All posts tagged: fair trade

10 steps to a sustainable life: Step 3 (Origins of Stuff and modern day slavery)

Did you know an estimate 20 million people are living in slavery today? Step 3 is educate yourself about where the things you buy come from. This becomes more and more important because the global economy is also an invisible one. When you pick up an item in a brightly lit store with familiar tunes playing in the background there is absolutely no way of knowing how many hands had part in bring that particular item to you. You don’t know how much they were paid, but judging by our insatiable thirst for bargains, the answer is most likely ‘not enough’. I grew up in Norway, that frozen little country in Northern Europe, and I spent the first 25 years of my life in blissful ignorance about how it is that we can buy 2 pounds of oranges in December for about 2 dollars. I guess it has something to do with volume – when buying tons and tons of oranges the stores are able to get them for cheap – or any other excuse …

Beyond shopping

Vote with your money! The first, and easiest, step toward sustainability is to become conscious of where our money go and what our money buy. Shopping for useful and not-so-useful items is the cornerstone of our consumer-based economy and while it’s near impossible to reject this comfortable and ingrained behavior, it is possible to shop almost anything and support socially responsible businesses and small, independent entrepreneurs at the same time! Things I like to consider before purchase: If the company is independent or part of a larger corporation. This one is tricky because companies rarely advertise this. The only way to find out is through your trusty best friend; Google. My rule of thumb is that most household brands that you find in your local grocery store now belong to the powerhouses, so avoid them. The global giants of commerce don’t need any more of your money because they now use it to plunder, pollute and enslave the planet while buying all the political power they can get to ensure their stronghold monopoly. That’s why …

10 steps to a sustainable life: Step 1 (Limit consumption and stop polluting your mind)

Don’t let advertising win. Make a rule to never impulse buy – if you remember it five days later, you can buy it. This rule alone should cut your consumer spending by 60% or more. When I go window shopping, in person or on the internet, and “pass up” cute things, I find myself barely remembering what it was by the time I leave the store, never mind three days later. It also gives you time to reflect how this new item would fit into your life – whether it is clothes or a new gadget. Do you really need it? I’m a girl and I like clothes (fashion is like wearable art to me) but I’ve realized I tend to buy the same things over and over, because that is what I like. How many navy blue, off-the-shoulder knitted sweaters do I really need? Recognize that the advertising industry is an industry designed to make you feel inferior and bad about yourself. It’s a billion dollar industry and they are very, very good at …