There are only a few more shopping days until Christmas and time to buckle down and pick up those stocking stuffers! The holidays are a perfect time to celebrate fair trade, as it is a time for reflection and thanks.  Fair Trade is the epitome of what the holidays represent, so when you are picking up your stocking stuffers this year, why not make them fairly traded? You can feel good about your ethical decision and spread fair trade cheer throughout the land. There are number of great places to pick up Fair Trade goodies including your local fair trade store, Ten Thousand Villages, natural food stores, co-ops, and even Whole Foods. We have provided a quick list of some great ideas to use as stocking stuffers or even Hanukkah gifts!  So when you are out getting your last minute stocking stuffers, think fair trade!

Chocolates: This is probably the most readily available fair trade gift, even major supermarkets carry some fair trade chocolate. You can go for the big bars made by companies such as Alter Eco or Equal Exchange, or you can go the gourmet route such as Sjaak’s, who offer everything from peanut butter cups to truffles. Or better yet, how about some fair trade fudge, some of it’s even vegan friendly!

Mints: That’s right fair trade isn’t just for chocolate anymore! You can actually find fair trade mints Vermints.  These organic Canadian mints are made with  fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate in their flavoring. Keep your breathe socially conscious and minty fresh!

Homemade Goodies: If you can’t quite find what you are looking for in the sweets department, make your favorite recipe using fair trade ingredients! Some great ideas are Fair Trade Banana Bread made with fair trade bananas and sugar, or how about Fair Trade Chocolate Chip Cookies made with fair trade chocolate chips and sugar. Check out the Fairtrade Foundation’s recipe recommendations for great ideas.

Jewelry:  Another great fair trade item is jewelry. And as you know, you can never go wrong there. You can find anything from earrings to necklaces, and even rings. We love these Daphne bracelets made by displaces women in Uganda. Also, the bike enthusiast in us adores these recycled bike chain bracelets from Ten Thousand Villages. You can find a whole host of great stocking stuffers in beautiful jewelry from at Ten Thousand Villages and other fair trade shops.

Ornaments: Give them something to hang on the tree for next year. Flavours For Life has a wide variety of fair trade ornaments, including our favorite, the holiday gift bag that states “Shop Fair Trade.” Nothing like spreading a little fair trade message! Pristine Planet and Ten Thousand Villages also have great holiday ornaments.

Little Toys: For those youngsters on your list, go for the fun stuff! There isn’t a huge selection of fair trade toys and you aren’t going to find any fair trade legos any time soon (maybe!) but you can find a few sweet fair trade toys. Try Down to Earth Toys such as these cute veggie stuffed animals. For those musically inclined children, we love these wooden egg shakers made in Bali.

Autonomie: Our fair trade store is a one stop shop for great stocking stuffers and we just happen to be having a Holiday Moving Sale which includes some great deals on stocking stuffers. We have our new fair trade earrings and bracelets, made from recycled soda can tabs and bar codes. There are also matching soda can belts! But the best deal of all is our fabulous flip flips, made with FSC Certified sustainable rubber. They are currently on sale for $5.50 (regular $22). Also, if you are shopping for your other needs and spend up to $100 you receive a free stocking stuffer of your choice, including an Autonomie Gift Card.

Gift Card: Which brings us to our last fair trade stocking stuffer idea. The Gift Card. You seriously can’t go wrong here, letting someone pick out their own gift! There are a lot of great places to give an ethical gift card to, including Ten Thousand Villages, Autonomie Project, your local fair trade store, and  Greenheart Shop. For a full list check the Fair Trade Federation.

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October is here and Fair Trade Month is officially in high gear! The idea behind Fair Trade Month is to both celebrate and raise awareness for Fair Trade. In the United States, there are literally thousands of educational events, parties, promotions, and sales going on the entire month. So how do you get involved? What is the best way an ethical shopper to enjoy the month? We have put  together a short list of the best ways to celebrate Fair Trade Month!

