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Hello Earthlings of Be Nice!!!
We here at Be Nice want to wish you a Happy Mid-Summer and to celebrate we are having a sweet summer sale! All shirts are now $25 from $40 just like that. Boom!
We also updated the website’s “Photos” section with new photographs from 2011. Which brings me to this, Be Nice would love for our loyal patrons to send us pictures of yourselves in Be Nice shirts, doing anything, anywhere. If you so choose to accept this challenge you may be the insanely lucky winner of a fantastical Be Nice shirt of your choosing. You will also be featured on the Be Nice homepage for the months of October and November. Not too shabby!
Here are the simple details on how to enter the Mid-Summer Photo Competition. From August 14th to September 30th, email firstname.lastname@example.org your full name, contact email address, photo title and attach your photo. That’s it!
Just a reminder that each Be Nice shirt is printed with water based ink on Alternative Apparel, super soft, organic cotton shirts. Thay are all done by hand in our Brooklyn, NYC studio. Each shirt is one of a kind. You know that is pretty bad ass.
Be original with Be Nice.
Cara E. Reynolds
I forget sometimes how important buying fair trade is. I don’t want small children working, picking my cocoa beans to survive, and possibly being abused at the same time. I want kids to be kids, to play, laugh and just be. I want a responsible world where people who have the power to make a huge difference do just that. We have the power to, in astronomical numbers, change how companies operate in this world. We can support fair trade products and if they don’t carry them in your local store, ask them to. We live in a world where distributors can get you anything you’d like. It is not much more money to buy fair trade. I would rather pay more and buy fair trade chocolate than to pay a cheaper price to support a company that allows families to not receive a fair wage (i.e. – contributing to the poverty of cocoa farmers) and where children have to work for a living instead of just living.
You can take a minute to take action by sending a letter through Green America to Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury, http://www.greenamericatoday.org/takeaction/cadbury/. Here is a bit from Green America about what is going on with Todd and Cadbury.
England’s leading chocolate bar, Cadbury Dairy Milk, has announced plans to begin using Fair Trade cocoa in summer 2009. The significance of this fantastic news is that Cadbury is the first major chocolate brand to go Fair Trade with one of its main product lines, one of the goals Green America has been striving towards. Cadbury’s announcement proves what Green America has been saying for years: it is viable for a major chocolate bar to go Fair Trade without passing a significant cost increase to consumers. Congratulations on this important victory to all of you who have taken action by buying a Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate bar or writing a letter to bring us to this moment!
The deal, which will bring the Fair Trade label to 15% of the chocolate sold in England, is welcomed by Green America and our allies on both sides of the Atlantic. Increasing the amount of chocolate sold on the Fair Trade market is an important step to improve the lives of farmers around the world.
That doesn’t mean that Cadbury is now a model of sustainability. Here in the US, Cadbury’s chocolates are not Fair Trade Certified™.
By contrast, Green Business Network™ members in the confectionery industry like Sweet Earth Chocolates, Equal Exchange, Alter Eco, and Divine have been pioneering Fair Trade and sustainable practices for decades, and are 100% Fair Trade.
As we all know, it is critical to write companies to pressure them to improve their performance on human rights and the environment. But it is just as important to thank companies when they make a change for the better, so that company executives can bring an outpouring of positive feedback to their boards, shareholders, and employees to sustain their new, responsible practices and promote more change.
Please join Green America and Fair Trade advocacy organizations around the world in generating as many letters as possible to:
* congratulate Cadbury on the Fair Trade certification of their Dairy Milk bar in the UK
* ask Cadbury, Hershey (Cadbury’s US manufacturer) and Green and Black’s Organic (owned by Cadbury) to expand their commitment to Fair Trade in the United States by introducing more Fair Trade Certified products.
Then, commit to seeking out Fair Trade chocolate for special occasions, such as Easter eggs from Green Business leaders like Sweet Earth Organic and Divine Chocolate, instead of buying Cadbury’s Crème Egg.
Here is the form letter below. You may alter it to say what you want as well. This is the link where you are able to send and alter said letter.
Subject: Thank you for your fair trade commitment!
