Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day in La Mesa!

Happy Earth Day! My apologizes for being a day late, but I suppose one could argue that Earth Day should be every day anyway.

This year I celebrated Earth Day on lovely Mt. Helix (the views are breath taking) with our friends in La Mesa.  We were not only celebrating Earth Day but also the great achievement of becoming a Fair Trad Town!

And we happily shared the message of fair trade to many guests.  Its benefits are many and its principles are invaluable to countless women, men and children around the world.

Me letting folks that Fair Trade isn't just about coffee and tea; it's clothing and earrings too!

Explaining the benefits and values of Fair Trade

Proudly displaying several different Fair Trade items at Earth Day

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fair Trade Coffee Break: Civilization

Civilization Coffee Shop in Tremont

For me coffee isn't just about the cup of the warm drink in my hands it is also about the experience.  The smell, the mug, the coffee shop that I am sitting in, to me it all matters. So it only seems to make sense to me to share with all of you different coffee shops that sell fair trade coffee and or teas and that I feel at home at.  Now since I write for Fair Trade San Diego's blog the coffee shops will generally be in the San Diego County area but since I was back where I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio this week visiting family and friends I couldn't help but share one of my favorite coffee shops in the area that sells fair trade.

Fair Trade Coffee at Civilization

Civilization is in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland.  Tremont is an old neighborhood that has been revitalized in the last ten years or so.  It was settled by immigrants at the beginning of the last century.  Some of those immigrants were Polish and of the Polish families that lived there my paternal grandmother's family was one. As a little girl she played in the streets and parks of the neighborhood and her brother owned a bar later in the life in the same neighborhood but the best part of the story is her connection to Civilization.  

The coffee shop was once a pharmacy, the sign still resides at the top of the building, and I like to think about my grandmother as a little girl going to that pharmacy with her parents.  She was probably adorable, adorable like little girls are when dressed in dresses, gloves and hats, something they did when she was a child. And she probably asked for candy when they visited to pick up medication.  Perhaps her father would buy some for her and her siblings, perhaps not.  As it turns out I don't know a great deal about my grandmother's childhood, for years she didn't share much about it because it wasn't as charmed as I thought it might have been.  She didn't share memories of Tremont with me until just a few years before her death when I was living in the same neighborhood in my mid-20s.  

Grandma Stary on the right with Grandpa Stary and one of my uncles and his wife
Regardless of what my grandmother's story was and I probably will never know too much about it prior to her marriage to my grandfather, I truly enjoy stepping into Civilization and feeling a connection to a part of her life that I know so little about.  The dark wood, the fair trade and the memories make the place so special to me! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

La Mesa Fair Trade Towns! 

Fair Trade promotion is on the move in La Mesa, recently declared a Fair Trade Town. Plans are in process to celebrate World Fair Trade Day at two locations in the city.  There will be a formal presentation of the Fair Trade Towns Declaration, Fair Trade vendors, samples, etc. at the May 11 celebration.  A second planning meeting will take place Thursday, April 11 @ 5.  All FT supporters are invited to join with FT San Diego County to assist with WFTD.  The meeting will be held at @Spacebar (University Blvd. in La Mesa). 


The East County Earth Day, taking place Sunday, April 14 at Mt. Helix Amphitheater, is another opportunity to spread the word about Fair Trade.  We will be getting the word out about Fair Trade in general and in La Mesa in particular at a booth at the event. And don't miss our presentation on how Fair Trade protects the environment. All are invited to attend what promises to be a fun and festive family event (11am-3pm). 

La Mesa Fair Trade Towns Committee Members