1) Promote Fair Trade: In our 21st Century world, one of the easiest ways to bring awareness to a topic is to use social media. During the whole month, use your Twitter, Facebook, and other sites to spread the word! There are tons of great resources to share such as Fair Trade Resource Network and Fair Trade USA,  or even mention or post pictures of some of your favorite Fair Trade products! Be sure to use hashtags such as #FairTradeMonth and #FairTrade.

2) Give Fair Trade: Maybe you have some birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or baby showers coming up or maybe you want to get a head start on holiday shopping. Either way, when you are purchasing a gift this month, make sure it is Fair Trade. This is a perfect opportunity to give your loved ones quality gifts and educate them on what Fair Trade means. We recommend including information with your gift. Some places to find Fair Trade goods are Global Exchange, World of Good, Ten Thousand Villages, and of course Autonomie! Speaking of Autonomie, we are featuring different producers all month long and have special week long sales, as well as giveaways. Check our Facebook on how to enter.

3) Get Involved: If you want to really bring awareness to Fair Trade, get involved in your community or school. Did you know cities and universities can become Fair Trade Towns and Universities?! Check out Fair Trade USA’s programs Fair Trade Towns and Fair Trade University for more details. If you community doesn’t have an initiative already going, start one yourself. Another great way to bring Fair Trade to your community is to talk with business owners about carrying Fair Trade items. Talk with your local grocery stores, natural food stores, cafes, restaurants, and retail stores about the growing need for ethical items.

4) Party, Party, Party: Since it is October and Halloween ends the month, why not party, Fair Trade style. Plan out a Fair Trade themed costume, hand out Fair Trade chocolate, and serve Fair Trade treats and alcohol. Luckily, there is wonderful Fair Trade vodka and wine these days! Send out Fair Trade Month with a bang and truly celebrate all that is Fair Trade. Your guests will be impressed with an educational and ethical Halloween!

For more great ideas on how to celebrate Fair Trade Month, check out Fair Trade USA’s Top Ten! Happy Fair Trade Month!

Possibly the best part of a summer camping trip, is the ooey gooey deliciousness best known as s’mores. It is unclear where the origin of the tasty treat came from, but it first appeared in a Girl Scouts recipe book in the 1920’s under the guise of “Some Mores.”  At some point the name was shortened to save people one second by combining both words. But really, the s’more took America by storm over the last several decades and has become an essential part of any camping trip.

Even though the tasty treat is satisfying is there a way to get more from your s’more? Every summer, Global Exchange runs a fair trade s’more campaign to not only bring awareness to the chocolate industry but urge big players such as Hershy’s to change their ways. The “We Want More From Our S’mores” is trying to register fair trade s’more events over the summer. The whole event began with Memorial Day and will continue until the mark of the end of summer, Labor Day.

Good news for all you campers, there is still a month left to get your fair trade s’more on.  You can check the campaign site to find cookouts in your area, you can plan your own outing, or even host something over your backyard bbq or stove. After completing your project, be sure to document it and register through Global Exchange.  They also have some great resources such as a checklist and flyers.

It is easy enough to find fair trade chocolate. We recommend these companies: Equal Exchange, Alter Eco, and Divine just to name a few.  For an extra environmental impact, you could make your s’mores vegan with some delicious vegan marshmallows!  So enjoy your tasty fair trade summer treats and make a statement to Hershy’s and other conventional chocolate. Tell them: We Want More From Our S’Mores!!!!

 

There are only a few more days until Father’s Day, are you prepared?  If you haven’t locked down your Father’s Day gift yet, we have a few suggestions for you!  Whether you Dad is a Fair Trade Guru or weather he knows nothing about the movement, Sunday is a perfect way to support the workers of the world and give you Pops the gift and praise he deserves. If your Father is a newbie to fair trade, Father’s Day is a great opportunity to expose him to the world of fair trade.  So here are some helpful suggestions.

Wine & Chocolate: If your Pops is the kind to want to wind down on his special day, treat him to some fair trade wine and chocolate, I mean really, who is going to refuse that? Check out Etica wines for some terrific fair trade wine with many choices. Pair your Dad’s favorite type of wine with some delicious fair trade chocolate. Alter Eco has some fantastic fair trade chocolates with unique flavors such as dark chocolate and quinoa.

