How to Have a Fair Trade Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the most celebrated and time-consuming holidays of the year. We spend hours looking up recipes and shopping for the right foods, and then almost triple those hours preparing the house and meals! In addition to all of the time you have personally invested, have you even thought about all the work that was put into getting that food to your local grocery store by others? Probably not. There is one easy way to make this year’s Thanksgiving a little bit more worthwhile and worth the extra effort put in by all of those “behind-the-scenes” workers, make it a Fair Trade Thanksgiving! There’s so many simple ways to achieve the perfect fair trade holiday doing the things you already do each year- eat, clean, and shop. Just follow these few easy steps to make it the most valuable Thanksgiving you’ve had yet.

 1.     Decorate- Thanksgiving is, of course, a holiday, and what do holidays mean? Decorations! And Thanksgiving is one of the more “fair trade friendly” holidays with a festive fall theme and simpler decorations. With simple decorations like gourds, pumpkins, and leaves as table centerpieces, to the placemats used for table settings, you can find all of these at fair trade stores either locally (Saturday farmer’s market visit, anyone?) or the more well known nation wide stores like Ten Thousand Villages.

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2.     Eat- Now, this is the most fun part about Thanksgiving; it’s the one time out of the year you can eat as much as you want and have a legitimate excuse! Our Founding Fathers would be disappointed if we didn’t indulge, right? It is so easy to eat fair trade today more than ever. The easiest and most major edible things to find fair trade are chocolate, sugar, coffee, and tea, so there should be no excuse to not have a fair trade dessert. Fresh fruits and vegetables are easier to find nowadays grown locally, and are being carried more and more by local supermarkets. You can always hit up the local farmers market in your area for guaranteed freshness. Another big thing this year is the spice options available! Frontier National Products Co Op has TONS of spices to choose from that are fair trade, and we all know Thanksgiving is about the right spice. Don’t forget to also stop by your local Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or other local natural food stores for more fair trade options. I’m pretty sure there are some delicious fair trade wines out there too…

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3.     Clean- The one downside to all of that food is the mountain of dishes that comes with it… But don’t fret, cleaning can be fair trade too! In a recent article in our “Good News” feature, we shared the good affects of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. Dr. Bronner’s soap can be used for many uses besides just your regular old hand soap, and washing dishes is one of them! Looking to clean those fresh fruits and veggies you just bought from the farmers market? Put a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s in a large bowl of water. It comes in all sorts of delicious scents too, like almond (which I hear is fantastic for dishes), lavender, rose, and peppermint, just to name a few.

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 4.     Shop- Ahhh now this is one of our favorite pastimes, shopping. Everyone in their right mind has heard of Black Friday, one of the most celebrated (and dreaded by many) shopping days, as well as the more convenient and newer Cyber Monday. Most recently, Fair Tuesday has hit the social media world by storm. More and more people are hopping on the #FairTuesday train, and we’re happy to say we’re one of them. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, take the time to check out a few of your favorite fair trade stores or websites (like us!) and purchase your gifts for the upcoming holidays from these places, and show the world your conscious consumerism (and don't forget to Tweet about #FairTuesday)! 

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