Learn & Be Useful

“Sustainability” in the context of lifestyles and the environment has become a buzzword, and thankfully so. But it is often more difficult for companies than individuals to commit to environmentally sustainable practices. Most require natural resources on a large scale. Many businesses simply don’t know what to do. Individuals, in fact, may often not know where to turn.

The Rainforest Alliance is a worldwide foundation that seeks to “preserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.” The NGO operates in over 60 countries. But what can you do? The website offers detailed information about their many endeavors. As a consumer, you can look for the official Rainforest Alliance seal on products that meet their rigorous standard. Products are available from tens of thousands of retailers around the world and hundreds of websites. Even Haneda airport has a Rainforest Alliance café in one of its terminals! Shop smart: shop with a heart.





Fair Trade Product Review: Beer

Ah, summer. Ah, beer. It is one of the world’s oldest beverages, dating back to Stone Age times. It is also only bested by water and tea in terms of worldwide drink popularity. More than one expert has even claimed that beer and bread fueled man’s ability to develop and build civilizations. Even today, especially with so many people still drinking it, beer has the potential to do some good.

Enter Fairtrade. Beers containing Fairtrade products like honey and sugar help support the local communities where they are grown. Fair pay and decent working conditions for people in developing countries are two more reasons to raise that glass.

The Fairtrade Foundation (www.fairtrade.org.uk) lists several Fairtrade beers, some of which, like the Mongozo brand, is widely available in Japan. These fruity beers (as pictured on the counter of our sponsor Cotton Fields) are a refreshing choice in the summer heat. Another sponsor we’re proud to have, Wakachiai (www.wakachiai.com) has begun importing Bumble Bee Honey Ale (using Fairtrade honey) and Organic Ale (using Fairtrade sugar) from the Freeminer Brewery in England.

We also know the Wychwood Brewery makes a Fairtrade “Honey’d Ale.” With Hobgoblin beers so readily available in Japan (and pubs in Akasaka, Shibuya, Roppongi and Kobe), when are we going to see the good stuff? Send them a kind email (info@hobgoblin.jp) encouraging them to carry it!





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