Day 12 – Eco-Tourism & Fair Trade

Fairtrade: trade in which fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries.

Ecotourism: tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, especially to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife.

These two terms have become an increasingly important part of my life the more I’ve traveled. I discovered Fairtrade when I visited British Columbia in 2008. When you learn about Fairtrade, you also learn about “regular trade” and how companies like Walmart and Nestle underpay their employees and overpay their CEO’s.

Certain industries, such as coffee and cocoa are very in need of fair trade practices because without them, farmers are being forced to work for unlivable wages. In turn, coffee and cocoa farmers around the world are moving to different industries, which means less coffee and chocolate for the rest of us.

I learned about Ecotourism later in life. Dave and I “accidently” booked an ecotour because it came discounted with our hotel stay in Phuket, Thailand. The experience was amazing and I was hooked.

Our entire last week in Sumatra was booked through a company that is passionate about Ecotourism. As a result, our guides were paid a fair wage, they taught us about preserving the Indonesian jungle and they took it upon themselves to keep the jungle clean. We left nothing behind; we did nothing to disturb the animals around us.

Our time in Sumatra really left an impression on us, so today I did some digging and I found a fairtrade-focused store in Jogyajarta called Viavia. If you are on our “nice” list, there’s a good chance you’ll be receiving gifts from there this summer.

They even have a bar made of repurposed plastic bottles 😁

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