50 shades of green series colored

50 Shades of Green for the Holidays

Green Shopping for a Greener Holiday

We can make this Holiday a little greener by shopping ethically, we can choose our gifts wisely to make sure that our purchases doesn’t hurt the environment.  Go for products that are made from recyclable materials or easily recyclable.  Be a conscious consumer and know the cost behind every product.  Go for ethical fashion, look and feel good inside and out.

Choose fair trade products for your Holiday shopping.  These products are made under the guiding principles of World Fair Trade Organization – which basically protects the environment and the artisans and farmers behind every product.  Many small and developing communities all over the world benefits from the fair trade – it’s more than just  a livelihood for them, it’s their opportunity of a lifetime to provide a better future for their family.  Now, that’s more than just being green!

50 Shades of Green

We believe that green is not just a color, it’s an attitude.  But hey, green is really a cool color – it simply breaths life, it’s calming, it’s fresh, it’s clean, it’s vibrant! How can you not love green, right?  So for your Holiday shopping, we bring you our 50 Shades of Green series. Enjoy!

What’s Your Shade of Green?

Found your shade of green yet? Join us in making a pledge to make this Holiday greener this year.  Remember, that green is more than just a color.  It’s not a status. It’s an attitude and it’s a process.  Start a greener and more eco friendly lifestyle by shopping ethically.

Keep in mind that the power is in our hands as consumers, we’re the ones creating the demand.  Let’s demand for nothing short of ethical – only things gentle to the environment and men. You’ll be surprised at how we can spark global changes by simply buying consciously.

Think green for your next purchase!

The Green Seahorse at the Green Festival event

The Green Seahorse Has Officially Launched!

 The Green Seahorse’s First Plunge

Just a few days ago, The Green Seahorse has officially launched and took its first plunge in the eco marketplace thru San Francisco’s Green Festival event!  And, oh boy, it was nothing short of amazing – truly a green event.  Surrounded by equally eco friendly businesses, The Green Seahorse fits perfectly right and settled comfortably in a very familiar green territory.

The Green Seahorse, Green Festival

The Green Seahorse, Green Festival 2

Spreading the Word, Green Seahorse Style!

The Green Festival allows us to connect with conscious consumers and share information about fair trade products, fair trade artisans and everything eco friendly.  The Green Seahorse team delights in every opportunity to bring awareness about ethical shopping, green living and sustainable development.  We strive to take every avenue available to reach out to as much people as possible to spread the word.

The Green Seahorse, global

A Heartfelt ‘Thank You’ from The Green Seahorse

In behalf of The Green Seahorse’ team, we would like to thank those who have supported us along the way.  A heartfelt ‘thank you’ for taking the time to see us in the event or for checking our company online – thank you guys for giving green a chance.

Thank You from The Green Seahorse

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Green Festival, Green Shopping, Green Goodness!!!

Green Festival

Are you all set for some green shopping?  The Green Festival is almost here –  in 3 days, anything and everything green will be invading San Francisco!  So get ready for some explosive green goodness fun!

This event is not solely for the eco-activist or the ‘green’ people.  Being America‘s Largest & Longest Running Sustainability & Green Living Event, the Green Festival is not exclusively for green shopping, it also aims to raise awareness and to educate the public as well in the hopes that more and more people will convert into a greener eco-friendly lifestyle.

Green Shopping!

all i want for christmasHave you given green shopping a thought?  It’s basically shopping for ethical fair trade or eco-friendly products.  It’s about buying with consideration.  It’s about being a conscious consumer.  We have to keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that something is on sale or in fashion readily makes it the right choice.  We have to know the real cost of our every purchase.  It may help to remember these words by Benjamin Harrison to curb any shopping impulse, “I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.”  A very good point to consider before you pick anything on the rack.

In sustainable development, we have to see the world as a system – where our actions or non actions will affect something, someone, somewhere, someday.  Even our shopping habits will determine the kind of world we’re leaving behind to our children.  Supporting the fair trade artisans, for instance, who are producing goods in sustainable ways will not only benefit these people but will also ensure that the environment is protected or conserved.  Buying ethical products will give decent livelihood to families in many communities especially in developing countries which will empower them to provide a better living condition, sustainable lifestyle, medical needs and even education for their children.

