Last night was Trick or Treat night in Norwalk- I know, Thursday and three days before Halloween is weird- and my boys came home without one piece of candy!
|Little Greek Heroes doing something Truely Heroic|
No, really. No candy because instead they went door to door *giving* teeny fair trade chocolate bars and an information leaflet explaining why they weren’t taking any candy. People were confused, “Where’s your bag?” and , “So you don’t want any candy? Really?” Really. You should have seen the pride and excitement on their little faces every time they shared their chocolate and fliers! I know some people think that I don’t let the boys have any sweets or “fun food” but on the contrary we have plenty of sweets and “fun food” only we try to keep our food fun for everyone, including people we have never even met. That’s where the fair trade part comes in:
You see, despite all of the documentation of children being used as slaves in cacao fields and the countless cacao farmers living in poverty unable to feed their families the major chocolate companies refuse to switch to fair practices in their supply chain! So the chocolate people give out for Halloween is financially inexpensive but has infinite human costs. No amount of letter writing or expose film making will have the impact that each of us can make by putting our money where our hearts are: BUY FAIR TRADE! An unfair bar may cost less than a dollar and a Fair Trade bar may cost more at up to $3.00 but how much chocolate do we need?
Now that you are thinking about Fair Trade you should know that these abuses go way beyond cacao. Atrocities against Humanity are committed in the supply chains for coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, nuts, cotton, and more! The injustice is staggering. Just this week the BBC reported that Romanian children were found working as slaves in fields in the UK picking onions with out any food or water all day and inadequately dressed for the weather-THE UK! not some third-world, war-torn, lawless land! It’s happening everywhere right under our noses. Slavery is not gone even from our country!
It is hard but there are groups out there who are trying to make the decisions easier for us Green America’s National Green Pages (formerly Co-Op America) links us to all kinds of fair shopping and they have a certification label. We can look for Trans Fair’s logo (they are a third party certifier) , and do your own research before you buy! Here’s a site with tons of information or just search the interwebs using the google!
We have the power to change this! WE CAN STOP THIS INJUSTICE! We must not be complacent, we must stand up for what is right. BUY FAIR!
It may seem daunting but have faith in yourself! It is more expensive but buy less, experience the joy in having something special the way people used to with these sorts of things- once you try some Fair Trade coffee or Chocolate Hershey’s and Foldger’s will not only seem unfair but also quite inadequate!
Currently I am working on our closets. As an item is worn out it will only be replaced with organic and/or fair items (or used if possible!). It is a slow process toward Fairness and quite possibly it is a never ending one but we can all start with simple steps toward the greater good. We are going to try this year to have a handmade gift giving season but anything we purchase will be Fair Trade. Like a new fair trade soccer ball for the boys or some funky jewlery or a chess set from Ten Thousand Villages. There are options out there and what better time of year to really start thinking about this stuff than at the start of the biggest shopping season of the year?
Peace and Love to you all!