September 28, 2007

A First Hand Report from Burma

Today's reports of violence, during which 100 monks and laymen were arrested after a brutal military clash in Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma), remind us that a lot of good needs to happen in our world. You can help the Burmese artisans who have been forced to flee their country's brutal dictatorship for crowded refugee camps in Thailand by shopping for Burmese scarves, ornaments, cards and dolls online at One World Projects.

Speaking of good, we'll be attending GOOD magazine's one year anniversary party this Saturday at the Smithsonian's
Museum of the American Indian. For those of you who aren't familiar, GOOD is "media for people who give a damn" and according the magazine's founder Ben Goldhirsh, "GOOD exists to add value... [and] provide[s] a platform for the ideas, people, and businesses that are driving change in the world." Check out the magazine’s blog for a behind-the-scenes scoop of this week’s violence from a Burmese staff member.

Thai policy discourages income generation by refugees within the camps, and forbids people to work outside the camp. So One World Projects has partnered with WEAVE (Womens' Education for Advancement and Empowerment), a non-profit organization working within Thailand, to assist refugees in providing for their families by expanding the market for their crafts into other parts of the world. Shopping for finely woven Burmese items gives back to the artisan and her family by paying a living wage for her work, enabling her to feed her family and educate her kids, and makes an excellent holiday gift. Now that’s GOOD.

The Anniversary event is open to any subscriber who RSVPs before 4:00 pm on Sat 29, 2007. For more information about the party, click here. If you're not a subscriber, consider choosing GOOD in order to attend — 100% of your subscription fee (just $20!) goes to support one of twelve charities, including UNICEF, Teach for America, and the World Wildlife Fund USA

September 25, 2007

The Future of Fair Trade

As Fair Trade Month approaches, we'd like to share a podcast from one of our favorite media outlets: UTNE magazine. In this episode, host Leif Utne discusses the future of the Fair Trade movement with a representative from TransfairUSA and two fair trade companies that are pushing the movement in new directions — Ok√© USA, which imports Fair Trade fruit, and Fair Trade Sports, which imports soccer, volleyball, rugby and other sports balls.

Better World Cup

Plus, how green is your city? Leif interviews Warren Karlenzig, chief strategy officer at SustainLane and lead author of the recent book How Green Is Your City? for his list of the top 10 greenest cities in The United States. The answers may surprise you.

Download UtneCast 28: The Future of Fair Trade / How Green is Your City? / Cuban Funk

As always, you can help promote fair trade by supporting the artisans at
One World Projects and ED Imports.


Happy Fair Trade Month!



September 24, 2007

Living Green with SustainLane.com

Socially-consious shopper? We'd like you to meet SustainLane, the Amazon.com for the environmentally-minded.

Sustain Lane is a community powered directory of green products, businesses and reviews. That means you can read reviews of "tried-and-true" green products, find green businesses online, connect with other environmentally-aware shoppers, or write your own review of your favorite eco-friendly and fair trade items. (hint, hint)

Check out this video of SustainLane's booth at last year's Green Festival event in San Francisco for a quick run-down on the company and its mission. Don't forget, One World Projects will be at The Green Festival at the Washington D.C. Convention Center this October 6-7. We would love to see you there!

Sincerely,

The Team at One World Projects

September 21, 2007

One World Projects is Going to Peru

This October, One World Project's CEO Phil Smith will be traveling to Peru to assess the damage done by the August 15 quake that killed at least 437 people and injured 1,350 more, according to Peru's Health Industry and The New York Times.

An earthquake of this magnitude, measuring between 7.7 and 7.9 on the Richter scale, has not been seen for 35 years in Peru. The coastal communities of Chincha, Pisco, Ica, and Canete were hit the hardest, leaving thousands of people homeless; like Leonidas Orellana, shown above in her destroyed pottery workshop, many have lost everything.

One World Projects and The Nantucket Tennis & Swim Club are donating more than $2,000 to artisans to help rebuild their workshops and lives. We will post our travel entries and photos here and keep you informed on what you can do to help earthquake survivors.

September 20, 2007

12 Ways You Can Support Fair Trade

Fair Trade is now on Google Earth! Now you navigate the globe to discover Fair Trade Certified farms in Latin America, Africa, and Asia! Once you have registered, you'll be eligible to accompany Phil in cyberspace (via Google Earth's "fly to" tool) on his upcoming trip to Peru.

Plus, read on for 12 tips to promote Fair Trade in your community, courtesy of our friends at TransFair USA.

Don't forget, Fair Trade month is just over a week away!

September 17, 2007

Severe Rains Continue To Flood Africa

Flash floods have led the UN to issue a warning over the weekend as the heaviest rains in recent history affect over 1 million people in Sub-Sahara Africa, and counting.

By submerging the region's most productive farmland under water, the recent flooding provides no relief for what is already one of the world's poorest regions. According to Saturday's BBC News, the United Nations reports an urgent need for food, shelter and medicine, and warns of outbreaks of water-born diseases, such as of cholera and dysentery, as well as locust infestations that could affect the residents of 12 countries if flooding continues.

Uganda has been hit the hardest, with up to 400,000 people affected in the country's heaviest rains in 35 years. Nine people are reported to have died and food security if one of the countries biggest concerns. Deaths have also been reported in Ethiopia , Rwanda, Ghana and Sudan, and have led to a barrage of emergency disaster relief programs aimed at providing shelter and food to those displaced by this crisis.

Please do what you can to help by donating to your favorite charity or disaster relief program, or support artisans in the affected regions by shopping at Economic Development Imports, our partner company and a fair trade distributor of East and West African products.

Map courtesy of BBC News.

September 13, 2007

Thinking Green for Fair Trade Month

Just a quick note to all of our Earth-concerned customers:

One World Projects is participating in the Green Festival in Washington D.C. this October 6-7. It's perfect timing, actually, as October is also National Fair Trade Month, and all of our products are fair trade, and green... (you get the point)

If you're in DC that weekend, make sure to stop by the Washington D.C. Convention Center and say hello!

Also, how is summer over already? At this rate, the holidays will be here next week. Don't forget to check out One World Projects for fair trade and earth-friendly holiday decorations, such as our popular tin angels made from recycled pesticide cans in Mali. Besides rescuing tin cans from the trash, they increase malaria-prevention awareness in Mali, where thousands of children die daily from this preventable disease.

September 10, 2007

What exactly does Fair Trade mean?

"Fair Trade" practices have become increasingly popular in recent years. But what exactly does that mean?

According to Wikipedia, Fair Trade is "an organized social movement which promotes standards for international labor, environmentalism, and social policy in areas related to production of Fair trade labeled and unlabeled goods. The movement focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries." In short, Fair Trade is the practice of actually paying artisans or producers a living wage for their work, one that will allow them to fulfill basic needs for their family and invest in their future.

Increasingly, western companies are participating in fair trade, which is great for everyone involved, especially the artisans who struggle just to bring food to their tables or send their children to school. While the days of exploiting overseas workers with unfair wages for their labor are not gone completely, such practices have become less acceptable as awareness grows.

Please join One World Projects, a member of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), in promoting Fair Trade Practices.

Don't forget, October is Fair Trade Month - tell your friends!