You have probably heard of this quote by Anna Lappé, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” This is very true.  The power is in our hands, us consumers; if we’re going to demand and only opt for ethical fair trade products then producers will have to comply.  This will give a fair chance to artisans and farmers all over the world to participate fairly in the market.

Green Goodness!

This Green Festival is a 3-day fair of entertainment, fun and educational activities.  You will learn more about what real green living is all about.  You’ll be surprised at how a simple effort on our part could affect the dynamics of our relationship to the environment.

So, give green a chance and come and see us on November 14, 15 and 16 at the Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd. San Francisco.  For more information about the event, feel free to visit www.greenfestivals.org.

Holiday is just around the corner.  How about we start green shopping now and make a pledge to have a greener gift giving season this year?

San Francisco Green Festival 2

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Tagua Jewelries from the Humble Tagua Nut

What is Tagua?

Tagua is commonly found in the tropical rainforest of South American countries like the Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador.  It may look very similar to the palm tree but it actually belongs to the ciclantaceus family with the scientific name Phytelephas Aequatorialis Macrocarpa.  Quite a mouthful but the important thing to note is that it is natural and renewable, the kind of resources we should always opt for.

Tagua NutBefore a single Tagua nut is produce, it will take 15 years before a tree bear its first fruit.  From them on, the tree will continue on bearing fruits from that year onwards up to even for a century. Cool, right?  The fruit will at first have a tasteless crystalline liquid and as it ripens that liquid will turn into a sweet milky substance which will later form a gelatinous consistency.  Unbelievably this gelatinous substance will then turn into a hard product very similar to a natural ivory – in color, appearance and feel, hence the name ‘vegetable ivory.’

Why Tagua Jewelries are Better?

We’ve already pointed out the fact that Tagua nut came from a sustainable harvested resource, so that means you can enjoy every Tagua jewelry pieces without the guilt because no animal was harmed in the making.  Opting for ‘vegetable ivory’ will help in the conservation and protection of wild elephants which are being hunted for their ivory tasks. I’d say it’s only fair to prefer Tagua nut instead of the real ivory if that means sparing the lives of these animals.

Tagua jewelries are also better because every purchase means that you’re continually giving thousands of farmers and families in these poor South American countries a decent livelihood that both benefit them and the environment as well.  The families of these farmers and artisans hold a better chance at a better future by having the power to provide a decent living lifestyle or access for medical needs or opportunity for education.

Tagua Jewelries

These Tagua jewelries are of the best quality and designs, adding the fact that it’s made from vegetable ivory by farmers and artisans – undeniably makes it the better choice.  What do you think?

Tagua Jewelries for a Greener Fashion

Green is the new black.  Start shopping ethically.  Know your product.  Know every purchase.  Always remember that the power lies within the hands of the consumer – if we demand and buy for quality and ethical products then producers will have no choice but to produce exactly that.  This will in turn provide a fair playing field for the small scale producer of ethical and organic products versus the industrial producers of just about everything.

Demand for ethical products, support fair trade.  It’s all about sustainable development after all, meeting the needs of today without putting the needs of the future in peril.  ‘Development’ is good but let’s advance with caution.

Start simply buy choosing Tagua jewelries.

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Green Festival Promotes Eco Friendly Shopping of Fair Trade Products

Green Festival is an Eco Friendly Event

Undeniably, Green Festival is one of the most awaited green events in US and also the largest and longest-running sustainable and green living event attended by hundreds of retailers, wholesalers and other green companies.  This eco friendly event continues to raise awareness about a greener lifestyle that will empower the men and women behind every green products and services for a sustainable development.  The Green Festival is taking over cities after cities across America with a commitment to make an eco friendly market place where ethical, organic and everything fair trade products will be made available and accessible to the public. This unique, dynamic and powerful platform intends to create awareness that there is a greener option for the consuming public to shop ethically.  The Green Festival also opens up the opportunity to support artisans and other green companies to encourage their green ways of participating in the trading world.

green festivalThe Green Seahorse Will Take Its First Plunge at the Green Festival

The Green Seahorse is one with the Green Festival’s commitment to make organic and fair trade products available to the public – so what can get better than making its first plunge into the market through this green event, right?  Yes, The Green Seahorse will be participating in this year’s San Francisco Green Festival.

