Injabulo and Fair Trade
You never know where life will take you and when Chrissie Sherwood went to South Africa with her husband in 1997 little did she know that over a decade later she would be running her own successful company in the UK, that helps make the lives of people in South Africa so much better.
Whilst there Chrissie and her husband Roger met wonderful, kind people who were living in abject poverty but would do anything for you - and always with a huge smile! Seeing people carrying big pieces of cardboard and pallets to make their house and the toll that AIDS and HIV were taking made them decide to help and eighteen months after returning to the UK Injabulo was founded.
The way to help was to use the talents of the people - extremely creative, they can make something out of nothing and have an intrinsic eye for colour.
Injabulo now works with established empowerment projects and small businesses through South Africa and has recently started working with a project in Botswana. It has always been important to Chrissie that she could see fair trade policies in action and that whoever the producers are they should all be treated very fairly and be given a chance to improve their lifestyle by learning or developing a skill. This in turn means that they are given the opportunity to enrich and improve their own lives and that of their families.
In addition Injabulo work with Pebbles Project, a charity in the Cape Winelands helping children born with special needs as a result of Foetal Alchohol Spectrum Disorder and currently sponsor two children; their sponsorship pays for specialist teacher training and crèche places for the children.
Fair Trade means lots of things to different people.
To us it is the basis for making a difference to the lives of people by adhering to the following principles:
Treating people, however disadvantaged, with respect - for their lifestyle, their culture and their skill and giving them the opportunity to earn a real living with dignity and pride.
Paying a fair price for their goods, which means that we get top quality
Helping them to learn new skills and extend their abilities by introducing them to new ways to use their present skills and new ideas for products.
Passing on feedback from customers to give them encouragement and self belief.
Working with small businesses, not for profit organisations and co-operatives to make a real difference to the lives of the workers and their usually large extended families
To have a platform available to showcase any new products and artists that we come across in our travels in Africa.
To work with our chosen charity " Pebbles Project" and do what we can to raise the profile of this worthwhile charity and raise funds through various means therefore enabling us to sponsor many children.
To have an "open door" policy - we have nothing to hide - only pleasure and pride in sending you information about the people that make the products that we sell.
To build genuine hope for a better future for all
Our products do not carry the Fair Trade logo as the cooperatives, organisations and businesses that we trade with are all very small - sometime "one man Bands" that we have found. Where we can, we ensure that all of our products are labelled with details of their origin and very often the name of the artist who has made it.
Easily Green Your Daily Routine
The following is courtesy of World Environment Day Website
Plant a tree! Help achieve UNEPs Billion Tree Campaign target of planting seven billion trees one for every person on the planet by the end of this year! Three billion are planted. Five billion are pledged. On every continent in the world trees can be planted in June, so start now.
Find needy homes or charitable organizations for things that you no longer need or want rather than throwing it away.
It would seem to go without saying, but many of us forget that we can save water in simple ways like not letting the tap run while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth.
Insulating your water heater will help save valuable energy, and you can go the extra mile by installing showerheads with a low flow in your bathrooms for bathing purposes to help save water. You can also put a timer on your heaters to save power.
Using an electric razor or hand razor with replaceable blades instead of disposable razors goes a long way to cutting back on waste. And plant a tree.
Use towels for drying your face and hands instead of tissues that are used and thrown away. Also, hang your towels to dry so that they can be reused several times. You are after all clean when you use them!
Juice or yoghurt lovers can do their bit by buying juice in concentrates and yoghurt in reusable containers instead of single serving packages.
Many of us like to leaf through the paper as we munch on breakfast, but consider reading the dailies in communal spaces like the office or coffee shops. However, if you prefer to have your own copy, make sure you recycle!
When packing your lunch, opt for reusable containers for food storage instead of wrapping the food with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
As you leave the house, dont forget to switch off all the lights and appliances at the wall unit (if you have this feature) and unplug chargers as they continue to consume even if they are not charging; saving energy helps reduce air pollution.
GETTING TO WORK:
Radical as it may seem, in todays "the easier the better" society, the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is by avoiding driving altogether. Power down and Instead try biking, walking, carpooling, public transport or an occasional telecommute.
If you have no other choice than to drive to work, look for the most fuel- efficient car model for your next purchase and keep your tyres inflated to the correct pressure.
If youre one of the lucky few blessed with clear stretches of road on your way to work, use cruise control, as it saves fuel and also helps you maintain a constant speed.
If youre among the majority of drivers who spend their mornings stuck in traffic, consider turning your engine off if you will be idling for long periods of time. And plant a tree.
For those who suffer from road rage, remember that aggressive driving lowers your mileage, so if you want to save on fuel and save the planet while youre at it, accelerate gradually-- something to keep that in mind the next time that bad driver cuts you off! Just count to 10 and say the planet needs me!
Do you have a morning hot drink routine? Using a washable mug is an environmentally-friendly alternative to non-biodegradable styrofoam or plastic cups.
Leave a cup and reusable bottle for water at work to eliminate buying drinks, which get served in plastic cups, or bottled water. 80% of plastic bottles are recyclable but only 20% are actually recycled.
When you need a pad for lists and messages, turn over an old document and write on the back of that instead.
If there isnt an office recycling system, start one yourself! Recycling our trash actually contributes to reducing global warming emissions. And it is estimated that 75% of what is thrown in the trash could actually be recycled, though currently only 25% is.
When you must have a paper copy, make sure you default your printer option to use both sides. This is an easy tree-saver!
Most computer accessories like ink cartridges and CDs and DVDs are made of materials that could be reused. Computer cords and speakers are fairly standardized, meaning they can be used for a variety of computer models and makes.
Lower your offices carbon footprint by seeing computers, monitors, printers, copiers, speakers and other business equipment to their energy saving feature and turning them off at the end of the day. And plant a tree!
Turning off all unnecessary lights, especially in unused offices and conference rooms is an easy way to save energy.
If youre in search of something to personalize your workspace, look no further than the humble houseplant. Houseplants are good for the environment because they remove quantities of pollutants present in the air.