Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
What a mouthful.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
[if you haven't already make sure to enter the exciting 'Playing Fair' giveaway!]
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
How you find time to balance work and children or work and play?
I have one two-and-a-half year old son named Toivo who likes rubbish trucks, cooking, painting, picking and sniffing flowers, and making a mess. He is a handful, but I think, if anything, he has brought balance into my life. I used to live for my research work, but now I see that it's only one part of the experience of living. So I spend most of my time with him as his primary caregiver, and I have a very lovely and supportive partner who takes him for walks and trips to Nonna's house, which gives me extra time to spend on science, the business, and the Fair Trade movement.
When and how did you start Playing Fair?
Playing Fair only started a few months ago in August. It started because I was a customer of the supplier, and I loved both the style and the ethics of the garments.
I have been a long-time supporter of Fair Trade, and so it was a given that my own child should have Fair Trade and second-hand toys and clothes. We were living in Prague when Toivo was born, I had a difficult birth, no friends or family, and despite my best efforts my Czech was abysmal. At my partner's prompting, to cheer myself up, I ordered a package of the grooviest and most colourful fair trade clothes I could find, from my now-supplier Susu Mama in the UK.
After arriving back home, I looked online, and I saw that there was no comparable thing available in Australia for a good price. So I had a chat with Carli from Susu Mama and she was open to the idea of trialling the Australian market, and that's how Playing Fair happened.
For those of us who are not sure, what does “Fair Trade” mean in a nutshell?
In a nutshell, Fair Trade ensures that small scale producers in developing countries get a fair price for goods produced in decent and humane conditions.
We often talk about the things that Fair Trade production is not as a contrast to mainstream production: Fair Trade has no child labour, no slavery/debt-bondage, no sweatshops, no forcing people to work in unsafe conditions, no stopping workers from forming unions, no paying producers less than what is fair, no taking advantage of lax labour laws in developing countries.
However Fair Trade is more than just the negation of unfair mainstream practices, it also involves active positive action. Fair Trade under the WFTO 10 Standards also means creating a way for employees to organise and collectively bargain, even when right to unionise is restricted by the law or political environment of the country. It means developing skills and capacities of producers so they can move up in the world. It requires minimising environmental impacts beyond that required by the local laws. Even a simple thing like providing producers with pre-payment is very significant; it recognises the economic disadvantage of capital-poor producers, but rather than using that as an opportunity to take advantage of them like some mainstream corporations do - to keep them living from pay-cheque to pay-cheque - Fair Trade requires that you loan them the capital they need to pull themselves and their businesses up to the next level.
"Fair Trade" as two words, which is the type Playing Fair falls under, is organisations (e.g. producers, importers, retailers, etc.) who have been independently certified as following the World Fair Trade Organisation's 10 Standards of Fair Trade, which I've discussed above.
("Fairtrade" as one word refers to products certified under the Fairtrade Labelling Organization. That is the logo you often see on products like coffee and chocolate, with the stylised person waving.)
How is Playing Fair "Fair Trade"?
Our supplier Susu Mama is a British Association of Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS) recognised importer, and BAFTS is the regional British association under the World Fair Trade Organisation. What this means is that our importer meets the 10 Standards of Fair Trade, as described above.
Playing Fair itself is also a member of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand (FTAANZ). FTAANZ does not yet have a BAFTS-like endorsement program, however it is currently in the process of creating one, which will be called Fair Traders of Australia, and Playing Fair will be applying for that.
For me, the membership of FTAANZ is more than just paying my fee so I can say I'm a member. I am heavily involved in voluntary work for FTAANZ. I am currently doing web promotion work for the Queensland Fair Trade Collective, and I recently went to Melbourne to take part in an FTAANZ workshop so that I can do more voluntary work for FTAANZ's upcoming Fair Trade Fortnight.
Where is your dream travel destination?
Having just come back from 2 years overseas, I've had my fill of travel for the moment. But, I would love to take another trip to the Blue Mountains. The last time we went was before the pregnancy, and my partner and I stayed in a lovely place with a view, took a few leisurely bush-walks, and just generally chilled-out. I think I'd like to do that again.
How do you like to spend your Sunday mornings?
Sunday is usually an outing day - we have a year pass to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and we've discovered school fetes are cheap and easy entertainment - so Sunday morning is usually spent rushing around trying to find hats and socks and making sandwiches so we can get going early and keep to Toivo's nap and snack routine. But how would I like to spend Sunday morning? Probably the same way as every parent - sleeping in past 6.00 am.
THE PRIZE: Nadiah has offered a $30 gift certificate to spend online at Playing Fair to the winner of this giveaway draw.
TO ENTER: Simply leave a comment below. For an additional entry visit Playing Fair, come back here and tell us which garment you would buy with the certificate. Finally, add yourself to the ecoMILF followers (first time followers only) and you have gained yourself one more additional entry! **Make sure to leave another comment for each additional entry you make.
A winner will be drawn on Monday, November 1st. Thank you very much to Nadiah from Playing Fair for her time and wonderful giveaway prize! Good Luck to all entrants.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
1⁄4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons castille liquid soap
a soft rag
Mix ingredients in a bucket.
Rinse with warm water
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
2 tbs poppy seeds
3/4 cup soy milk
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tbs baking powder
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cane sugar
125g butter, melted
the juice and rind from 2 oranges
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Line and grease muffin pans
Combine the poppy seeds and a small amount of the soy milk in a small bowl and put aside
Combine the flour and sugar and then add the poppy seeds, remaining soy milk, butter, eggs, orange rind and juice and stir
Spoon the batter into muffin pans and bake for around 25 minutes
Monday, October 18, 2010
After assigning numbers to all those entrants who entered the Mamma4earth giveaway (the largest number of entries in any ecoMILF giveaway to date- a testament to Linda's gorgeous work) , I then entered the numbers into the Random Number Generator and came out with: