Sustaining My Fair Green Mind During a Cyberblack Season

My sustainability and social enterprise circles know my habits and peeves all too well, particularly during this time of year, as sincere holiday celebrations of gratitude give way to mindless consumption for the sake of consuming.

Everywhere I turn (my inbox, my social media feeds, etc.) I seem to encounter buzz about buying social, choosing fair trade, or better yet not buying at all.

Yes, at this time of year, my real-world loved ones and online friends  alike are all probably annoyed, as I stand by my principles, articulate my values, and attempt to celebrate green, fair trade, small business in practice wherever and as often as possible.

Koko for the BlogEven my 13-year-old nephew is having a blast, as he asks me (with just a hint of sarcasm every time he gets a chance) – “Is *that* ‘organic’? Is *that* ‘recyclable’? Is *that* ‘plastic’?”

It’s true that I’m not a silent advocate or an armchair activist. My work with Ten Thousand Villages, Social Impact App, Hoja Verde Gourmet, and most recently our ChangeMatters client  Crossroads Farmers Market  reinforces the importance of using our money and voice to empower social good through smart, sustainable, small businesses that meet community needs, nurture a healthy planet, and educate consumers while delivering high quality and affordable goods and services.

In order to save my voice for genuine holiday cheer and playful banter with family and friends, I’ll refrain from my standard issue holiday “Yes, No, But really” responses, and simply let the power of video do the talking for me.

 

JOIN THE BUY SOCIAL REVOLUTION …

Social Enterprise UK released this short video just last week. It calls on people to ‘unleash their spending power’ and buy from social enterprises.

In their own words “there are more than 70,000 social enterprises in the UK that sell products and services including clothing, chocolate, water, coffee, energy, childcare, printing and design. They are driven by a legally-binding social mission and use profits to tackle problems like homelessness, unemployment, carbon emissions and food waste.” And I believe it; saw it with my own eyes while visiting my little sister, a Londoner, last spring and wrote about it here.

ZRÓB DOBRY BIZNES …

The UK and Western Europe more broadly may be known as leaders in all things social enterprise and sustainability. But how about my own backyard? The other day I came across this video from EkonomiaSpołeczna.pl – Poland’s most comprehensive resource for all things social enterprise.

http://youtu.be/YDb5x1FXLiU

Short, snazzy videos like this one come especially handy when I try to explain what it is exactly that I do to my parents as well as family and friends in Poland. It’s meant to introduce a new initiative calling on people to choose social enterprises when making their purchasing choices – www.wybieram.es (eng. I choose SocEnt).

The video’s title is quite interesting too. In direct translation to English, it makes little sense but what its authors seem to be hinting at is the old adage of “Doing Well By Doing Good”. Asking any Polish person what “Zrób Dobry Biznes” means to them will not, yet (at least!), invoke thoughts other than succeeding by doing well (minus the good) but I’m convinced it will change. And soon!

#FairTuesday: 1 PURCHASE = 1 LIFE …

Last but not least, something closer to home – Fair Tuesday! Did you know it’s today? Launched by Global Goods Partners, a New York-based nonprofit, fair trade organization that supports over 40 women-led artisan groups in Asia, Africa and the Americas, Fair Tuesday is an ethical shopping initiative created in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The goal of #FairTuesday is to inspire conscious consumerism and show how an everyday purchase can change lives in a whole community. They feature fair trade, ethical, and eco-friendly brands and inviting other businesses to take a step towards sustainability.

Happy Tuesday! Happy Fair Tuesday! Or better yet …. miłego wtorku, miłego dziś ‘zrobię dobry biznes’  wtorku, a co!?!

 

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