Showing posts with label fair trade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fair trade. Show all posts

Monday, January 9, 2012

When spending more saves big

Spending more saves big when you buy organic. It saves your health, your environment and your freedoms in life. I have seen clips and read bits from the movie Food Inc. over the past few years but I never scraped up the courage to watch it until this weekend. Wow, almost didn't make it through the whole movie at once. It is sooo powerful, if you have not watched it yet, I encourage you to.

The movie had such an impact on us that I will probably be blogging about the changes that we are making for a couple of weeks. Surveying the Internet has been discouraging because there remains a shortage of organic business even in a big city like Phoenix. So today I will be hitting the grocery isles and comparing prices at local retailers.

In response to the movie here is a list of immediate changes we intend to make:
  • Eat Vegetarian more often
  • Buy organic meat when we eat meat
  • Buy organic corn
  • Buy as many organic products as we can possibly find
  • Eat at restaurants that buy organic meat and produce

You can look for new posts including a page of hearty Vegetarian dishes as they get the families approval, ideas of where to buy and save on organic products and forthcoming reviews of organic businesses. After watching the movie some previously favorable reviews may be edited or disappear from my site completely due to laws that would prevent a more critical review. Yes, you heard me correct...we have laws in our food industry that prevent us from talking about what not to eat. This movie is not just about eating healthy, it is about the eroding of our constitutional freedoms.

Here is the trailer...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Considering frugal Ethical Pic Starbucks

Starbucks Ethical Pic
Starbucks Considering frugal Ethical Pic

Why do I love Starbucks so much? It is because of the business plan. Although they may make a boo boo here and there, overall they are set up to succeed both ethically and organically.

What is an ethical company?

According to a researcher at Harvard University there are five phases to the development of social responsibility at the corporate level (Zadek, 2005).  This model begins with the defensive stage, “social responsibility is not our job”; the compliance stage is next, “we will only do what we are required”; the managerial stage, this is the stage where social responsibility is viewed as a public relations strategy; the strategic stage, “social responsibility can give us a competitive edge”; the civil stage, this is the stage where a company becomes a leader in social responsibility, encouraging other companies to do so (Zadek, 2005).
Highlights of a Great Business Model
Starbucks was one of the first companies founded on the principles of social responsibility.  Starbucks intentionally spends more on employee healthcare then they do on purchasing their product.  Starbucks offers full health insurance benefits to all of its employees both full and part-time (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2007).  As a result Starbucks has one of the lowest employee turnovers of any retail business (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2007).  In a country where affordable healthcare and health insurance are in complete scarcity, some would consider this extreme social responsibility. 
After stanch criticism over fair trade with coffee growers, Starbucks responded by establishing fair trade compliance rules (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2007). It is clear that Starbucks has operated at the civil stage of social responsibility since its founding.  There is no question that Starbucks is a model of social responsibility. 

Starbucks Corporate gives full freedom to its store managers to donate sums of money to any cause in the local community that that manager feels is worthy (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2007). Many pro-life/pro-family political supporters have been banning Starbucks for several years; however I would be inclined to believe that the solution to this problem is not so much found in banning Starbucks as in petitioning the local establishments (Hartline, 2006; Kleppinger, 2005).

If the local managers are given the freedom to support what the community supports than by all means as a community we must request donations for our educational programs and pertinent social needs.  Characteristic of a decentralized organizational model, Starbucks will shift with the paradigm of society (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2007).

Not only does Starbucks give its managers freedom of philanthropy, it encourages employees both new and old to contribute suggestions to the company on a regular basis, publishing these suggestions, even the anonymous ones in the company newsletter (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2007).  This method of publishing the suggestions affords a form of corporate accountability that encourages ethical behavior.  Starbucks is an organization that is not only a leader in social responsibility; it is an organization that encourages social responsibility on an individual level, which is where social responsibility begins.

                                                                                                                                                          Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2007). Business ethics: Ethical decisionmaking and cases (7th ed.). Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.

Hartline, James.  (2006).  Starbucks funds homosexual causes.  Americans for Truth About

Kleppinger, Meghan.  (2005).  A habit easily broken.  Concerned Women for America.  Retrieved August 17, 2009 @

Nike.  (2009).  Nike Responsibilty.  Nikebiz.  Retrieved August 17, 2009 @                  

Zadek, Simon.  (2005).  The five steps of corporate responsibility.  Harvard Business School.  Retrieved August17, 2009 @

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8