Dear Todd Stitzer, CEO, Cadbury:
As a conscious consumer and as a member of Green America, I would like to congratulate Cadbury on your plans to earn Fair Trade certification for the Dairy Milk bar in the United Kingdom. Thanks to your company for taking the leadership role among major chocolate brands in earning Fair Trade certification for an iconic chocolate bar with wide distribution and broad public recognition.
Through your leadership, Cadbury will transform the lives of cocoa farmers and their families, while contributing to a higher standard for ethical sourcing among major chocolate brands. Grassroots activists have been pressing major chocolate brands for years to become Fair Trade Certified. I regularly purchase chocolate from companies that offer Fair Trade Certified products in the United States because with each pound of Fair Trade cocoa purchased a fair deal is made with small-scale farmers in Ghana and other cocoa-producing countries. I am appalled at the existence of abusive child labor on cocoa farms in West Africa and do not want to buy chocolate picked by one of the hundreds of thousands of children working under “the worst forms of child labor,” as the US State Department reported. I choose to support companies that source Fair Trade because I believe that farmers should earn a price for their cocoa that allows them to meet their basic needs and have the right to participate in democratic organizations to decide the use of community development funds. Cadbury’s Fair Trade certification is a significant leap forward in resolving these issues and is a landmark for corporate social responsibility.
I look forward to the day that I will be able to buy Fair Trade Certified products from Cadbury in the United States. I am pleased that Cadbury Green and Black’s Organic has one Fair Trade bar and I encourage Cadbury to work with Hershey as your US licensee to extend Fair Trade certification to your entire range of Cadbury and Green & Black’s products.
Families in my community seek out Fair Trade Certified chocolate for special occasions like Easter. Expanding Cadbury’s commitment to Fair Trade in the United States by introducing more Fair Trade Certified products, such as Cadbury Creme Easter Eggs, Mini Eggs, Dairy Milk, and multiple types of Green and Black’s bars would give families in my community a reason to purchase more of Cadbury’s products.
I hope that Cadbury will join with communities like mine across the US to denounce forced and child labor, support small farmers and expand the selection of Fair Trade Certified products available in the United States.
Your City and State
I make the commitment to only buy fair trade, organic chocolate.
I said it!
I remember back in the good old days of this blog I’d do a lot of eco-shopping entries. I’ve since been trying to shave down what I already have. I have always been a pack rat and love to buy stuff. If it wasn’t for the fact that each time I move I am more lazy than obsessed with hording stuff, I’d be one of those guys, you know on Clean Sweep or Cops. See lazy sometimes is good. I donate stuff to the Salvation Army, or those clothes boxes sprinkled throughout NYC, or drag stuff to swap meets in Queens, or bring them to my job and leave them on a counter outside my office, eBay, etc… Someone, somewhere wants my stuff.
I do have a point to all this. I now find I need to do some shopping for a new backpack. I may document this journey further, but for now I just wanted to share some resources I am using to research said bag. By the way, for those interested, my perfect bag would be an eco, fair trade, non sweatshop, sustainable, long lasting, locally made, recycled, durable, solar energy source, super fresh, comfortable, user friendly, big when it needs to be back pack. I am sure I am missing other specs, but you get my point.
For company ratings on social and environmental issues, see Co-op America’s sweatshops.org. The Fair Trade Federation also lists companies committed to “fair wages and good employment opportunities to economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers worldwide.” If they meet these guidelines I have completed part one of this journey.
OK, let me get started, my backpack is almost in pieces.
Living in NYC, it is strange to wrap my mind around all that nature and chimpanzees swinging around everywhere. I think any of those jobs would be cool. The coffee sniffing, the chimpanzees studying and the farming, but maybe not on such a large scale. I’m more of a fire escape gardener than coffee farmer.
I love organic coffee, chimpanzees and fair trade!!!
That’s right a year ago, on January 10th, 2008, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” was formed. When I first started this blog it was to have a voice in the world that differs from mainstream television, radio, satellite, newspapers, etc. I was inspired by the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth“, drawn into the meaning of an “inconvenient truth”, the fact that you might not want to hear what the problem is and what can be done to solve said problem, but here is the truth and now that you know, what are you going to do about it?
