As Fair Trade and environmentally friendly consumers, we try our best to put our ethics before anything, including our wallets. Ethically made products can be a bit more expensive than conventional items, however, using your money as your voice is incredibly important in this modern economy. Purchasing ethically makes sense to many of us, but it is also essential to set an example for our younger generations. Ethical products are growing day by day and so many amazing items are available. This includes products for all the children out there!

From Fair Trade sports balls to recycled toys and even eco friendly diapers, there is a plethora of ethical children’s items on the market. During the holidays the web was bustling with great socially conscious and earth friendly suggestions for children’s gifts. And even we at Autonomie Project have taken on the Children’s market with our Fair Trade and Organic Children’s Clothing line Little Green Radicals and Ethletic Sneakers. And we aren’t the only ones, many companies provide parents with eco friendly ways to dress their little tykes. 

As ethical consumers we know that these items aren’t cheap but setting an example to the children in our lives is priceless. Whether they be our own, our nephews or nieces, or even our friend’s children, starting them young on smart and conscious choices is incredibly important. It may seem like buying one organic t-shirt or one recycled toy is a minor thing, but setting these examples early in life makes a huge impact. We need to pass these ideas and choices on to our youth so that the next generation can create better products and make even better decisions than our own.

So without sounding too preachy, just please keep this in mind the next time a birthday or Christmas rolls around or even the next time you need to purchase an everyday item for a child. After all living by example is one of the most influential ways for a child to learn and with the risk of sounding cliche, the youth are our future.  So please pass the ethical torch. 

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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