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.