The weather is certainly frightful and the only cure is to curl up in a blanket at relax with something warm to drink. When you are finished with your shopping and traveling, try cozying up with a hot glass of spiced apple cider. The holidays can be tense and stressful, but don’t let them get the better of you. Make sure you take a few moments to warm your soul, body, and RELAX! We have a special recipe for you that can be enjoyed quietly alone or served at your holiday party. You can serve with or without rum. Just remember, to put your feet up.

Organic Spiced Apple Cider

7 Cups of Organic Apple Cider
1/3 Cup Organic, Fair Trade Evaporated Cane Juice
1/2 Cup Organic Orange Juice
4 Organic, Fair Trade Cinnamon Sticks
1 Tbsp Whole Organic Nutmeg
1 Tbsp Whole Organic  Cloves
1 Tbsp Whole Organic  Allspice
Juice from one Organic Lemon
Orange and Lemon Peels for Zest
Organic, Fair Trade Cinnamon Sticks

1 Shot Organic Spiced Rum (optional)

In a large pot, warm the cider, lemon juice, orange juice on medium heat. Make sure not to boil the mixture. Add in the cane juice, while constantly stirring. Add all the spices, sans one cinnamon stick into a cheesecloth and tie off. Submerge the mixture into the cider and let simmer for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, peel the orange and lemon for a few pieces of zest. Remove the cheesecloth and set aside. If you are adding rum, put a shot into your mug and mix before garnishing. Garnish each glass with one cinnamon stick and a few zest peels of lemon and orange and serve warm!

Happy Halloween!!! Since today is filled with spooktacular fun and it is the last day of Fair Trade Month, we thought why not post something fun and celebratory! It’s been a great month long celebration of Fair Trade and hopefully will continue year round. But in case you want to celebrate both the creepy side of Halloween and Fair Trade Month, try out our Fair Trade cocktail: the Bloody-tini. The ingredients are Fair Trade and it’s blood red color is sure to give you a fright. MMMwaahahahah!

Fair Trade Bloody-tini

2 oz Fair Trade FAIR Quinoa Vodka
1 oz Fair Trade FAIR Goji Liquor 
1/2 oz Fair Trade Maine Root Lemonade
Garnish with slice of an organic blood orange

Fair Trade Wholesome Sweetners Sugar on the rim

On the rim of the glass, use a slice of blood orange to wet the outside of your martini glass rim. In a shallow bowl, pour Fair Trade sugar and set the rim of the glass on the sugar. Turn a few times and set glass aside. In a cocktail shaker combine the Fair Trade vodka, Fair Trade Goji Liquor, Fair Trade Lemonade, and ice and shake. Strain into your sugar rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a blood orange slice and serve. For added spookiness, use natural food dyes to dye the sugar red.

These heat waves sweeping across the country just feel relentless! We sure know how to beat the summer heat in style with delicious fair trade and organic cocktails! I mean, who is going to say no to a refreshing, cooling cocktail on a warm summer night. We have the perfect recipe for you too, including spirit recommendations! So get out of that heat and into a Summer Berry Mojito.

Summer Berry Mojito

1 1/2 oz Organic Light Rum
2 Tbsp Fair Trade Sugar
1/2 Organic Lime, Juiced
8-12 Fresh Organic Mint Leaves
4 Organic Blackberries
4 Organic Raspberries
4 Organic Blueberries
Soda Water

In a bowl or sturdy cup, crush and muddle the mint and sugar.  Fill glass with crushed ice and add in the rum and lime juice, stir. Add in the muddled mint and sugar, as well as the berries. Fill the remainder of the glass with soda water and stir. Garnish the drink with an extra sprig of mint.

Unfortunately, there is no fair trade rum offered in the US (if you are in the UK try Utkins or Papagayo). However, we do have organic options here in the states such as Crusoe Organic Silver Rum. For fair trade sugar we recommend Wholesome Sweetners, which is also organic. For organic fruits and mints, check your local farmer’s market, natural foods store, or Whole Foods.