 Creative fair trade products proudly made by artisans from all over the world will be part of this green event thru the efforts of The Green Seahorse team.  From Tagua Nut Jewelries to eclectic variety of artisan crafts (green fashion accessories, holiday or house ornaments and other gift ideas) – everyone will surely find something to delight with these offerings.  And with eco friendly displays and samples, the creative brain behind The Green Seahorse assures the public that their booth will be one of the greenest in the event in keeping with their green commitment to minimize the impact of this fare to the environment.

Do visit The Green Seahorse booth at the Green Festival and VOTE them as well as your favorite Green Brand, winning this title will give them a chance to win a free booth at the next event.  Upon voting, you will also be eligible to register for a chance to win the Super Green Shopper Prize - a gift basket of green products!  For more details about the event, you can check out The Green Seahorse Facebook Event Page.

Green Festival San Francisco – A Green Commitment by the Green Seahorse

The Green Seahorse is sealing its green commitment to the environment and artisans from all over the world by participating in the Green Festival.  This green company believes that we can help ease poverty and promote sustainable development through eco friendly shopping of fair trade products.

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Sustainable Development by Advocating Fair Trade Products

What is Sustainable Development?

According to www.iisd.org, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  It simply requires us to see the world as a system – where everything is interconnected in some ways.  The way we’re behaving today, here and now – could affect others tomorrow, and even years after that.  The way we’re consuming resources today and the conducting our businesses will have an effect – either positively or negatively, to our children’s children in the future.  You can’t really call it sustainable development when development is focused on the present and the now without regards on tomorrow. Unfortunately, our economy’s path to what they call advancement or innovation gives little regard to the true meaning of sustainable development.

make a difference

Sustainable Development through Fair Trade

One of the key principles of World Fair Trade Organization focuses on preserving and conserving our environment.  They use technologies that reduce energy consumption as well as renewable energy whenever possible.  Fair trade products uses raw materials that came from sustainably managed sources, buying locally if available and promoting recycling and upcycling as well.  Fair trade produce are farmed and harvested in accordance to certain standards that aims to minimize its environmental impact.

By advocating Fair Trade products, we are supporting the effort to solve poverty and protect and conserve the environment at the same time.  Now that’s the very core of sustainable development, right, we meet our needs today without sacrificing future needs.  Buying fair trade products means that we’re supporting the men and women of small communities to break through the world market and offer the option for the public to consume consciously.

Reminding ourselves that the future is at stake with the way we’re consuming today will prompt us to make better and smart choices.  It’s about time we ditch our impulse buying or shopping behavior.  Always ask yourself if it is really a ‘necessity’ and consider the ‘true cost’ of every product you’re buying.  Don’t get fooled by lower or cheaper prices, these products oftentimes come with a different ‘price’ that put our environment or perhaps even a child’s life at risk.

fair trade, ethical products

Take a closer look at high end products – ask yourself if it’s really worth supporting the brand.  Does style overcompensate what is truly ethical?  People oftentimes play the ignorance card just so they could justify their choices, so they could feel okay with satisfying their need now.  Well, I say, it’s hard to un-know the things that you now know.  Your next move is your choice.

Sustainable Development

We can change the way our world trading economy works today; we can start by making the conscious effort to know and learn our buyer rights, consider available options, and always think of sustainable development.

fair trade

Fair Trade Connects You with Other Cultures

Fair Trade is the Key

Fair Trade products are unique to the culture of the place they originated from.  Every creation reflects the identity of the people behind it and that what makes fair trade products extra special.  Supporting fair trade products from all over the world means that you’re helping to keep the traditions alive in these places – making sure that their culture will continue to thrive for more generations to come.

