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Archives for May 2011

World Fair Trade Day

Today is World Fair Trade Day. So what is fair trade anyway? Here is what TransFair USA says are the principles of fair trade.

  • Fair price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
  • Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
  • Direct trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Democratic and transparent organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
  • Community development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification.
  • Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.

Since we have become distanced from the growing of our food and the making of our products, we often how no idea what goes on in these processes.  Sadly the way many of the things we buy are made, hurt people. Working conditions for many of the workers making our products are dangerous, pay is terrible and sometimes even slave and child labor is used.

Thankfully there is an option to help stop unfair labor, buying Fair Trade products helps show companies that we want fair trade. While coffee, tea and chocolate are some of the more common fair trade items, you can find dozens of products made with fair trade. Everything from fruits to flowers and even sports balls come Fair Trade Certified.

How do you know if an item was made using fair trade? Look for this label-


Fair trade is becoming more popular in Oklahoma with stores, like Native Roots Market in Norman, that cater to fair trade products. Norman Oklahoma has even become a Fair Trade City. It’s only the 17th city in the US to become a Fair Trade City and the first in Oklahoma. Even major chain stores are starting to carry more fair trade products. So consider starting to switch some of the products you use to fair trade products. It will help make a difference in people’s lives.

Also be sure to sign the World Fair Trade Day 2011 declaration and so we can help show the world we want fair trade.
For more information visit-
TransFair USA
Global Exchange
Make Trade Fair
Norman Fair Trade

 


About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 

CenterPoint Energy Offers Rebates for Energy Efficient Products

CenterPoint Energy (CPE) is now offering rebates to encourage customers, both residential and commercial, to conserve energy. The rebates will include rebates on water heaters, space heaters, efficient boilers, boiler components and food service equipment. Rebates range from $50-$450 for residential customers and up to $1,000 for commercial customers.

Richard Leger, Conservation Improvement Program Manger for CenterPoint Energy says “By offering these considerable rebates in Oklahoma, we hope to encourage customers to install high-efficiency natural gas equipment in their homes and businesses,”

CPE also offers many energy saving tips on their website. Richard Leger also gives a tip for customers, “A customer who installs a high-efficiency heating system, a high-efficiency water heater and low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators could reduce their natural gas bill by up to 20 percent–which benefits the consumer and the environment.”


You can find more information about the rebates and find more energy saving tips on CenterPoint Energy’s website.

 


About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.

 

NRDC Reports Possible Illness Due to Natural Gas Drilling

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) just posted on their blog about a family in Oklahoma that has been experiencing health problems ever since natural gas drilling started near their home.

“Thomas House is a disabled veteran who lives in the rural countryside outside of Oklahoma City. He moved there in 1995 after he was disabled in the first Gulf War and retired from the Air Force. He loved the peace, quiet and clean air around his home. He tells me, however, that all that ended in late 2010, when a company began drilling for natural gas on nearby property. According to Mr. House, since the natural gas operations began, both he and his wife have experienced serious health symptoms, including headaches, rashes, nausea and vomiting, and burning eyes and throats. They sometimes have to wear face masks just to sit inside their home comfortably to watch TV. He reports that his neighbors have some health symptoms, and so do his dog and several other local dogs.”- read more