But What Can I Do
Don’t you sometime think that life sucks. If you listen or watch the media it is just one doomed, damned thing after another. It can be quite disheartening. Or you can think, I am only one person, but I am a good one. A strong one, a positive one, one who can make a difference. After watching the movie Thrive I realized that it is all the individuals, who do something, that create the ripple effect into the big everything. It starts at grassroots – that is us. So here is my pebble in the pond. Here is list of links that can assist you in making choices that will go a long way to making a difference and changing the world. To have the change, we need to be it. Our biggest power is in our roles as consumers. What we choose to buy can have a big impact. With a little awareness and forward planning your consumer dollar can make a difference and a statement! Be a spirited woman torch bearer!
I have only added a selection of links and resources to each section. Best to research for your specific area and need. The information includes palm oil, clothes, the environment, animals (including companies that still test on animals), children and women.
Palm oil only grows in the tropics, where, if cultivated in an unsustainable way, it can have negative impacts on people and the environment. These include indiscriminate forest clearing, habitat loss for threatened and endangered species, poor air quality from burning forests and peatlands, and threats to the rights and interests of local communities. A report published in 2007 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)acknowledges that palm oil plantations are now the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia. Of even greater concern is the fact that demand for palm oil is predicted to increase, and forests constitute most of the remaining suitable areas for plantations. (From The World Wildlife Fund)
There is some debate whether boycotting sweatshops would actually make the situation (and chance of survival) worse for the labourers (including children) if the work was taken away. Would they then starve or turn to other work (such as prostitution) to survive. However as these people often work in deplorable conditions for incredibly long days for very little pay, it is hoped that by boycotting the company who uses sweat shops that they would have to improve conditions all round. If this is something that you feel strongly about then here are some links to help you make informed choices when buying clothes.
Fair Trade Clothing (and other things)
“Fair Trade is a designation developed to help consumers support products that come from farms that have been certified to provide fair wages and safe working conditions (forced child labor is prohibited). In addition, producers on certified farms are paid a premium to apply to projects such as healthcare, women’s leadership initiatives and micro-finance programs, as voted on by the farmers and workers themselves.”
Here is a list of some companies that make fair trade clothes but it would be wise to also google it in your country or area.
- Fair Wear Foundation
- Where Am I Wearing
- Style With Heart
- Fair Trade USA
- Ethical Fashion Blog
I Million Women – A fabulous Australian based organization that is educating women on the power of consumer choice and awareness.
Cleaning and household products
Using products in your home that do not harm the environment, helps your immediate environment including the airways and water airways, not to mention your health and home. There are a number of quality environmentally friendly cleaning products available now that work just as well as chemicals. Shop around, ask for trial packs, do some research. Here a few to get you started (I have chosen different ones from around the world).
- Econatural (AUS)
- Ecochick (AUS)
- Earth First (AUS)
- Good Housekeeping (US)
- Eco sites (US)
- Go Green (UK)
- Ethical Directory (UK)
Or make your own (plenty of recipes on google)!
If you type in Monsanto on Google you will find their website then underneath a whole list of articles, debates, pages against them. I have included them here because they are one of the most visible and virulent companies to the environment and the world’s people. Please take the time to read about them and make up your own mind.
Here are a list of companies and brands that use Monsanto products if you wish to choose not to buy them.
- An App for your phone – http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2013/05/14/new-app-lets-you-boycott-koch-brothers-monsanto-and-more-by-scanning-your-shopping-cart/
Permaculture / Sustainable Living
Permaculture is a practical concept applicable from the balcony to the farm, from the city to the wilderness. It enables people to establish productive environments providing for food, energy, shelter, material and non-material needs, as well as the social and economic infrastructures which support them. Permaculture means thinking carefully about our environment, our use of resources and how we supply our needs. It aims to create systems that will sustain not only for the present, but for future generations. (Definition from Permaculture International Journal)
- Dynamic Groups
- Permaculture News
- Permaculture Global
- Permaculture Principles
- Seed International
- Sustainable Living
- One Planet Living
- World Wildlife Fund
- Sustainable Living Magazine
The animals share our Earth and are a vital and dynamic part of our existence. Without them the world would not only cease to exist but would be a poorer place. Of course species are disappearing at an alarming rate. Again there are many animal welfare groups in every country and perhaps even in your local area. If you feel called to be an animal advocate do your research and find a group that aligns with your values and interests.
What companies still test on Animals?
- PETA (companies that do test)
- PETA (companies that don’t)
- Leaping Bunny (Shopping Guide)
- Animals Australia (Cosmetics and cleaning that do) + a free app to help you make an informed choice when shopping.
Children and Women
Here are some amazing organizations and groups who supporting the women and children of the world. I am so grateful that they exist on behalf of all the caring women of the world who wish that they could do more. If you are drawn to any of the links listed please support them in what ever capacity feels right for you.
Free to Shine – Ending Sex Slavery – We keep girls safe by providing scholarships to girls at high risk of being trafficked into the commercial sex industry, and providing university scholarships to survivors so that they can play a crucial part in ending sex slavery.
Children should be Free To Shine
Kiva – Loans That Change Lives – We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
Save The Children – Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world. Recognized for our commitment to accountability, innovation and collaboration, our work takes us into the heart of communities, where we help children and families help themselves. We work with other organizations, governments, non-profits and a variety of local partners while maintaining our own independence without political agenda or religious orientation.
Hamlin Fistula Australia – HFA was established by Dr Hamlin, her family and friends in 1996. The generosity of donors has enabled HFA to provide funds for the massive expansion in the work of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital including the establishment of regional centres and the creation of the Hamlin College of Midwives.
The Collective Heart – The Girl Power Project is based on the common belief that, when given the opportunity, women and girls can lift themselves and their families out of poverty. As tomorrow’s leaders they can inspire entire villages, cities, and even nations to a new path of hope and prosperity.
Life Changing Experiences – Life Changing Experience Foundation (LCEF) is a not-for-profit organisation which has supported vulnerable teenage girls since 2003. The SISTER2sister mentoring program is a unique 12 month risk management program, run by LCEF, designed to empower vulnerable teen girls to turn their troubled lives around. This program aims to break the generational cycle of suffering by helping “at risk” teenage girls to make better choices for a positive future.
Just Like My Child Foundation – Our mission is to transform humanity by empowering women and children to achieve their full potential through improved Health Care, Education and Microenterprise. In an approach we call deep development, we are empowering communities, village by village, to create their own long-term solutions in rural Uganda.
We, at Spirited Women’s Movement are not endorsing any of these website or groups. They are provided purely for your information and interest. We are not responsible for their content or conduct.