Fair Trade, Artisans and their Culture

artisans of costa rica

From metal artworks from Haiti to Abalone shell jewelries from Mexico – every product reflects the creativity and culture of their people.  In one of my trips in Costa Rica, I met a couple of artisans.  One with his pottery works which are amazing and another woman artisan with her beautiful beadworks.  One of the reasons why I came up with The Green Seahorse is to help artisans like them to promote their products in a bigger market and give them the opportunity to compete in the global market.

Exposure to artisans’ products connects us with different cultures through their artworks and practices while also bringing awareness about global poverty.  What can get better than supporting cultural works, enjoying beautiful and delicious products and alleviating poverty at the same time?

So the next time you need to go shopping or if you are to re-decorate your house or you need gift ideas for friends and loved ones, consider looking over the works of these artisans.  Bring life to your collection with a touch of different culture and exceptional creativity while feeling good about yourself for being a conscious consumer.

Fair Trade Products

costa rica artisanWhenever you choose to purchase these products (from handcrafted pieces to delicious produce) over their counterparts in the market, it means that you’re supporting a community somewhere else in the world.  That means that these communities will have funding for projects that will help the poor member of the community such as clean water, health clinics, and even educational opportunities for themselves or their children.

I believe that fair trade helps not only the artisans and their community; it also protects the environment and improves commercial trading.  As we continuously raise awareness about the importance of conscious consumerism and how our purchases affects the environment and other people – we can then expect a better and improved trading practice globally and that is all because of fair trade.

Handcrafted Artisan jewelry

Paving the Way for Artisans in the Global Market

IMG_4185Being an artist myself, I have also faced challenges in marketing myself into the marketing world.  After all, I’m an artist, I create art works.  Creativity comes naturally – an innate thing.  But then I realized that marketing is the opposite of what art is for me. Perhaps it is, too, for artisans all over the world.

A Humble Beginning

After a lot of learning – studying the ins and outs, patience and perseverance I venture off from teaching arts to starting an eco-friendly business centering in Fair Trade products.  Being the eco-activist/artist/mom that I am – I’m immediately drawn to the very idea of creating incredibly beautiful products through recycling or upcycling or by simply using already available resources.  Furthermore, I’m impressed with the idea of helping artisans from practically all over the world to better their lives by simply aiding them to market their products.

Speaking from experience, creating may tend to be the easy part for creative people, marketing our creation is the challenge.  It was then that I started reaching out to artisans in the hopes to widen their opportunity to capture a bigger market through the internet.  By introducing them the benefits of internet marketing – increased exposure, wider demographic reach, accessibility and simplicity of exchange – I intend to help these artisans brave the global market.

Artisans in the Global Market

Artisans from Cambodia, India, Haiti, Mexico and other parts of the world – offers products that are not only environmentally conscious but are also rich in creativity (displaying their craftsmanship) and originality (bearing a touch of their respective culture).  Small villages in developing countries, through the help of Fair Trade cooperatives or other non-profit organizations are able to produce products that are worthy of their place in the global market.

These fair trade cooperatives and other home businesses by artisans will not foster in any way if they can’t connect to the consumers that demand for such products.  It’s all about directing and connecting the artisans in the global market to have a fair chance in capturing the conscious consumers out there.  Inevitably, there will be no need for supply if they can’t create or find the demand in the market – the very reason why these artisans need help in marketing themselves.

The Green SeahorseOftentimes, consumers will readily choose their products over their counterparts if given the opportunity.  But how can they choose among products A, B and C if they are only presented with products A and B.  A lot of consumers are beginning to think more consciously about their purchases and will opt for ethically produced products anytime if given the chance.  What these artisans need really, is to promote themselves and make their products available for the choosing.

An Artist on a Mission

As I connect to these artisans, teaching them the benefits of making use of the computer technology and internet in marketing themselves, I believe that I’m on the right path to helping them in my own little way to attain success in empowering themselves economically.  By providing them the platform from where they can display their products and bring attention to their creations, these artisans can readily brave the global market and take a fair chance in the international trade.  Surely, a big step towards a better life for these artisans‘ families and communities.

