I worked at a grocery store in high school.

I spent around fifteen hours a week scanning, punching in produce codes, “would you like paper or plastic?”

And after several hours of rushed customers, moms with wailing toddlers, and persnickety grandmothers insisting on “double bags” around their canned goods, I would punch out, roll my windows down in my parents mini van and drive with my music blaring down the street to the mall.

Sifting through racks of clothes, my brain shifted from the stresses of work-work and homework and “will that cute guy in chemistry class ever notice me” to the patterns and textures and lines of the pieces soaring past me on shiny silver racks.

Retail therapy.

It seems so long ago.

Now, shopping stresses me out.

For one, I’m not the mom with the wailing toddler in the grocery store line.  But it’s more than that.

I can’t go shopping anymore and unplug my brain.

With every stitch I finger, each pattern that catches my eye my conscience jumps in:
“Who made that?  Where did it come from?  Was it made by a slave? Was it made by a child?”

Not so therapeutic.

Thinking about great evils in this world – such as slavery and human trafficking and consumer ethics – can be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be though.

After all, what’s the best way to eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

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Lotus Pedestal Bowl – Trades of Hope

This week, I want to encourage you to take one small step in the month of May in your journey toward consuming more ethically.
Maybe your step is buying certified fair trade coffee, or chocolate, or bananas instead of conventional ones.
Maybe your step is downloading the Free2Work app and you begin the process of learning about where the goods you consume come from.
Maybe your step is to sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, or you start shopping at farmers market’s for some of your produce.
Maybe you consider picking out a Mother’s Day gift from a local Fair Trade store or online from Trades of Hope.

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Nationally, most Whole Foods stores carry fair trade bananas. Fair trade coffee and chocolate are available at almost every grocery or big box retailer.

Choose something.  Choose anything!  The journey toward a brighter tomorrow is not often made in leaps and bounds, but in many of us taking small steps together every day.

So what will you do?

They say it takes about 21 days to create a habit.  I’m challenging you to make one conscious choice during the month of May to consume in more ethical, just way.

What will your one step be?
I’d love to hear about it!  Leave a comment below, or post a photo on social media with the hashtag #OneSmallStep4May

My Fair Trade look of the week:
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Necklace: Deep Aqua Layered Necklace (Trades of Hope)
Tee: Old Navy (Not fair trade)
Sweater: Gap (Not fair trade)
Bracelets: Uganda Wrap Bracelet and Zulfa Spiral Cuff (both Trades of Hope)
Skirt: Thrifted

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