Friday, April 20, 2007

With God, and Anyone Reading This, as My Witness...

I was thinking about Earth Day coming up this weekend. It's such a good focal time to reflect on what we all can do to live more sustainable, lighter-impact lives. And I realized it's time. I've been toying with the idea for a while, but couldn't quite bring myself to fully commit. But now I am. I gave up Fat-Free Pringles by posting my desire to do so, the thought of public humiliation outweighing my need to crunch.
So from here on out, I'm no longer buying coffee or chocolate that isn't fair trade. Period. If I'm at a restaurant with you, I promise not to embarrass you by harassing the waitstaff about the origins of the coffee. But as far as products I bring into my home -- or mindlessly purchase from the vending machine at work when I'm restless around 3:00 -- I'm no longer buying products that were produced by hurting the land or the producers. Even if Costco-brand coffee tastes pretty good and is only $3.50 a pound.
Wish me luck.
I'm fortunate in that Indianapolis is the home of Endangered Species chocolate, which not only provides fair wages and conditions for its producers, but donates a portion of its profits to protecting endangered species. My sister-in-law told me about the company, and I've consumed numerous chocolate bars in the name of research. In fact, over the course of the last couple months I was forced to consume about six espresso bean bars just to be *sure* I could taste the fair-trade goodness. Which I could. So at least I can get the good stuff close to home.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

endangered species just laid off their director of sales, their director of marketing, their HR Manager and a part time marketing you wanna talk about ethical and fair?

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Laura Kitchel said...

Ouch. I'm the one who put Cindy wise to Endangered Species. I've been a victim of a corporate layoff before and there's nothing to recommend it. I'm sorry to hear ES is in the throes of it.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Cindy K said...

Wow. Thanks so much, anonymous for this information. I hadn't heard this. I don't know the story behind this, so can't comment on whether the company shake-up was ethical or fair, but I have been at companies with huge corporate layoffs (fortunately not as the victim), and it's awful for everyone involved. If you can point me to any information about this, I'd love to have it. Best, Cindy

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Renee said...

Cindy, I started reading your blog entry and was excited to hear about your commitment to fairly traded products. I too have recently challenged myself to vote with my dollars spent on food and other products. I am “that girl” who asks at a restaurant if their fish is from Canada (my most recent ban due to baby seal clubbing) and will choose something else if it is.

As I read on I was sad to see that someone feels such negativity toward ESC. I am an employee and would love to shed a little light on the situation. At ESC, our first commitment is to our mission – to give back to organizations that help support species, habitat and humanity. Sometimes this involves making tough decisions in order to become more profitable and in turn better support our partners. Corporate layoffs are never fun, but are occasionally necessary for the bottom line. Since our lay-offs, several tasks have been spread around to other ESC employees who are working hard to fulfill our mission of supporting ethical trade and conservation efforts. Not to mention making delicious chocolate. Thanks for your [unofficial] research involving the tiger bar – we’re glad you could taste good intention mixed in with good chocolate.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Cindy K said...

Thanks so much for the comments and viewpoint, Renee. I appreciate the honesty... layoffs generally do happen to preserve the bottom line, or, in the case of one or two I went through, to keep a company from folding. The chocolate is fabulous, by the way! Best, Cindy

7:43 PM  

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