Protecting Biodiversity through Ethical Purchasing Decisions

Written by on July 24, 2011 in charity, Green - No comments

For decades, we have heard the token phrase “children are the future.” We must educate in order to ensure a brighter future for all. However, does this imply that children will act to enable change only in the future? Can they not enable positive change now? Earth Rangers is an award-winning Canadian non-profit organization focused on communicating a positive, science-based message to children on the importance of protecting biodiversity.

Earth Rangers is committed to empowering children with the tools to take action to help protect animals and their habitats. Children can visit www.earthrangers.com to choose an animal and habit to help protect and start a fundraising campaign. . While on the website, children also get the change to learn about about each animal, including: a detailed biography on them, a summary of its habitat, an outline of the key threats to its habitat, a target goal of funds they hope to raise, and an explanation of how the funds rasied will be used. In the end, this project allows children to make educated decisions, while having a clear call to action.

Here, an important lesson lies: when creating advocacy, education and fundraising concepts directed towards kids, we must focus on allowing children to be social innovators now, not just in the future. Just as Earth Rangers does, we must create clear, transparent campaigns, focused on educating children so that they can make their own decisions. We must provide kids with a fun way to learn, a chance to become passionate about something they can relate to, and then provide them with a simple call to action. Additionally, by integrating in-school and community events into their campaign, the organization creates many channels to engage youth.

Over the next few months, Shopanthropic is taking a page from Earth Rangers and enabling children to be the change NOW, within the ethical consumerism space. Shopanthropic is promoting a collection of kid-friendly journals and finger puppets to raise funds for Earth Rangers. 25% of sale proceeds from this collection will go to benefit Earth Rangers. This campaign holds a dual purpose. The first is to encourage children to adapt sustainable behaviours in order to preserve biodiversity, which is part of the mission that Earth Rangers believes in. Using materials such as 100% tree-free paper products and recycled cotton allows us to do this. The second is to educate children about the importance of ethical and sustainable purchasing.

As our society becomes increasingly consumer-oriented, it is essential that children realize the impact their purchasing decisions will have on people around the world. All of the products in this campaign are made by artisans around the world, using a skill that is their main form of livelihood.

Through the support of fair-trade these artisans are able to create their age-old art alive, allow future generations to learn this skill, market their products, and financially support their families & communities. Some of these artisans are working with organizations who assist them with financial & technical support, giving them training and creating income generating programmes. By purchasing the products we have dedicated to Earth Rangers, we hope that children will realize the role their purchasing decisions can make in positively benefiting individuals around the world.

Children don’t have to wait for the future to make a difference; they can do it now. They have the ability to learn about the threats against our biodiversity, support causes such as protecting habitats, valuable natural resources and endangered animals, and encourage their families to lead sustainable lives through ethical purchasing decisions. It is important for children to realize that as they grow up, they will have a chance to use their ‘vote’ as a consumer to create positive change. Through organizations like Earth Rangers and campaigns like this one, we hope children have a chance to experience all of this and more!

To learn more about Earth Rangers visit http://www.earthrangers.com/, to learn more about the Shopanthropic/Earth Rangers campaign, visit http://shopanthropic.com/sa/category/31-earth-rangers-campaign.aspx. Do you know of any organizations or campaigns encouraging children to be changemakers? Let us know!

Tarini

Shopanthropic is a social venture based on the concept of using purchasing power as a tool to promote social change locally and internationally. We provide sustainable fashion and lifestyle products that are inspired by the latest trends from around the world.

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