Since Whole Foods opened about a year ago right around the corner from my house, my family has been there at least 2 times a week. Its our staple food store, besides Trader Joe's. The first time I walked in there, it was like walking into an amusement park tailored to the environmentalist.. which in actuality it is.
The most brilliant part is that Whole Foods has allowed me to interact with another world; the organic pinto bean, chocolate almond milk, fair trade world.
Buying fair trade is like communicating care and love to people who could be across the world, another setting, another life. Fair trade is sustainability, livelihood, and the embodiment of a goal within so many who care, the goal being human equality.
I was surprised to notice that many of my friends and a lot of adults I have spoken to this year did not know the essence, importance or even the gist of what Fair Trade is. It was my pleasure to explain it to them! I basically said that Fair Trade includes trading practices in which all human rights are valued and respected, in which workers are payed fair wages and are given working rights suitable to a healthy life.
As I prophesied in February when I turned 17, this year has been the biggest source of energy and learning in my life. (I want to share an experience that is feeding my love for fair trade)
I went to the Milford Farmer's Market over the weekend, knowing that it may be a bust but still being irrevocably drawn to the feel of a local market setting.
I was glad I went, I found a tent that sold hand made goods made out of Alpaca wool (cruelty free). And thats the connection between human and animal, animal and land, ecosystem and human, and the passing of time and human that I love. Even in Milford, CT, home to no indigenous cultures, humans can still care and profit from animals. This type of farm and relationship is what will keep this loving system going in the future.
I really want to share that I found fair trade ear buds...! I search practically every brand I purchase to see if it is sweatshop free, normally before I check if it uses environmentally sound manufacturing practices. Here is the link:
Most would be surprised at how many brands are suspected and brought into the spotlight for using sweatshop standards to make their products!
Our involvement with fair trade promotes indigenous cultures and peace around the world, and unfortunately that fact is not glued to american media. I can say with assurance that Indigenous cultures are essential to life on a grand scale (and of course so is Peace!)
Some other websites to get fantastic fair trade items:
www.ayindisa.com (store local to CT)
www.novica.org (I have ordered many things from here, awesome shipping, beautiful packaging and stories of artisans)
www.shopdava.com (store right in Hamden, CT. the owner, Coleen, is very nice and insightful!)
Monday, July 11, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
So this year, me and my friends participated in One Day Without Shoes (created and sponsored by TOMS shoes). I wasn't sure how this was going to go as we were headed into a semi-strict public high school (for.. school). I created a facebook page for this--> it was a page where I told my fellow students to donate shoes to Soles4Souls, which is a non-profit charity organization, and also to join along on OD w/o shoes if they so pleased. 30 people said they would go barefoot! I was thrilled. I guess I never blogged about this.. but I wrote something that night, both to remember that day and also as a possible article in the school newspaper.
"I found solidarity in my math class. I found solidarity in my french class. I didn't feel ashamed in my science class (spirit was boosted).
By around 10 oclock I found that some teachers aren't humans...
Case 1: I can recall one lumbering towards my friends and I, hood up, skinny body with clunking feet. His little round face complete with glasses looked at us; I had shoved my feet into my shoes out of sheer terror at the sight of him. And then he said that thing that makes him that thing.
He said "You need to put your shoes on" with a long, cool voice, then he completed his monologue with "thats just plain ignorant of you". Me and my friend were audibly choking- didn't know what to say first or how to say "haha" "what you just said was so ignorant" and "are you kidding" all at the same time. My friend said "well I don't think its ignorant... its for a good cause" something along those lines. I followed with "its about raising awareness. We want people to think. Its a conversation starter- we want people to learn what they wouldnt otherwise know"
I don't know what he looked like when he said this, I just think of a bird. He said "Thats great. Put your shoes on" and walked away. Later I spoke with a girl who had had the joy of meeting this pleasant teacher; she said he said the same thing. He said what we were doing was ignorant, twice. It wasn't a word slip- hes an english teacher. My Mac says "ignorant- adjective- lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated" then it gave me a sample sentence in which the word ignorant was next to the word stupid.
case 2: A teacher was traffic directing the crowd while telling us to stop our little "protest"
case 3: One joined in with us, then yelled at us
case 4: one joked around, pretending to step on my friends bare feet
case 5: one nodded his head, and smiled and said "cool"
case 6: one said that is was fine to be barefoot in his/her class, but to put on shoes when leaving
case 7: one said, okay, lets just not talk about it
case 8: many saw and didnt say anything"
I mean all in all, it was semi-successful. Me and my friend even walked around during a fire drill when it was pouring rain barefoot, thats something to spice up a day in school. It was great. I do appreciate my things a lot, especially my shoes. It was just nice to relay information concerning the global need for shoes to people who didn't already know.
I was amazed to hear stories of people going barefoot in cities like London...!
*photo from brittney t.'s photostream on Flickr
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Thought it'd be fun to share something I wrote in my journal after I saw the Silk Road Ensemble perform...!
" Silk Road Ensemble? Indescribable... Best experience of my life to date... it EXPLORED the essense of Yoga (Anusara)! The Anusara themes of love, opening your heart!
I came up with so many amazing things while watching it. I actually teared up at one point... I realized that what I had been trying to put into words for so long- that emotion I feel when listening to soundtracks... I SAW it. It was literally like seeing LOVE, CURIOSITY, LANDSCAPES in the AIR!
Its like I felt my HEART! Seeing those people just pouring out love and smiles and respect for eachother and for the heart of the music... I mean it took me back thousands of years. It took me to the english moors at certain violin solos... it made me stare at Yo Yo Ma's smile and listen to the Spanish bagpiper's (Cristina Pato) yells and just connected me!
At one point the bagpiper came on and started playing a loud, feisty solo and the wind started to BLOW! I mean really blow... and it was a warm breeze, too- the violinist's music sheets flew away, the blue tent on stage almost took off. And I thought, "Music and the world..." - "literally!" Can these emotions and electric displays of love alter our atmosphere?
What did they connect too?! When, at the beginning, they started to play, and the rain actually stopped."
*these photos are not mine
Monday, July 4, 2011
I just read my first non-friend (not that I don't appreciate your'e guys' comments : ) ) comment on one of my posts... literally had to squeel into a pillow! This is so exciting... I finally feel welcomed into the world of blogging! Thank you commenter!
I have been learning and experiencing so much lately its like where do I start?!
I am currently immersing myself in the path of grace and revelation... the universal world of divine strength and shivva-shakti! My sister's spiritual journey in the yoga world inspired me to try Anusara-Yoga... then to try again, and again. Its the most intense and uplifting experience to be apart of a kula (community of the heart). The people I meet are all-loving and have the most open hearts and minds. They practice something that allows them to break away from the ego and embrace the self--> to be Anusara, which is in the flow of grace.
Grace and faith never truly clicked in my head growing up... I think my sister's journey has inspired so much change in my mother's and my life that I can take these words which I used to associate with religion and re apply them to something that I love, which is the yogic world. Faith that our universe supports us, so grace is opening to our universe.
I mean, Mumford and Sons, the most inspiring and truest band I have ever listened to... I feel like its because of how authentically they live their lives, but they sing of this universal power of love and whats in our hearts makes us be.