Bloody Marys: Many of the Dad’s we know, love a good cocktail, especially a Bloody Mary. You can make your Dad the perfect Bloody Mary using the fair trade vodka: FAIR. This is a great way for your Father to start the day. But in case Bloody Marys aren’t his thing: check out these Fair Trade cocktail recipes.

Sweet Tooth: Let’s face it, a lot of Men, especially Fathers love their sweets. Try something a little different and bake your Dad some sweets. Make his favorite cookie, cake, or brownie recipe using all fair trade ingredients. You can find fair trade sugar, baking powder, bananas, chocolate, and vanilla!  Make sure you tell him your goodies are fair trade certified as well as baked with love.

Breakfast Coffee: Wake up your Dad with a fair trade cup of coffee to go along with your treats. Or bake him an entire breakfast using as many fair trade ingredients as you can find.  As mentioned above you can find many cooking and baking ingredients fair trade. Finding fair trade coffee is pretty easy and you have a number of different options including Grounds for Change, Peace Coffee, and Equal Exchange.

Fair Trade Gift: If you want to buy him something he can use all year, check out Global Exchange or Global Good Partners. There are plenty of great gifts for any Father out there including cell phone cases and laptop bags to picture frames and ties. Find the perfect gift for your Dad on either of these sites.

This weekend is Mother’s Day and what a perfect time to show your love and admiration for the lady who gave birth to you.  There are many ways to give thanks to your Mother, but we at AP put together a great list of ways to show your love for your Mom and the world. You can support fair trade, thus supporting the worker’s of the word and their communities and celebrate your Mom. In honor of upcoming World Fair Trade Day we have put together a little Fair Trade Mother’s Day Guide. Needless to say, Mom would be proud!

Fair Trade Mother’s Day Gifts

1) Flowers:  I know my Mom absolutely loves receiving flowers on any day, but especially if they come with high standards. You can purchase fair trade flowers at a number of retailers including Whole Foods, 1-800 Flowers, FTD Flowers, and One World Flowers.  All these websites and retailers carry beautiful fair trade certified roses. Also, Organic Style offers organic, eco friendly, locally grown, and Fair Labor Practices & Community Benefits™ Certified flowers.

2) Chocolates: Who doesn’t love a sweet treat? Luckily there are wonderful fair trade goodies out there to praise your lovely Mother. Sweet Earth Chocolates has an adorable heart shaped gift box of fair trade chocolates.  Sjaak‘s also makes great gift packs of fair trade truffles and chocolates, plus they have vegan varieties as well.

3)  Gifts: There are terrific fair trade gifts out there ranging from jewelry to dishware to even art. You can find adorable gifts at great fair trade retailers such as Ten Thousand VillagesGlobal Exchange, and World of Good.  We especially love Global Exchange’ssuggestions for Mother’s Day which include gift baskets, hand bags, and yummy soaps!

4) Coffee & Tea: Most Mom’s love coffee or tea or both! A perfect gift for a Mom who loves either is a basket full of fair trade coffees and teas. Look to several companies such as Equal ExchangeNumi, and Grounds for Change for some ideas.  If you’d rather spend some quality time with her, why not take her to one of your favorite fair trade coffee or tea shops for an afternoon time out.

5) The New Mom: If you have a sister, friend, or cousin who is a brand new Mom, think about getting her some fair trade spa items to relax. Global Exchange has some terrific baskets filled with fair trade soaps and lotions to soothe anyone’s soul. You can also get her some fair trade goodies for her newborn, which could include fair trade baby clothes or toys.

6) Gifts That Keep Giving: Instead of spending money on a specific gift, you may want to make a donation in your Mother’s name. There are a number of fair trade organizations you can donate to such as the Fair Trade USA, Fair Trade Resource Network, or World Fair Trade Organization.  Give your Mother the gift that keeps on giving across the world.

If this is a question you are trying to answer yes to, then we have some great ideas and tips for you! Let’s start off with the basics, chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate! I don’t know about you guys, but this is certainly the part of Easter that I look forward to most, of course that could be my sweet tooth talking.

Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates has some delicious fair trade and organic treats out for the holiday. Whether you’re looking for an assortment of chocolate eggs, a large chocolate bunny, or some nutty chocolaty chews, Sjaak’s has got it all! Although I haven’t tried these myself, some of my favorite sounding are the Easter Peanut Butter (or Caramel) Bite ToteOrganic Fair Trade Assorted Chocolate Filled Egg Box, and the Organic Fair Trade Vegan Dark Chocolate Basket With Bunny You can snack on some cocoa wonders while supporting sustainable cocoa farmers across the world!

Sweet Earth Easter Basket

Sweet Earth Chocolates also has some great Easter combinations you should check out! This Fair Trade company offers Bunny & Egg CombinationsDecorated Chocolate Easter Eggs, a Custom Easter Basket, an Adorable Easter Egg Gift Box and much more. Not only will you be receiving yummy treats from an Organic and Fair Trade company, but $2.00 of your proceeds will be donated to Project Hope and Fairness to support African cocoa farmers. Sweet Earth also offers Easter Basket Buddies for the kids, and a Wine & Chocolate Gift Basket for the adults.

If you need a fair trade basket to hold all your goodies in, look no further than great fair trade marketplaces such as Global Exchange and Ten Thousand Villages.  Both marketplaces have a wonderful assortment of fair trade baskets for all your Easter needs.  You can purchase fair trade baskets empty or already filled with fair trade chocolates and gifts.

Global Exchange Puppets

Now that you have your basket and chocolate covered don’t forget the cute gift items. Global Exchange has some really cute fair trade toys for the younsters in your family including these adorable fair trade puppets and stuffed animals. Down to Earth Toys also has a whole assortment of wonderful Easter toys including musical instruments and building blocks. If you are looking to fill an Easter basket meant for someone slightly older, check out World of Good‘s choices in fair trade glass Easter eggs and jewelry.

Last but not least, make sure to stock your kitchen with fair trade necessities such as sugar, rice, spices, coffee, and tea before you set to all your Easter cooking and baking. Your conscious will be at ease while you are cooking away for that special dinner.

Enjoy your Easter holiday and remember to make a Fair Trade day!

-Lauren Bowler

As the end of summer fast approaches, everyone is out enjoying the last few weeks. The month of August is filled with vacations, trips to the beach, and camping. We all start to feel the weight of the summer winding down and try to fit every last-minute of outdoor activity into August.  Although summer doesn’t officially end until mid-September, Labor Day marks the end of the summer relaxation period. This year, Labor Day, which is September 6th, marks another end date. It is the end to Global Exchange’s “We Want More from Our S’mores” campaign.

Global Exchange is using S’mores to draw attention to the child labor and slave labor issues surrounding the chocolate industry. I mean, who doesn’t like to indulge the chochlately goodness of a s’mores and why not do it while making a statement? In fact, we can’t think of a better way to shed light on the situation. The campaign encourages all to make Fair Trade s’mores throughout the summer and keep track of how many are devoured. Once you have created your Fair Trade treats, you will want to enjoy their deliciousness, register your s’mores online, sign the petition and submit them to Global Exchange! Global Exchange will then send the entire petition to Hershey’s Chocolate, in an effort to convince them to become Fair Trade.

The 3rd Annual campaign is trying their hardest to gain 1500 or more Fair Trade summer snacks. They are encouraging those to create them at home, summer cookouts, and of course while camping out. We think a Fair Trade S’more party would be a blast! To find Fair Trade chocolate look no further than great companies such as Equal Exchange, Sweet Earth Chocolate, and Divine, just to name a few. For more ideas of how to throw a Fair Trade s’more party or bbq, check out Global Exchange’s step by step guide.

Global Exchange is hoping for a bigger turn out in 2010 than previous years, so let’s make it happen!  Make your Fair Trade statement today, while satisfying your sweet tooth. And act fast, as the deadline for submissions is September 6th–only about a month away! Enjoy your last days of summer and join the Fair Trade movement today!

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