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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Fair Trade Christmas

Do you ever feel like every time you turn around, you are seeing the same thing.  Something you may have given little thought to before is suddenly there everytime you turn around.  For me, that is fair trade.  In case you are not familiar with the term, fair trade means that the people who made and produced the item were properly compensated for their work.  I see at Forest Park Nature Center that October was Fair Trade month and they are featuring some really neat fair trade products at their trail store (chocolate, jewelry, gifts, coffee, etc).  Then I see an article in a magazine about child laborers worldwide and how many children worldwide work in sometimes dangerous occupations for little compensation.  Then I find out about a market in Peoria Heights that features fair trade products.  OK God--I get it.

I have always cared about the environment and try to make earth friendly choices in shopping and lifestyle.  I have not given fair trade as much thought until this.  I think God is challenging me to do so.  It makes total sense to me-- I should buy products where those who produce them are fairly paid for their work.  I don't feel it's ethical for me to get something for cheap because someone worked for wages that don't even provide them enough food to eat, much less to live on.  However, our consumer driven society has created a global system which often does just that.  It takes some searching to shop fair trade.

Thus, I have issued a challenge to myself.  I am going to do my best to make it a fair trade Christmas.  I am going to try to find environmentally friendly, fair trade gifts to give this Christmas.  I will keep you posted on how it goes!

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