Here in the states, the eco-friendly move is growing larger every day. It seems that everywhere you turn, a new Whole Foods, Juice Bar, or Sustainable Communications Agency has popped up expectedly. That’s not to say that people shouldn’t be excited. Why shouldn’t one jump for joy that consumers are compelled to start caring about our planet and are willing to spend the money to do so? But it’s triggered a lingering question; how much of these actual products are truly helping our planet? One website is challenging that thought and ready with open arms to face it head on.
This website goes by the name of, Greenheart Shop.com. The website is one designed to change the way consumers shop for the products they want. It is Chicago’s leading eco-fair trade non-profit shop, carrying eco fair trade products made by artisans from around the world, specializing in handbags, kitchen goods, home décor, gourmet treats, cookbooks, cruelty-free leather, boutique jewelry and fair trade toys. Purchasing the products listed on the site improves the lives of real people and the products are made from materials that help protect our planet. It gets better too; Greenheart approaches the makings of these products by following the strict principles of the Fair-Trade system.
The Fair Trade guidelines are pretty simplistic; it guarantees that artisans making the products are paid fair living wages. The establishing of Greenheart dates back to 1985 when Emanuel Kuntzelman founded the Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI) which is a non-profit international education exchange organization dedicated to the elevation of cultural understanding, academic development, environmental consciousness and world peace.
Twenty years later, CCI implemented the Greenheart movement as its environmental and social enterprise in 2004. In 2007, CCI extended the Greenheart enterprise to include fair trade and opened the Greenheart Shop in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, IL. Then in 2009, the Shop moved to the Wicker Park area of Chicago where it continues to offer the best in fair trade, while educating the community through in-store events.
Through Greenheart, students who are visiting from all over the world can participate in numerous environmental and volunteer opportunities around the U.S. Americans also traveling abroad are able to volunteer on environmental and social projects in over 13 countries. If you or anyone you know might be interested in supporting the actions of Greenheart, feel free to visit their website and learn more about it. So once again, the question of which products truly help our plant arises. It takes more than bottles of eco-friendly cleaning products and 12 oz. cups of kale smoothies to actually transform our planet.
Not saying that kale smoothies aren’t delicious, they’re mouthwatering. But it takes a lot more than a diet and way of life to rip the large Band-Aide off our planet. Organizations such as Greenheart understand this and have come up with a solution to follow it through. Besides how ridiculous purchasing hand-woven throw pillows and recycled wine bottle candles may sound; it actually is benefitting our planet. When you think of how much our planet is suffering, sixty-five dollars for a recycled Sari rug seems like a small price to pay to help our planet recover.