The Fair Trade marketplace is growing rapidly and more and more products are appearing commonplace. With a whole array for new Fair Trade products it is now easier than ever to be a conscious consumer. Major chains are now carrying Fair Trade products that range from fruit to gifts. With products so readily available, we have put together a “must” list of Fair Trade. This list describes the items you should try to always purchase Fair Trade. Because not all products have a Fair Trade or even labor friendly alternative, our list ensures you can support Fair Trade on a daily basis. Just be sure and look for the Fair Trade certified logo before you buy!

10 Things to Always Buy Fair Trade

1) Coffee: Coffee was the first Fair Trade product certified and has been on the market for decades. These days Fair Trade coffee is EVERYWHERE! Even coffee giants Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts carry some certified blends. But beyond the larger chains, there are countless independent, local, and funky cafes that serve certified coffee. And if you are more of brew at home person, you can find pounds of Fair Trade coffee in natural food stores, co-ops, Whole Foods, and even major supermarkets. To find coffee near you, check TransFair’s guide.

2) Tea: Along with coffee, tea is readily available in supermarkets and cafes. Tea can be found in loose leaf form, tea bags, and even bottled form. The US tea market is growing and certified tea can be found almost anywhere! Check Green America’s guide to Fair Trade teas.

3) Chocolate: Next to coffee and tea, chocolate is probably the most common certified product. Several companies have been switching to Fair Trade including the recent announcement by Green & Black and Cadbury’s UK brand. Fair Trade chocolate is even used in some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors, and soon all flavors! Chocolate can be found in most natural food stores, co-ops, Whole Foods, and even chain markets. Fair Trade cocoa is also available! Look out for certified chocolate in your area.

4) Fruit: Fair Trade fruit has now become readily available in American markets. Certified bananas are carried in many markets and used by restaurants all over the country. Other tropical fruits such as mangoes and pineapples have a growing availability. Be on the look out for more and more fruits becoming certified! But for now, look for the Fair Trade certified logo when stocking up on your tropical fruits! Find fruit in your area.

5) Flowers: Next time you want to woo your sweetie, go to a dinner party, or just want to spruce up your pad, choose Fair Trade flowers! Certified flowers are available at Whole Foods Markets, Giant Superstores and likely your local co-op. And even if you need a bouquet delivered, there is a Fair Trade option for you. Check out Organic Style, One World Flowers, and even Sam’s Club! Here’s more information of Fair Trade Flowers and where to buy them.

6) Rice: If you are in the mood for long grain or wild rice, turn to the Fair Trade alternative. These varieties of rice are now offered Fair Trade. Unfortunately, it is hard to find white or brown rice with Fair Trade certification, as most of it is grown within the US. However, these types of rice are sumptuous and will add flare to your dish, without sacrificing your ethics or your taste buds! Also, a great bonus is most Fair Trade rice is also organic, but be sure and check for both certifications before purchasing. These items can be found in natural food stores, cooperatives, and chains such as Whole Foods Market. Locate Fair Trade Rice in your neighborhood today!

7) Vanilla: Vanilla is a baking staple and is necessary for most baked goods. Luckily, Fair Trade vanilla has certified by TransFair since 2006. Much like coffee, the price of vanilla fluctuates on the market, which can destroy local farmers. But with a Fair Trade price, you can guarantee the farmers are being paid a fair price. Fair Trade vanilla can be found at many stores, including Whole Foods, and is even used in Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade vanilla ice cream. Learn more about Fair Trade vanilla.

8) Spices: Once upon a time Fair Trade spices may have been hard to locate but not any more! More and more spices are becoming certified and the list now ranges from Cinnamon to Ginger and even simple Black Pepper. Check out Frontier spices for certified offerings. Frontier and other Fair Trade spices can be found at natural food stores, Whole Foods, co-ops, and some large grocery stores.