In the beginning, what I primarily wrote about was eco, environmental “inconvenient truths”, following in the footsteps of the film, but as time went by I began to find “inconvenient truths” in other areas as well, be it the issue of gay rights, human rights, animal rights, freedom of speech, freedom of art, whatever is going on in the world that mass media does not cover or covers up, these were the pieces I exceptionally enjoy writing about. Then there are the “recycle stuff” ones, just there for some information of what extra steps you can take to make a better world, the D.I.Y. projects using recycled materials, or just how to make something green and cool for your everyday life. Throw in a few organic recipes, cool green events, green product reviews, games, petitions, stories of amazing people who inspire me, beautiful photos, and sometimes just a funny video to relax and you have, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth“. :]
What I am getting at with all this is to say, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” has evolved from when I began to where it is at now. I went from doing blog entries everyday from January, 10th, 2008 to October 13th, 2008, right around when I got an official 9-5 job, to now where I may not blog everyday, but no more than a few days go by without me throwing one out there. I needed to find a balance in my life and for now this works for me. I’d rather have good ones than just have ones. :]
I really like writing this blog, even when I can’t think of what to write about, or when I’d rather be playing PlayStation with Ms. Marine or web 2.0 out on the million social networks. This blog makes me more accountable. It is something I started and am still doing a year later (see Tony). Listen, for someone with absolutely no attention span to anything (besides computers and all things tech), I am pretty amazed that “TDAAIT” is still going. What is crazier is when I started this blog I was surprised if I got 10 hits a day, to now where I get on average over 300 unique hits a day from all over the world. Though businesses like MSNBC and other corporations that I do not have any respect for, ask me to place their advertisements on my site, I refuse. I was not working a real job when I started this blog and could have used easy money like that. Instead, I was insulted that they would even ask me, so much so I responded that they obviously had not looked at my blog, because if so they would never have asked me! In retrospect, I am sure they would have asked me anyway. In their minds people are just a herd of non-thinking cows who when they see a blinking ad, inevitably they must click on it. That goes against what I am trying to achieve here. I really hate ads everywhere. I am blessed in many other ways through this blog, so it doesn’t need to monetarily support me as well.
What else have I gotten from writing, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth”? I have learned about a lot of bad stuff that goes on, and I have learned about good people, things and ideas, living and growing here on this Earth (I liked it when Alice Walker called humans “Earthlings” in this interview.). I maintain hope and an awesome faith that things will only get better if you do good.
Something I keep in the forefront of my mind is, what each of us does affects the other. It is not just the huge things necessarily, even our smallest thoughts affect the world. Also, we can as one person change things; who you touch in turns will touch others. You may not get the gratification of seeing the change you bring to the world directly, but if you do it, you may see the world itself change. I search for happiness and peace, by going inconveniently through its sorrows, untruths, truths, and ugliness. I also keep the faith. Faith is the most important thing, without it you are lost. I guess that is what, “The Day After An Inconvenient Truth” is to me, a way to not lose hope and to maintain my faith during the era that is the beginning of the end.
This year I have learned that humanity is not as bad and hopeless as it seems, so that’s cool.
It’s the New Year (shout-out to 2009) and Marine and I were searching for what’s next. On the 1st of this New Year we ended up at La Palapa Cocina Mexicana in the East Village, eating really fresh Mexican food with some fantastical margaritas (good times). It is in this magical place that we came up with a plan. Our plan is to become real life educated consumers (time frame one year), in our own way. What that means is whatever we buy we need to know before we buy:
1. Location of business in regards to our Spanish Harlem apartment (we just learned yesterday that our neighborhood’s nickname is SpaHa. I really don’t like the way SpaHa rolls off my tongue).
2. Who owns the company
3. Company’s philosophy
4. Are they green? How so?
5. How the employees are treated
6. Where does the company get their inventory
8. Product review (by the people and the industry)
9. Company review (by the people and the industry)
1. Medical Prescriptions
3. We Know, you don’t need to know everything
4. Eating out, Delivery, and Pick-Up
6. Bills like ConEd, Phone, Mobile, Web Hosting, etc.
Exceptions does not mean we do whatever we want. It is just places where we indulge somewhat, it is a freedom of sorts. Who knows where this year will lead us, but I know for myself if I try to control all my elements I fail. I need to have some leeway to breath.
Today is the 3rd of January and here is the list of things we have purchased under this new regime.
