The harmful effects of modern day consumerism is not a secret, we see and feel the negative effects in communities around the world. At the Global Exchange Fair Trade Stores our commitment to environmental standards that protect our local habitats and those of our artisan partners from India to Guatemala are central to our work everyday.
So we are proud to announce that the Global Exchange Fair Trade store in San Francisco has met the highest standards of the San Francisco Green Business Program, and we are now an officially Certified San Francisco Green Business!
We are a Green place to shop, and our Berkeley store is next!
What Makes Us a Certified San Francisco Green Business:
- We use all LED light bulbs
- We use NO chemical cleaning agents: To clean we mix ¼ white vinegar with water
- We recycle and compost everything we can
- We re-use supplies: rubber bands, envelopes, paper etc.. (and so do a majority of our vendors)
- We buy 100% recycled paper, from printer to toilet paper
- We are a host site for 3 organic Community Supported Agriculture farms
- We are a non-profit, Human Rights Organization that fights for ecological justice
- We sell recycled, up-cycled, re-purposed, handmade, and Fair Trade products
Our precious planet can only take so much abuse. So I’m happy to see consumers paying attention to the ecological impact of corporate industry and caring about the effect their purchasing decisions have on the world.
At Global Exchange we take environmental concerns seriously because we share them. We are here to promote ecological awareness, provide a positive consumer alternative and participate in building a healthy and clean future. The Global Exchange Fair Trade Stores are part of a growing number of retailers providing products that are both good for us and good for the environment. This is a good thing!
- Messenger bags handmade from tire inner-tubes upcycled from illegal dump sites in Santa Ana, El Salvador
- Housewares handmade from wastepaper in Ho chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Jewelry hand carved from the renewable Tagua seed in Bogota, Colombia
- Eco-Shopping totes that help save 5 million liters of water per year in Barmer, India
- 100% cotton scarves woven on a foot loom in the highlands of Guatemala
Looking to become a greener shopper? Here some some keys to green buying:
- Research where products come from and what they are made of
- Know who your money is supporting
- Support the use of recycled or renewable raw materials
- Buy clothing and products that are free of harmful chemicals and dyes
- Buy quality products with lasting power
- Use your purchase power to positively affect the system
- Buy local and Fair Trade
- and of course, Shop at the Global Exchange Fair Trade Stores:)
The process to certify our store was straight forward, free and educational. I worked with a supportive Green Business Specialist from the SF Dept. of the Environment. I even applied what I learned from greening my work to greening my home.
If you want to know more about how this process unfolded, come visit me at the San Francisco Global Exchange Store. (And while you’re there, enjoy a free piece of delicious Fair Trade chocolate!)
I wish you health, happiness and prosperity.
P.S Pick up a copy and check us out in the Nov. issue of SF magazine (there’s a great shot of the recycled sari throws we carry!)