Tag: <span>Fair Trade</span>

This post was brought to you by a highly caffeinated beverage.

I stand there, iPod headphones sprouting from my ears, waiting patiently in line. I ponder my role in society, and whether or not what I do, and what I buy, really could have an effect.

I’m in Starbucks, you see, that oft-maligned company (I was going to say ‘institution’ – damn them and their clever marketing) slowly spreading, virus like, across the globe (although I’ve yet to have a bad coffee from there). I know all about their business practises, and always feel that pang of guilt when I wander in. I am a hypocrite, but does that matter? I’m a sellout, but does it make a difference? And on what scale is that difference.

It seems it’s no longer OK these days to do anything without global considerations. I can’t buy Nike because they use sweatshops. I shouldn’t buy from Starbucks as they are putting local coffee shops out of business. I should look harder for that Fair Trade logo.

Honestly, it’s a wonder that I manage to go shopping at all. It’s almost enough to send me to McDonalds for breakfast.

Now I know that it is possible to completely avoid branded products, not buy from anyone or anything affiliated in anyway with a global corporation, but what I don’t get is how much impact I/we can have. What kind of groundswell would it take to reverse some of these trends of globalization? Half the country? It’s that old futile feeling, akin to the “cancer? it won’t happen to me” feeling that pervades society. I’m pretty sure that a lot (most?) people think or feel the same way, so why don’t we DO something? Pah. Apathy sucks.

Do you make a conscious decision to avoid brands, global corporations? Should I re-read No Logo (I can’t recall if it answered this question or not)? Why do I have these kind of thoughts whilst standing in line in Starbucks of all places? And does that say more about me than I care to admit?

On the other hand, it’s Friday. Where are the cakes?

Addendum: The previous sentence says it all I think. I ponder the issue for a while but I’m easily distracted, and LET myself become easily distracted by anything trivial. I don’t really want to answer those questions, to face the reality of the world we live it. It’s just too hard. Especially for a Friday morning.

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1. Just finished reading Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It’s smart, funny and reminds me that I really should pay more attention to my grammar on this ‘ere site.

2. I have received an email from Ron. He left some comments on yesterday’s post (Ikeaphobia) and has clarified a few things. Thanks for that Ron, I will respond to your email later today.

3. To the BBC; I know I should care about the resignations and worry about who will be appointed next but, frankly, I don’t (did you see that semicolon there, I’m a changed man I tell ya).

4. When trying to login to a well known online book store, check you are logging in to the UK site NOT the US site; Preferably before accusing the aforementioned online book store of being the “son of the whore of satan”.

5. All this punctuation is hard work. Remember you voted that grammar, spelling and punctuation were “Somewhat important. I do notice these things, and prefer them correct.”

6. When posting late at night re-read carefully before you post. Do not fall into the “I’ll just post this quickly” trap. I mean look at that top entry in the miniblog. Appalling. Clarification: This site will not be expanding into the US market, I’ll leave that to 1&1.

7. Write to Lynne Truss concerning the dot dot dot (ellipsis). I think it has a new, and very valid usage. Namely as a draw into a linked article, offering that the description of the linked article isn’t giving the full story – which obviously it isn’t – and adding some intrigue to the reader’s experience.

8. Find out if her novels share the same kind of wit and humour.

9. Fair Trade: I’m all for it, I look for it when I buy goods (and to be fair to Starbucks they are continually expanding their use of Fair Trade beans). Ultimately the reason I don’t drink at Costa is because I enjoy coffee. I do not enjoy Costa coffee. This makes me guilty of pandering to the highest dominator with concern only for myself and my likes. I give no or little thought to the purchases I make. I am one of billions. I’m not defending myself or my position, just stating a fact. I live in a comfortable ‘middle-class’ country with a typical attitude, I recycle a little (could do more), I conserve energy when I can (could try harder), and I am aware of my purchases (but will defer to my desires over the “right thing to do”). I could go on, and I will another time.

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