Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Buying Fair and Organic

What a week! Jane and I bought a house! For my inquiring friends, the house is located in Toronto’s East End off of Main Street and in walking distance to the Danforth and subway. The house is a detached cute little place with upstairs bedrooms, a main level and unfinished basement. It also has a very large backyard to plant a vegetable and flower garden. The house even has a white picket fence!

In the whirlwind of getting our buying-a-house-ducks in a row and Christmas shopping I have had little time to pull together this week’s installment. Two things however came up.

Ten Thousand Villages
Our friend Kirk introduced Jane and me to Ten Thousand Villages which has been around since 1946 with hundreds of stores throughout North America. Run by the Mennonites, Ten Thousand Villages is one of the oldest and largest fair trade organizations operating in the west. The stores sell furniture, accessories, chocolate, soaps and the like, products made from artisans in the so-called Third World. When you buy these goods, you buy with the knowledge that the artisans were paid a fair price that they themselves determined. Eat your heart out Walmart!

Canadian Stores

US Stores

Jane and I are in the market for couches, tables, a wardrobe unit… The list goes on. We have a rule. The furniture we buy must be recycled or made from wood not taken from clear cut forests. We also want to avoid furniture doused in fire retardant. We are thinking IKEA because of their environmental protection policy. Now we have Ten Thousand Villages to consider too.

Cotton Ginny
Another bit of news is that Canadian clothing company, Cotton Ginny plans to increase its organic line to 30 percent of what it sells within the next six months. Pesticide use in the cotton industry is staggering, representing more than 20 percent of world-wide pesticide use. The pesticides harm the health of farmers who also become dependent on these poisons to the detriment of their soil and crops. Whenever you can, please chose organic.

Happy Holidays to you all! I will report back in a few weeks. Think green thoughts until then!

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