hopefully you can turn others onto Fair Trade! And the best part is the calendars are now 40% off! Get em while their hot!!

2) Fair Trade your Staples: It is time to get serious and be conscientious of your purchases. There are so many Fair Trade products offered now, it is time to make sure every time you make a purchase for staples such as coffee, tea, bananas, rice, wine and cooking oil, you make sure they are Fair Trade. The food staples we use everyday are for the most part readily available Fair Trade. As you  fill your cabinet with every day items,promise yourself to stock every item Fair Trade for 2010. If you need help on what items are offered Fair Trade and where to find them, look no further than the Transfair website. Here you can search where to by Fair Trade, by product name. 

3) Give Fair Trade to Others: When your Dad’s birthday pops up or when Valentine’s Day rolls around, try and give the gift of Fair Trade. Either buy Fair Trade gift items for your friends and family or donate in their name to Fair Trade organizations. There are a number of great gift items out there including jewelery, clothing, handbags, teapots, etc. World of Good is a great website to find many Fair Trade gift ideas! Also, if you would rather give gifts such as wine, flowers, or chocolates, those are also available Fair Trade certified. Make sure you celebrate all your loved ones and the next few holidays with the seal of Fair Trade. 

4) Support your Local Fair Trade Shop: On top of Fair Trade producers, the retail market for Fair Trade is growing. More and more retail shops are sprouting up around the country that carry Fair Trade products specifically. Try your best to support these courageous and local businesses, especially during this recession. Ten Thousand Villages is a great company who has shops located all over the country! Their stores are chalk full of great Fair Trade items. Check your local listings or the Green America Greenpages for storefronts near you. 

5) Fair Trade Your Town: If you are passionate  about spreading Fair Trade, you might consider getting involved in your community for the new year. There is a wonderful movement pushing forth in the US called Fair Trade Towns. Currently there are only 12 Fair Trade Towns with many campaigns currently working toward becoming one, including our very own Boston. The Fair Trade Towns website will provide you will all the tools and guidelines to turning your city or town into an official Fair Trade haven. You can make a positive change in your community.

Happy New Year from all of us at AP! 2008 was a long and transitional year for most of us. In this country we have seen positive changes and some tragic events. Yet we have to keep our heads up even in economic turmoil and look towards the next year. Hopefully 2009 will be a prosperous and healing time for all of us. We at AP want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and would like to make some quick suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions this coming year. The following list is our 2009 New Year’s Resolutions; which we all plan to implelement into our lives as much as possible. “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind…”

1) Support Fair Trade: In the next year, we hope more and more people will support fair trade. There are easy changes in your life to do so. Make sure several products that are easy to buy fair trade are done. Such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and even vanilla. These products can be found fair trade in most grocery store chains, as well as in local stores. But on top of that make a conscious effort to incomporate more fair trade items into your life such as clothing and jewlery and even wine! If you are unsure of where to purchase such items, check out the FTF’s list of fair trade stores or even our own AP site.

2) Buy Organic: Whenever possible we at AP buy organic produce and other items, including clothing! Not only is organic items good for your body, but they are great for the environment. Check out your local grocery store, co-op, or farmer’s market for organic produce. Pay attention for other organic products such as clothing, vanilla, chocolate, and coffee!

3) Eat Less Meat OR Go Vegetarian/Vegan: Eating meat is very very harmful to the environment, as well as to one’s health. This year think about switching to a meat free diet or at least significantly cutting back on your meat intake. If you have trouble letting meat go, please try to eat only organic, free range, and local farms. As these types of farms tend to have less harmful effects. If you would like to know more about switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet, check out Go Veg.com or order one of their starter kits.

4) Support Local: Supporting your local businesses and farms is not only great for your community but it cuts down on energy used in shipping items from all over the world. Check out your local farmer’s markets and coops for great locally grown produce. And every city, town, and neighborhood in the country has thousands of small and local cafes, restaurants, and clothing stores.

5) Small Eco Choices: Make a commitment to make small green changes in your daily life. Some easy ones are changing all your light bulbs over to energy efficient ones (it saves you money too!), using eco friendly cleaning products, and recycling! You can also choose to car pool, use public transit, walk, or bike to work. These choices may seem small, but they have a large impact on the world around us. If each person cut back on the little things, we could use less energy together!

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