Fair Trade is a term thrown around a lot in marketing and on labels on everything from chocolate and coffee to jewelry, but what does it mean?
Fair Trade can be defined as:
An organized, market-based social movement which strives to help developing country producers promote sustainability and improve trading conditions.
The movement focuses on reducing egregious middleman importer profits and provide a fair price to producers and exporters, primarily from developing countries, while improving social and environmental standards. Fairtrade goods are most commonly coffee, sugar, cocoa and chocolate, handicrafts and jewelry, bananas, flowers, fruit, honey and gold.
Unfortunately it is not a standardized term or regulated certification like Organic, so it carries no real weight and can easily be abused or Greenwashed. The only way to really verify it’s authenticity is to look for independent certification marks like Fair Trade USA. › Continue reading
A perfect example of green re-purposing- turning an aging and abandoned elevated railway into a public greenspace. The High Line Park in New York city is probably my favorite urban walkway (with Seattle’s SAM Sculpture Park not far behind) with it’s architectural elements, art displays, and multi-use abilities.
Originally opened in 1934 to reduce the on-street crossing accidents and deaths, this 1.45 mile stretch of railway runs along the lower west side of Manhattan. The increasing use of trailer trucks to deliver goods eventually shut the tracks down in 1980 and was slated for demolition. It sat unused until re-development began in 2006 and the first section opened in 2009 to the public as a walkable greenspace.
Currently it spans a little more than a mile with another half mile slated for re-development and features all sorts of plants and trees paying homage to the hearty and resilient sproutings of neglect before it was redeveloped. › Continue reading
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