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Empowering Women Through Fair Trade

It’s undeniable that gender inequality is still a global issue, more so for developing countries where such problem contributes to the worsening cases of poverty.  It’s the opposite of women empowerment, women are left powerless to better their lives because they don’t only lack the opportunity to do so but also left to endure unfair treatment brought upon by the society or culture.

Gender Equality to Empower Women

According to UN Development Programme, when gender inequalities are reduced, more children go to school, families are healthier, agricultural productivity improves and income increases.  Safe to say then, that investing in women is the best way to resolve global poverty and promote prosperity. Sustainable communities will only exist if we empower the very women that hold the family together – it’s about women empowerment.  Only then we can begin to expect meaningful changes in the community.

women economic empowerment

Aside from the cultural aspect, some women are not able to break free from poverty because they lack the resources or capital, the education or training to improve their craftsmanship and the market or platform to promote their products or produce.  This is livelihood projects such as fair trade cooperatives, informal organizations and Fair Trade companies will play a big role.  They provide the women (as well as men) from small villages of developing countries, exactly what they needed to enable them to work they way out of poverty.

Women and Fair Trade

Through Fair Trade, women are given the opportunity to work in a safe environment, enjoy fair treatment and rightfully reap the benefits of their hard work. Fair trade companies are bound to fulfill the Principles of Fair Trade, and principle 6 clearly states that it is committed to ensuring Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment and Freedom of Association.  It says:

The organization does not discriminate in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, HIV/Aids status or age.
The organization has a clear policy and plan to promote gender equality that ensures that women as well as men have the ability to gain access to the resources that they need to be productive and also the ability to influence the wider policy, regulatory, and institutional environment that shapes their livelihoods and lives. Organizational constitutions and by-laws allow for and enable women  to become active members of the organization in their own right (where it is a membership based organization),  and to take up leadership positions in the governance structure regardless of women’s status in relation to ownership of assets such as land and property.  Where women are employed within the organization, even where it is an informal employment situation, they receive equal pay for equal work.  The organization recognizes women’s full employment rights and is committed to ensuring that women receive their full statutory employment benefits. The organization takes into account the special health and safety needs of pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers.”

Women Empowerment

Women empowerment will ultimately mean a better life for the family – where women can provide or support the basic needs of the family such as nutritious food, decent and safe shelter, and health care if needed and in some cases even education.

It’s safe to say that empowering the women means empowering the society as well.  Promoting Fair Trade and its principles is a big step towards gender equality and women empowerment.

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*Photos courtesy of www.undp.org

Handmade expressions

NOBUNTO: A Fair Trade Company for the People

Nobunto, a South African Fair Trade company based in the small village Napier east of Cape Town, means ‘for the people.’  The name is befitting of the company’s mission to better the lives of the people in the community by providing employment to over 18 families in the hopes to alleviate poverty.

Handcrafted Fair Trade Products

Nobunto responsibly creates high quality handcrafted products such as candles, ceramics, gift cards and recycled jewelries.  They showcase not just their craftsmanship and creativity but their culture as well through the evident African inspired designs of their products.  The company assures that they abide with the 10 Principles of Fair Trade by the World Fair Trade Organization or WFTO.  Each product is made with respect to the customers, artisans and to the environment as well

The company aims to provide these people with a livelihood that will improve their economic condition in a sustainably, ethically and socially responsible way.  It’s not just about having a steady and predictable source of income but to make a living while respecting everything else around them. They make use of recycling, use sustainable resources and make environmentally conscious decisions whenever possible.

Fair Trade and the People

Having a sustainable employment is important to ensure a better future for a family, more so in a region where there is a 50 percent unemployment rate.  Needless to say that Nobunto does make an impact in the lives of its workers.  Mostly women, Nobunto’s workers reap the fruits of their hard work while enjoying a safe and fun working environment alongside their fellow artists and craftswomen and craftsmen as well.

Fair Trade is Hope

This Fair Trade company does opens the door for these African families to have a fair chance in the trading market where they can offer their responsibly made products, ensure a better future for their families and become a well-meaning member of their community.  Supporting their fair trade products does mean supporting a better life for them and making but another step in resolving poverty.

South African Artisans

Photos courtesy of  www.nobunto.com