9) Sugar: There are plenty of sugar alternatives on the market such as local maple syrup and honey, however, when you need just plain old sugar look no further than the Fair Trade world. Sugar plantations can ecologically and economically devastate and you can be sure this will not occur with a Fair Trade logo. Sugar is carried in a wide variety of stores including Sam’s Club, believe it or not! Find fair sugar in your neck of the woods.

10) Gifts: Fair Trade gifts are the wave of the future. A few years ago you could only find Fair Trade jewelery and a few artisan gifts, however the market for growing Fair Trade gifts is growing, including a new Apparel certification program from Transfair World of Good, is a great place to find unique and Fair Trade gift items as well as Global Exchange. You can find purses, shoes, art; pretty much any gift you would like to give, you can find a unique and well crafted Fair Trade alternative.

Labor Day weekend is upon us…the ‘official’ end to summer.  The pending First Day of School undoubtedly has inspired a collective groan from the nation’s school children.  Sorry kids – but you must, once again, put your swimsuit away and hit the books.

But why not make this year special by introducing your school to Fair Trade?  There are plenty of cool, fun and educational ways to help your school trade fair, so rather than spending your last few days of summer catching up on tv re-runs, get a group of friends together and check out these ideas on how to spread the word about economic justice and human rights to your peers!

The good people at Catholic Relief Services have developed comprehensive educational resources for those that are new to Fair Trade and even for those that already consider themselves experts. While these tools are meant for the classroom, we believe they’re worthy for anyone to study. The group offers beautiful and informative flyers and brochures about Fair Trade that you can opt to download yourself or order online for free! They also offer a variety of teaching modules, an action guide, multi-media presentations, fund raising tools, and games that integrate the concepts of human rights, social justice and stewardship right into your teacher’s lesson plan.

Last fall, Autonomie Project was honored to be featured in CSR’s back-to-school guide which encourages educators and students alike to promote the following ways your school can easily support Fair Trade:

A) Wear economic justice on your sleeve!
Support marginalized communities through your uniform purchase. Fair Trade Uniforms offers a wide variety of items made to your school’s specifications, including school uniforms, gym clothes and T-shirts.  All uniforms are made fairly by workers in the developing world.

B) Teach with Fair Trade Lesson Plans!
In addition to the resources from CRS already mentioned above, check out Global Exchange’s clever, multi-dimensional classroom resource that can be adapted to satisfy a variety of curricula standards.  The Fair Trade Resource Network also offers a clearinghouse of Fair Trade curricula for teachers including “Win-Win Solutions” from Equal Exchange for grades 4 through 9 and TransFair USA’s “Focus on Fair Trade” for grades K through 12.

C) Play Fair During Recess and Gym with Fair Trade Sports Balls!
How could any Fair Trade back-to-school guide be complete without our brother company Fair Trade Sports! A full line of sports balls certified Fair Trade and eco-friendly are now available online, including balls for soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, rugby, and futsal.  Also, make sure to check out this really cool game developed by Oxfam that uses the game of soccer to teach students, young and old, the principles of Fair Trade.

D) Fundraise While Supporting Communities in the Developing World!
Participants in the Raise Money Right project know how fun and rewarding it is to use Fair Trade products to raise funds for special projects (rather than the usual blah and conventional candies and wrapping papers!). Global Goods Partners offers an educational, socially responsible, and Fair Trade fundraising tool as well.  Using ethical products for fund raising is not only a great way to teach kids about Fair Trade, but also about social entrepreneurship and how helping others can also help ourselves! And don’t forget, that school cafeterias across the country could always use a little encouragement to switch their coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit and sugar purchases to Fair Trade brands.

E) Put Your Best Foot Forward with Fair Trade Sneakers!
As all you readers should know by now, we’re proud to bring the Ethletic sneaker collection to the students of America!  The ultimate in ethical footwear, we now offer all 10 styles of the popular Fair Trade and eco-certified shoe brand.  This year, you can head back to school in style without having to sacrifice your values!

So what are you waiting for???  You have your assignment and the first bell has rung….so hurry on your mission and help us spread the word of Fair Trade to YOUR school!

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