Organic Serenity Tea – Fair Trade Herbal Tea

We often think of coffee as a typical fair trade item – but for some reason we don’t tend to think of tea as fair trade. That’s a shame, because harvesting tea is just as farmer-intensive as harvesting coffee is. There is the same reason to support the workers who invest their lives into bringing us the very best tea we can drink.

I had to swear off of coffee a long time ago because of the caffeine. My hands are naturally shaky and even decaffeinated coffee’s mild amounts of caffeine can cause me issues. For those same reasons, I can’t drink caffeinated tea. But I do adore herbal teas.

Serenity is a style of herbal tea from Friendship Organics. It includes in its ingredients:

peppermint
fennel
ginger
passion flower

These are flavors I absolutely adore. Interestingly, I wouldn’t normally think of these as “serene” types of aromas – there are many other items which would more readily come to mind. However, I do find this quite serene and relaxing when I’m sipping it. It’s a nice alternative to the other kinds of relaxing teas that I have and enjoy.

This one container shown has two inner containers, each with 20 bags of tea. So the overall package provides 40 bags of tea. Each bag is tagless. I prefer the tagless types of tea. I tend to somehow drag the tags of bags into the teacup and then have to fish them out again, so it’s just as well for me that there isn’t a tag to cause trouble in the first place.

I like that the tea is organic, without pesticides or hormones used on it. I also of course really like that it is fair trade. It makes me happy to know that the workers who invested their time on this tea will be paid fairly for that time.

And the tea is tasty :).

Well recommended for tea drinkers.

Buy Serenity Herbal Tea from Amazon.com

Hand-Carved Gourd Bird Feeder – Fair Trade from Peru

There is so much joy and delight drawn from watching our feathered friends. We know how critical our birds are to our ecosystems. Their beautiful song and vibrant feathers bring joy to each moment. By supporting our birds, we support all that is wonderful about this world in which we live.

Talented fair-trade artists in Peru hand craft these gourds into bird feeders. There are no power tools. No fancy equipment. Just the imagination of the artist and the natural gourd. Every gourd is different. Every work of art is different. And by supporting these artists with a living wage, we ensure this style of art will continue.

The gourd will be about 8″ wide by 10″ tall, but gourds of course vary. They could be a bit taller or shorter. A bit wider or rounder. They come with a hanging strap and a place for the seed. And they’re decorated with love.

I’m so happy with the style of artwork on these. The contented birds. The lush greenery. It creates a bird paradise.

Highly recommended, either to hold birdseed, or to simply hang in your home and add a beautiful bit of artistic decor.

Buy Gourd Bird Feeders on Amazon

Penguin Wool Dryer Balls – Organic Fair Trade from Nepal

Aren’t these adorable! They’re dryer balls. Did you know that adding dryer balls to your dryer cycle can reduce your drying time up to 40%? What they do is help separate out and fluff out clothing so it has a better chance of drying. Some dryer balls are made of hard plastic which make noise throughout the dryer cycle and thunk against the walls of your unit. These are soft, fluffy, and do the same job without the noise or damage.

Some people use dryer sheets to reduce static cling, but those add harsh chemicals to the clothing which isn’t good for the clothing or for you. Avoid all those chemicals. If you use a wool dryer ball, you get the same benefits in a far skin-friendlier way.

These dryer balls are organic and eco-friendly. They’re made from New Zealand wool and are chemical free. Fragrance free. Hypoallergenic. And oh so cute :).

These are fair trade items. They are hand made in Nepal. The workers are paid fair living wages for their efforts, so they can feed and shelter themselves and family members. I’m a strong proponent of fair trade, as you might guess.

Well recommended! Give these a try!

Penguin Wool Dryer Balls – Organic Fair Trade from Nepal on Amazon

Cutie the Lamb – Fair Trade Organic Stuffed Animal from Peru

When I was young, my favorite stuffed animal was “Lambie”. My Lambie was white with natural cotton fur and a little bow around its neck. I adored Lambie. I carried it around everywhere I went. I am sad to report that I loved it so much that eventually its little head separated from its body. But, of course, my mom repaired it. That is what love is about.

The connection a child makes with a stuffed animal is a daily practice in compassion. In empathy. In caring for something outside of oneself.

This Cutie the Lamb reminds me of my own Lambie. It’s made by hand with love. In this case, the creators are a fair trade organization based in Peru. The workers are paid living wages so they can afford to feed their families. Does this mean that Cutie costs a little more than sweat shop creations? Absolutely, and that’s the point! This is a model that we should ALL be following. Treat craftspeople with respect. Honor their efforts. Adore the things they make for us.

Cutie the Lamb has a pink body and rose-colored arms and legs. Cutie has a sewn-on neck ribbon and yellow ears. It’s a delightful companion for any child.