1. New York Cake and Baking Distributor, 56 West 22nd Street, NYC, NY – $8.99, tax – $0.75, total – $9.74 -Fox Run Kitchens – French Bread Pan – Made in China, Fox Run Craftsmen Ivyland, PA 18974, Concord, ON L4K 3V4, tinplate – Cara
2. Poland Spring Natural Spring Water, 700mL, Poland Spring Water Company, Division of Nestle Waters, North America Inc. , Greenwich, CT 06830, Mood Building Vendor, 225 W. 37th Street, NYC, NY 10018, $2.00, #1 PETE plastic bottle, blue flip top – Marine
3. Mood Fabrics, 225 W. 37th Street, NYC, NY 10018, $100 gift card – Cara
4. Supercuts [Regis Corporation], 460 3rd Ave, NYC, NY 10016, $19 hair cut, $5 tip – Marine (It was Marine’s first time going to a Supercuts. She had said she was going to go there before the 1st of January to experience the true American less than $20 haircut. It is something everyone should experience once.)
As you can see we haven’t done so well…so far… Keep in mind this is a learning experiment. :] We bought bottled water on the 2nd of January and I didn’t even realized we had failed until today. Marine and her SuperCuts haircut… What you have to keep in mind is we have stopped ourselves from buying multitudes of things from the 1st to today, to take the time to research. For real… I will be tracking our progress here to make myself (and maybe Marine) more accountable. I know at least one person in my family reads this on occasion… :]
Keep it real.
UPDATE [February 24th, 2009] – OK, I need to reassess this project as it was way more difficult than I thought. I am definitely more conscientious about what I buy, but that leave me little time to log it all. I will cover cool finds here and if it becomes easier, or I become more motivated I will track my consuming for more than one day. :]
I live slightly under a rock not having a TV with satellite, cable or any local stations broadcasting from it. Imagine my surprise when I came across Bagley’s Best products, by Ed Begley Jr. of course. I loved “Living with Ed“, when I had a TV, so much so it was one of the first blog entries I wrote about back in the day.
Bagley’s Best was started when a man named John Watts bumped into Ed Begley Jr. in Real Food Daily. It was this occurrence that created an eco Paul Newman like business, where most of the company’s profits got to charities, environmental causes and non-profits.
Live the life.
This design is printed with white eco-friendly ink on a galaxy organic American Apparel t-shirt. It was designed by Marine.
Modern Transportation is a futuristic water-powered car. The design is inspired from a rain drop.
You can buy it now at ubenice.com.
This design is printed with green eco-friendly ink on a natural organic American Apparel t-shirt. It was designed by me, Cara.
“benice” is the name of our be nice mascot. We aren’t really sure what benice is, but we do know that benice is fresh and just wants people to be nice and do good.
You can find benice at ubenice.com.
Marine and I have just launched an awesome eco, green, super fresh, organic t-shirt company, “be nice”, and thankfully just in time for the Holidays. : P You can check out our web site at http://ubenice.com . The designs are original and we do the screen printing in our very own Spanish Harlem 5 floor walk-up.
We are just starting out, and doing it all manually, which it turns out is a lot of work. :] We definitely put a part of ourselves into each shirt we create. I even invented two of the colors, one is a soft blue used on the “benice” shirt and the other is a rich green I use on the “Certifiably Organic” shirt.
I’ll miss the shirts, but it is cool knowing someone is out there wearing something you put your mojo into. That should be our slogan, “For some good ass mojo, buy yourself a super fresh shirt”
It has been a hot second since we’ve had a game. This one is about herding these lovely free range farm animals into their rooms. It seems easy, but I keep on losing…
What about you?
Farm Hustle time.
Veja is a Paris-based company producing shoes in Brazil. I love the look of their shoes. They are fairly traded and organic. These shoes are made from natural latex rubber, vegetable-tanned leather and organic cotton. They use wild rubber trees that are only found in the Amazon, by supporting wild latex production they help prevent deforestation in this region. Veja also supports two cooperatives of small organic cotton producers.
If you’re in NYC, LA or Pittsburgh you can find them in these stores:
– Takashimaya NYC, 693 5th Avenue, New York
– Ekovaruhuset, 123 Ludlow Street, New York
– American Rag, 160 S. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles
– Equita, 100 43rd st. Suite 114, Ice Factory, Pittsburgh
My favorite are the organic cotton Veja Tauá collection.