Make the World a Better Place in 2016
With the New Year comes the opportunity reflect on our lives and make resolutions that bring about positive change through new habits and commitments. And while that resolution you made last year to eat less and exercise more was relatively effective (for the first 3 weeks at least…), why not take this opportunity to put a little Fair Trade spin on your resolutions and make an even bigger change? One that has a ripple effect that will reach all the way around the globe. Resolve to buy Fair Trade and join us in making 2016 the year of responsible consumption.
2016 is a big election year, so voting should definitely be part of your resolution. But we’re talking about more than just the ballot you’ll cast for President in November. Every purchase you make is a vote – a vote for local farmers, a vote for healthier food, a vote for companies that are doing business better. When you buy Fair Trade Certified products, you are voting for safe working conditions, environmental protection, equal rights for women, reduced pesticide use and no child labor. This resolution is a win for all – for farmers, for the planet, and for you.
The best part? When Fair Trade is part of your New Year’s Resolution, you can still eat chocolate. Lots of it!
The key to New Year’s resolution success is to thoughtfully choose one that realistically fits into your busy lifestyle. So whether you are new to Fair Trade or you are a long-time supporter, we’ve got you covered with these five New Year’s Resolutions that will change the world, starting with your shopping cart.
1. BUY AT LEAST ONE FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED PRODUCT EVERY TIME YOU SHOP
This resolution does two important things: it encourages you to discover the wide variety of delicious Fair Trade products while sending a big message to store managers that you appreciate the Fair Trade products they carry. In addition to finding Fair Trade in the coffee aisle, you’ll now find the label throughout the store, including in the produce section, on your favorite snack and desserts and even on clothing or Ahi Tuna (at select Safeway stores).
2. CHOOSE ONE FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED ITEM AND STICK WITH IT ALL YEAR
Take your support for Fair Trade to the next level by becoming an all-out champion for one product specifically. Choose a product that you love and buy regularly (like coffee, chocolate, tea or bananas) and commit to only buying the Fair Trade Certified version of that product – or go without. Take the time to learn all about that product and the big impact that Fair Trade makes on the lives of the farmers and workers who produced it. Share this knowledge with friends and family and explain why you’ve made this resolution. Maybe it’ll inspire them to change their buying habits as well! If you’re at a store or restaurant that doesn’t carry the Fair Trade variety of your chosen item, take the time to educate the manager about its importance. This brings us to #3…
3. ALWAYS REQUEST FAIR TRADE
When a store’s customers talk, the manager listens. This year, make sure you’re making the most of your incredible power as a consumer to make change! When you visit a store or restaurant that doesn’t carry Fair Trade, take the time to fill out a comment card or write a quick note to the manager about how happy it would make you to see Fair Trade on the menu or store shelves. When they do make a change, make sure to reward their efforts by writing a positive Yelp review and increasing your purchases at their establishment. You can even order free product request cards here. But wait, your power as a consumer doesn’t stop there! You can also request Fair Trade from the maker of your favorite food and clothing. You can do this by simply filling out a “contact us” form on their website or sending a letter in the mail.
4. MAXIMIZE YOUR IMPACT BY CREATING A GIVING CIRCLE
In addition to buying Fair Trade Certified products, you can ensure the continued growth and success of Fair Trade by making a small, monthly donation to Fair Trade USA. Your donation will support a variety of causes, including helping coffee farmers earn organic certification, empowering farm workers through leadership trainings or supporting the development of rural schools. This year, you can maximize your charitable contributions by creating a giving circle with friends, family or coworkers. Take the opportunity to educate them about Fair Trade and develop a joint resolution to support farmers around the world by buying and donating to Fair Trade.
5. ENCOURAGE YOUR SCHOOL, CONGREGATION OR WORKPLACE TO GO FAIR TRADE
So you’re already buying as many Fair Trade products as possible? And you request Fair Trade every time you shop? You’re an amazing Fair Trade supporter and the perfect candidate to join or start a Fair Trade campaign to Fair Trade your school, office or congregation. This is a fun and meaningful way to get involved in your community and create a big impact that will be felt all the way around the world.