And I would go further than that. I think adults could use to have some cuteness and joy in their own lives. Is there something about being an adult that says we can no longer feel joy at seeing something cute? Maybe sit it on a shelf or in with plants or books? We all need something to remind us every once in a while that life is to be enjoyed. To be cherished.

Cutie the Lamb on Amazon.com

Blue Green Glass Bead Necklace – Fair Trade from Ghana

What you wear is a visible portrayal of the things you believe in. People see and think about those things even before they know your name or what your interests are. These blue green glass beads present a lovely first impression – and they also help women rise above their environment to make a better life for themselves.

The necklace is made from recycled glass beads which are about 10-12mm in diameter each. The hole within is about 2mm. They actually make these beads from recycled bottles! Think of it. Glass bottles which would normally be thrown into the dump, and fill our Earth with needless waste, are now becoming items of beauty. Not only that, but the process helps families.

You can leave the beads on the supplied string or you can restring them onto whatever chain or rope you would like to use. Heck, you could make a pair of bracelets out of this if you wished. Give one to a friend and keep one for yourself.

The swirling color is just lovely and soothing. Serene. Peaceful. Symbolizing growth and restoration.

The project is coordinated by members of the Krobo tribe in Ghana.

Blue Green Glass Bead Necklace on Amazon

Purple Bracelet Trio – Fair Trade

Fair Trade is such an incredibly important concept. It means the artists are paid a fair wage for the work they do. Fair trade can help lift people out of poverty based on their efforts and creativity.

These beautiful lavender and violet bracelets are made by artisans in Uganda, Africa. They are stylish and soothing. Purple represents spirituality and compassion. Every time you wear them, you’re reminded of how we must care for one another. How we are all in this world together.

Seek to buy fair trade whenever you can. It’s our way of helping each other succeed in this world.

Purple Bracelet Trio on Amazon.com

Lungta Recycled Jute Rice Bag Backpack – Hand Made in Nepal

It’s critically important that we as a society reuse and recycle fabrics. The amount of fabric material going into landfills every year is staggering. These rice bag backpacks are a step in the right direction.

These backpacks are made from recycled jute rice bags. They’re made in Nepal. It’s a way to help people create a sustainable lifestyle and also provides a lovely, functional part of your own wardrobe.

Note that the backpack is made from a recycled rice bag – I wouldn’t put heavy textbooks into this. It’s more for light items.

Buy the Lungta Recycled Jute Rice Bag Backpack from Amazon.com

Large Fair Trade Tree Of Life Design Leather Journal

Journaling is an incredibly powerful way to explore your thoughts and feelings. It can reduce stress and build focus. This large buffalo-leather journal has a “tree of life” classic design on it – and it’s fair trade. It’s the best of all worlds.

The hand-made journal is 240 pages long – plenty of space for your thoughts, poetry, drawings, and more. It’s 10″ by 7″ in size.

It’s wonderful when you use it, and even better when you go back to refer to it year after year.

Buy the Large Fair Trade Tree Of Life Design Leather Journal from Amazon.com

What is a Fair Trade Product

There’s a lot of talk about fair trade products and why they are so important. Just what is fair trade, and what does fair trade mean?

The definition can be seen in the two words Fair and Trade.

Fair means that it is right for both parts of the transaction. The buyer gets a solid quality product that is worth their money. The seller gets a decent wage for the work they have done. It is in contrast to the many, many workers around the world who toil day and night for mere pennies. With fair trade, the worker is able to feed themselves and their family with what they earn.

Trade emphasizes that this is not a charity product. It is not that the buyer is giving the artist money for nothing. The artist creates something of value. The buyer receives that item and pays them a reasonable amount for what they get.

Fair trade absolutely should be a win-win. The buyer is happy with what they purchase. The seller can afford to buy clothing, shelter, and food for themselves and their family.

Our world used to be all about fair trade. It was the foundation for our society. Things got twisted along the way, so that corporations would make millions while the workers got pennies. Fair Trade is a way back to our roots, to where every person’s efforts matter.

I strongly support Fair Trade. It’s well worth thinking about the things we buy and to consider the people who made those things.

Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Flags from Nepal Fair Trade

I own multiple sets of Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags. They are all fair trade. One hangs above my desk where I can see it when I work. It reminds me of all I have to be grateful for. Every day is precious.

These Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags come in a rainbow of colors. The full string is 80 inches long. Each flag is 9.5″ by 8″. They are created by a fair-trade organization – the Ganesh Himal Trading Company. They are made in Nepal.

We could all use more compassion in our lives. Consider bringing some prayer flags into your world. They could be an inspiration not only to you but to everyone else who comes into your space.

View the Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Flags from Nepal Fair Trade on Amazon