Our mantra here at The Social Eater is “do what you can with what you have.” You might have seen it here before, and you will almost certainly see it again.
It’s a necessary repetition.
In order to intentionally change things for the better, we first have to be impacted with the need for that change. We dig for information, stories, and how-to’s. When we look for it, we find it. It comes in streams and avalanches. The information seems never-ending and we can find ourselves bogged down by just how much needs to change.
So repeat after me: ”Do what you can with what you have.”
It’s the only way to ever really change anything.
Will you hang on to our mantra while I go back to the part about being impacted with the need for change?
I mean it.Please hang tight (or skip over this next part if you’re not yet ready for more information. There’s no judgment here. This is not easy stuff.)
The likelihood that you and I support slavery to get the things we regularly buy is rather high. (Check out Slavery Footprint if you’re interested in a personalized take on this idea.) We “eradicated” slavery in the US over a hundred years ago, but it is still here. It’s woven into our clothes, our food, our drinks, our electronics and every day household items, but we are not powerless.
We vote with our dollars every time we spend them.
I’ve seen a lot of petitions asking (sometimes “demanding”) big businesses to convert their practices entirely to fair trade. I’ve signed them and sometimes passed them along. Signing a petition is not a bad thing; it is an avenue to make voices heard.
There is a better avenue, though.
Money talks, people.
Did you know that Cadbury offers fair trade options in the UK, Ireland, Japan, Australia, and South Africa, but not in the US? It’s true.
We can say whatever we want, but companies are not going to make a big change, even if it is an ethical one, if they don’t think they will be backed by consumers. I’m not saying it’s right, but I’m not saying it’s completely wrong, either.
What if those companies do make a switch that consumers don’t want? Hundreds or thousands of people, many of whom have families to support, could lose their jobs. Charities and other worthwhile projects could lose funding.
That’s where you and I come in.
We vote. With our dollars.
We make the changes that manufacturers aren’t yet willing to make.
A little at a time, by swapping one food or product we use on a regular basis for a fair trade one.
I’m proposing something to you that is little and at the same time very big: vote. Switch one thing you use that isn’t already to the fair trade version.
There is no need to throw away something you have in order to make the switch. When you run out, or when you find yourself wanting or needing more of the product you have in mind, buy a fair trade version.
Do it this week, if you can.
Then come back here and leave a comment about the switch you made. Your comment is your entry win this week’s giveaway: a bag of 50 fair trade, organic, 55% cacao chocolates.
If you’re looking for ideas on where or what to switch, I have some suggestions.
Clothes: check out Maggie’s Organics.
Body products: Dr. Bronner’s
Sugar: Wholesome Sweeteners
Tea: Equal Exchange
AND if you want one more chance to win, link to this giveaway on Facebook, then leave a separate comment telling me you did.
The giveaway will end on Friday, May 4 at 11:59 p.m.EST . Each commenter will have a total of 2 chances to win a total of one set of 50 chocolates. One winner will be chosen via random.org.