Tag Archives: fair-trade

Symbols of Love that Show True Love

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It’s all well and good to talk about peace and love.

I’m as happy to use my peace-sign notebook made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper as the next hippie.

But is it possible that one popular symbol of lasting love is used to fund war and destroy the environment?

Not long ago I was contacted by Brilliant Earth and asked to help raise awareness about “conflict free” diamonds.

It’s not a subject that I have been well-informed about.  I started reading and was startled to learn that diamonds – the traditional symbol of lasting love – are often mined by children as young as 7 years old and adults who earn less in a year than my family earns in few days (and we are considered right at poverty level by US government standards!).  There are people in the world forced to mine at gunpoint. Mining companies wreak havoc on the land, leveling forests and destroying fertile farm land.  Profits from the diamond trade often go to fund horrible, bloody conflict and the miners (again, many of them children) become victims of horrific violence.

Miners may toil for unbelievably long hours in an attempt to earn a wage high enough to lift themselves out of poverty but the reality is they are destroying their bodies and their land. Children as young as American first-graders are sent to work, which takes away any chance they may have at a life-improving education.

Image: Souce

Image: Souce

An international diamond certification process, known as the Kimberly Process, was put into place in response to these issues. This process is an attempt to limit the trading, between nations, of diamonds being mined specifically for the purpose of funding military rebellion against standing governments.  However it has proven to be fairly limited, if not entirely ineffectual in helping the issue of diamond conflict and it does not address the human rights or environmental issues in any real way what-so-ever.

Brilliant Earth is a company that is striving to create a system in which diamonds are mined by well-paid workers, in safe conditions, with minimal effect on the surrounding eco-systems. The stones are then cut and polished by skilled tradesmen who are treated well and paid fairly. Revenues are being used to educate the children of the communities where the mines exist, provide medical care and generally create an improved quality of life.

If you are in the market for jewelry, I urge you to consider this: As in all things in this modern world, your money speaks volumes!

With your purchase you can support an environmentally sustainable system that promotes human welfare and a peaceful lifestyle, or you can support the continued bloodshed and destruction that has surrounded this industry for far too long.  With your purchase you can show true love, not only toward the recipient of the diamond, but toward your fellow-man.

If you would like to know more, Brilliant Earth has published this eye-opening infographic sharing the motivating reasons behind their business:
Blood Diamond Infographic

Reasons to Care Where Your Diamond Comes From provided by Brilliant Earth.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?

Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.

If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!  

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Good News For Sleepy People

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A happy hippie coffee mug if ever there was one!  I think I must find this and buy it!

So… it’s like this.

I’ve been tired.

I’m not talking about a 2pm slump.

I’m talking about the kind of tired where I’ve dozed off doing my business in the bathroom.  At least I haven’t done my business while dozing off elsewhere!  There is always a silver lining.

I started to explain exactly WHY I’m so tired (it’s not health-related, I promise), but then realized that you probably have better things to do with your day than read 1,000 words about how busy my summers are.

I’ll sum up:

Summers are lots of fun.  We get to have a lot of great family time.  I have the privilege to serve my community in wonderful, enjoyable ways.

Add all that fun and community to a 14-month-old who refuses to sleep and you are left with one Sleepy Hippie Mama.

The only reason I haven’t collapsed in a gooey heap of Hippie?

Coffee.

Lots and lots of coffee.

Pot after pot of the good stuff.

Oh, my dear friend, coffee.  You are truly one of the top 20 best things on Earth.  When God invented you, He was having an especially wonderful day.  You are fragrant and tasty and hot…. but sometimes cold and frothy.  Oh, how versatile you are!

But is coffee good or bad for a Hippie looking to be healthful and mindful of the Earth?

Well…  I have heard some conflicting reports.

I’ve shared once before that, because of coffee, I may live forever.

I have also heard that it will give me high cholesterol and destroy the rainforest.

Being a coffee-guzzling Hippie, I thought I’d look into the facts and share them with you.

It turns out that coffee has a lot of health BENEFITS including lowering the chance of diabetes, kidney stones and gall bladder problems.  It’s also good for the prostate, though, being a woman and all,  I’ve never especially worried about my prostate.

Some research has shown that coffee can negatively affect the condition of the arteries and heart muscle but here’s the thing…

Coffee has something called diterpenes – cafestol and kahweol.  These are, apparently, bad.  BUT… they are very nearly completely filtered out if you use a good quality, unbleached,  paper filter.  Ever get a cup of coffee that looks greasy?  That greasy stuff is what’s bad for you.

Also, a light or medium roast is better, as dark-roasting kills all of the good antioxidants that coffee gives you.

I found a few great articles about the health pros and cons of coffee, here and here.

I also learned that coffee can be bad for the environment.

Traditionally, coffee was grown in small, shady patches.  It was then discovered that greater profit could be made by razing huge stretches of native vegetation, planting coffee in the sun, and then dousing it with huge amounts of chemicals.

That’s about as bad for the environment as you can get.

BUT…

Due to an increased public awareness of this practice, and a realization that the rain forest is our friend, many growers are returning to traditional practices.  If you read the label on your coffee and look for terms like, “Organic,” “Chemical-free,” “Fair-trade,” or “Local Co-Op,” you will find a product that is not only friendlier to the earth, but friendlier to the often-impoverished local economies where coffee is grown.  You can learn lots of details about coffee and its impact on the environment here.

All of that is interesting and good to know, right?

But here is the best thing!

It’s wonderful news!

It should be on every news report in the world!

There are studies that show that coffee reduces the risk of suicide!

I know exactly why that is.

It’s because when you’ve been up until midnight, after a 14 hour day on your feet,  making sure that an event goes off without a hitch, and your baby wanted to play from 3am-5am, and your alarm goes off at 6:30 so you can start all over again….

your good friend, coffee, is there for you…. clearing away the cobwebs and helping you lift yourself into an upright position.

(Coffee Powered Mom, I know you know what I’m talking about!)

I didn’t find any articles about coffee being linked to homicide prevention, but I bet if someone did the research the results would be very favorable.

So, drink that fabulous Dunkin’ Donuts Blend (my personal favorite and, also a Fair-Trade product!) and be healthy and guilt-free, dear readers.

Ahhh… coffee.  I think I’ll go refill my smiley Santa mug right now.

Get your hippie on, dear readers!  It’s gonna be a wonderful week, full of happy surprises in the midst of the busy-ness.  I’ll see you back here in a day or so.

***Coming someday in the future (maybe):  an article on addiction and the benefits of moderation.  But I’m not quite ready to let go of my cup and write that one yet.