Poverty. One little word with one big meaning. Although there are many contributing reasons for poverty, issues such as Fair Trade and going green could ultimately aid in the fight against poverty.
A poor farmer in Ecuador will not survive as a businessman or human being if the conditions in which he is working are not sanitary and if he does not make enough money for the crops that he is able to cultivate.
Fair Trade would guarantee livable wages for underpaid workers, as well as secure a suitable working environment.
Cabrini has become much more involved in the Fair Trade movement by bringing in all Fair Trade coffee, as well as Fair Trade bananas, chocolate and even practice equipment for sports teams. With all that we’re doing with Fair Trade, many may still ask the question: What exactly is Fair Trade?
Fair Trade’s mission is to aid workers in vulnerable situations, to insure that they ultimately become self-efficient in their profession as well as their lives. It also advocates that in the future they will be more independent and play a wide role in international trade.
According to the World Bank, in 2006 there were over 2.7 billion people in the world living on less than $2 per day. That statistic is only a partial amount of the total cases of living poverty throughout the world even today.
There were $2.6 billion total fair trade sales in 2006 according to the International Fair Trade Association. All of these sales are aiding in the big picture of what we know as poverty.
Going green is another accessible way for us college students to get involved in reducing poverty in the world. Going green involves simple actions, such as switching your light bulbs, not using paper or plastic bags if you go to the grocery store, avoiding fast food, or even riding your bike. How does this all help? By avoiding fast food, you are lowering the amount of trash produced each year by fast food companies. Needless waste is getting dumped into low-income areas where poverty is rearing its ugly head.
Changing your light bulbs to a compact florescent will ultimately give you more light for less money and save a lot of energy. One thing that everyone is probably guilty of that may come as a surprise to help the environment, is to refrain from throwing away batteries.
By throwing batteries away, dangerous chemicals are leaking into all of our water supply. If you have old batteries, take them to a company in your area that recycles batteries, thereby cutting down on the overall waste in the world.
According to geocites.com, the amount of paper and wood we throw away each year is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years. They also stated that if we recycled one tenth of our newspapers per year, we would save about 25 million trees a year.
Performing all of these selfless acts could save our environment, which in the long run lowers the poverty rate in the world. Going green is something that benefits not just us, but others around the world. ?
Buying Fair Trade products as well is something we offer at Cabrini and is something we should all be doing. So next time you want to run to WaWa to grab a cup of coffee, think about all the people you are helping by buying your coffee at school.