Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and romantics around the globe are busy thinking about how to celebrate.
Many choose to express their love for each other by giving flowers, chocolates and gifts. But whatever we do on this day, just like the other 364 in the year, we can also have a real impact on the lives of millions of other people around the world.
So how can you celebrate love and romance on 14 February, and help fight extreme poverty at the same time?
What can be more romantic than a bouquet of beautiful red roses for that special person in your life? Thankfully you can make sure that the flowers you buy also bring joy to more than just your loved one.
One of the best ways is to look for flowers with the Fairtrade Mark. Fairtrade offers you a powerful way to reduce poverty through your every day shopping. It provides a better deal and improved terms of trade for producers, which in turn allows them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future.
If you live in the UK you can also order flowers with ONE’s sister organisation (RED). (RED) has so far generated over $160 million for the Global Fund to help eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015. All arrangements from Flowe(RED) are composed of ethically-sourced flowers and profits go to helping those living with HIV in Africa so that they can continue caring for their families and contribute socially and economically to their communities. The bouquets are stunning too!
The key ingredient in chocolate is cocoa, a product that an estimated 14 million people in the developing world depend on for their livelihoods. It’s an incredibly important natural resource, and in some countries, such as Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, 90% of farmers rely on it for their primary income.
As with flowers, Fairtrade makes a real difference. But don’t take my word for it, just listen to these farmers in Ghana:
And with a range of tasty Fairtrade chocolates available, you are spoilt for choice! Most supermarkets also stock fairly traded chocolate now. So just ask your local store or visit you’re the website of your local fairtrade organisation to see what’s available near you.
Organisations such as Oxfam provide a range of beautiful gifts for the special person in your life. Ethically-sourced, they benefit both the producer and the organisations’ work making them a perfect present for that special person in your life!
Whatever you are planning for Valentine’s Day, we hope you have a wonderful time. And do a little bit of good on the side with our easy suggestions. If you have other great ideas, post them below.