Let ethical retail therapy work its magic..

What am I?

What am I?

The Spring People Tree catalogue has just plopped onto my door mat and my Fairtrade Fortnight pledge has come up trumps – what better way to stick to buying only organic and fair trade products than to revamp my wardrobe? The sun is shining, spring is in the air and ethical retail therapy is about to work its magic!

Living off organic and fair trade produce for the past week has proved surprisingly easy. Homemade lemon drizzle cake and banana bread have lifted spirits and won over some hearts. Trips to Asda, Sainsburys and Marks and Spencers have kept hunger from the door. Looking forward to rich pickings in the Co-op tomorrow – apparently the price of all fair trade products is currently reduced by 20%. Of course, my husband’s Lenten pledge puts mine in the shade (not that there’s any sense of competitiveness there, of course!), and all of this is certainly raising awareness in our household and provoking much discussion.

Example of discussion:
Young daughter: That’s garbage, that is.(pointing to organic fruit and veg box)
Ethical Mum: Don’t be silly, sweetie. (secretly sympathising with this view when observing the amount of mud present)
Young daughter: It is. I’m sure that’s what it’s called.
Ethical Mum: But look, there are lovely potatoes and fresh fruit and they’re all organic.
Young daughter: I know that. But this (pointing to a specific item) is garbage.
Ethical Mum: Oh (realisation dawning), you mean cabbage.
Young daughter: Cabbage. Garbage. Close enough for me…

My thirteen year old is now firmly convinced I am a ‘proper freak’. Others keep checking that this regime is indeed only going to last a fortnight. My youngest son has met a cocoa producer from Ghana and has learnt that “these big round things grow and grow and chocolate hatches out of them”! And we have established with the younger ones that vegetables grow in the ground and fruit grows on trees (forgive me my over-simplification); growers have to work hard to help these things grow; they get paid for their work, just like Daddy; produce is grown all over the world and growers work all over the world (our fair trade lemons for Pancake Day held a whole new excitement when we found out they were from Egypt, the land of the mummies).

So Stage One is complete. Now planning to tape a bar of chocolate under one chair at tea-time and introduce the idea of fairness….that’s so not fair! Imagine the scene! By the end of this week, my kids will definitely understand more about fair trade (and one may have sustained injuries having been mugged for their chocolate!).

cabbage image via Flickr

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