It’s been a year since we sent out our Five Way (you haven’t thought of) to Fair Trade your Holiday and what a year it is has been!

This year Global Exchange Fair Trade purchases helped install a water treatment plant in India to filter 2,000 liters of water each hour. We created a new month of activities for Halloween and Fair Trade month, delivered kid’s Valentines to the Board of the Hershey’s company, made delicious Fair Trade S’mores in the summer and had a significant victory when Hershey’s agreed to go 100% certified by 2020.

The end of the year is always a good time to take stock, express our gratitude and prepare to meet the new year with renewed energy to make Trade Fair! Here are a few of our suggestions for this year.

  1. Buy less stuff: Our good friends over at The Story of Stuff (and winner of the Global Exchange 2012 Human Rights Award) encourage us to choose family over frenzy this holiday season and to think carefully about the full life span of the products we consume. Where does your gift come from? Who made it and where will it go when we don’t want it any more? A gift of time and love doesn’t have to clog our landfills and exploit labor to be meaningful.
  2. Shop Fair Trade: When you shop Fair Trade you set an example of responsible consumption rooted in the celebration of craftsmanship; the enforcement of workers rights; and the empowerment of artisans and their communities around the world. You get quality, beauty and tradition in one-of- a -kind, hand-made products. From gemstone earrings set in hand-etched sterling silver in Bali, to messenger bags hand-cut from the inter tube of big rig truck tires in El Salvador, and 100% cotton table linens block-printed in India, there are many beautiful and functional gifts. At the origin of each piece, is a story of preserving culture, supporting community and sustaining the planet.
  3. Don’t buy SodaStream: One of the most popular gifts this season is the do-it-yourself soda machine made by SodaStream which carbonates water at home. But don’t do it! People who care about human rights should know that the product is made in an illegal Israeli settlement on stolen Palestinian land in violation of international law!
  4. Give the Gift of Membership: A great way to give a gift that doesn’t take up space but keeps on growing is to give a Global Exchange membership. When you do that you’re connecting someone you care about with an international movement to build a better world.
  5. Be Generous: Times are still hard for many people who are struggling to recover from storms, from the economic downturn and from personal trials. If you can afford it, give as much as you can to those who are making things better and if you don’t have a lot of money, share your smiles, time, songs and encouraging words.

What are your Fair Trade Holiday ideas? Tell us in the comments.

Have a Happy and Fair Trade Holidays!