Hey Neergs--

Well I hope you have had a chance to check out www.Amiiko.com, a very cool website being developed by my new friends, Karsten and Esben in Copehagen. If you've investigated the website, you might have noticed that the Amiiko vision includes "2 Steps of Consumer Empowerment."  That means you vote with your pocketbook. The first step focuses on being aware of what we choose to buy and how our choices affect the environment.  The second step is about actively making good choices--a more challenging endeavor! It's just hard to figure out who the good guys and girls are when they all say they're being "good." Lots of companies have been labeled for "greenwashing." They pretend to run an eco-friendly company, tricking us responsible "green" consumers into buying their products.They get away with it until they get caught.  BP is the perfect example of this.  They used lots of green in their signs and advertised their renewable energy efforts.  Well, we know how that turned out, don't we??? 

Karsten and Esben have a great idea.  They plan to develop content for their website that will help consumers "know which companies are truly green."  But being "truly green" is just part of making great choices.  Amiiko wants to teach us to buy "Fair Trade" products too. If you buy a "fair trade" hot chocolate, for instance, you want to know that the cocoa beans were grown on an eco-friendly farm and processed safely without any chemicals that would hurt the environment. You would also want to know that the workers were paid fair wages, and that child labor was not used. This is a lot tougher than it sounds. Karsten and Esben want to give us the information we need to differentiate the good guys from the pretenders! Right now, companies are fighting the EPA (Envrionmental Protection Agency) in the U.S. to keep the public from knowing about their production operations.They don't want to be accountable, and they know a smart consumer won't buy them! Sounds like they have something to hide, right?

I'm with Karsten and Ebsen--socially and environmentally responsible companies should be rewarded. Do your homework! Research fair trade products on the internet. A good website to check out in the U.S. is www.tranfairusa.org, but there are lots of others. Want to learn more about fair trade? W
atch this video!  Peace Out--Ethan