I have realized a few things in the past few weeks not the least of which is that I am committed to discovering how I can be more conscientious about the way I spend my money. Just a few days ago, while I was in a Big Box store, I found myself thinking about “something that I needed”. It was really just something that I wanted and I found myself heading down the isle where this thing lived. As I made the turn a thought came to mind. I think it is a quote but I’m not sure who said it and I know it didn’t come from my own head. The realization was, “The more stuff we have the more clubs we need to defend it”. I didn’t need the thing anymore. For one, I didn’t have any room in my cart for clubs and for another, I have enough already. I turned my cart around and went in search of the necessities.
I have not posted anything in a while but I’ve been active in a process of discovery; mainly discovering just what Fair Trade goods are available in my area. It’s been fun to drop into a store that I’ve never been to and traverse the isles in search of “the labels”. Which, by the way, I realize that I need to post a list and description of these labels so others know that to look for.
I’ve discovered new stores carrying a wide range of Fair Trade products and I’ve met some great people curious about what I am doing and committed to Fair Trade as well. I tell them that I blog about Fair Trade and that I am trying to find what products are available in my area so I can let others know. This is leading me to another post about what specifically is available in the Sonoma County area – coming soon. Through this process I’ve photographed all the Fair Trade items in stores such as Surf Supermarket, Gualala Supermarket, Safeway, Shelton’s Market, Oliver’s Market, Harvest Market and Big John’s Market. I’m heading to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods next. I’ve also been into a toy store, a few cafe’s and some stores that sell mostly Fair Trade goods. When you know what you are looking for, it’s pretty easy to spot.
My family recently spent some time on the Mendocino Coast in Northern Ca. While I was there I took the time document what the area had to offer in the way of Fair Trade. It was a wonderful time of discovery and meeting new people. I visited the markets in the towns of Point Arena, Gualala, Mendocino and Fort Bragg. I visited the coffee shop in Mendocino owned by Thanksgiving Coffee and spoke to the Co-Founder and former president of Thanksgiving Coffee. She made me a mocha, by the way, that was simply amazing. I’ve put all the places on my map for you to find if you happen to be traveling in this area and want to know where to find Fair Trade products.
I’ve also been looking for other ways to be a more responsible shopper. I currently use the Free2Work app on my phone (which I’ll provide some more info on later) and I recently purchased “The Better World Shopping Guide” by Ellis Jones. I know that much of what I own is not Fair Trade Certified and I am discovering that much of it is not even ethically sourced. I’m not going to throw it all away and be wasteful but I am going to make sure that I replace it with goods made by companies whose business practices are ethical.
I’ve also discovered in the past few weeks how life can just get away from you. Getting back to work after the holidays takes a period of transition for some of us. There is so much going on and it’s easy to slip into routine and doing what is easiest. And as such, it’s been a few weeks since I have posted anything. But for me, the idea of Fair Trade is more than just a blog or feeling good about the chocolate that I am eating. It’s about living my life “Fairly”. And I want that way of living to permeate every aspect of my life. It’s a learning process and I have lots of room for growth but I’m moving in that direction.
It feels good to get these thoughts “down on paper” and to get the information about what I’ve found out to others. Mentioning that I’m going to post something soon helps keep me accountable to this process that I’ve said I’m committed to (I’m easily distracted). So until next time, Grace and Peace to you, let’s be fair.