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Mary Stuart Masterson

My sister, Lexie, is as passionate about the earth as I am.  She invited me to write about a cause near and dear to my heart, The Rainforest Alliance. Clairvoyant Beauty donates 1% of all proceeds to the Rainforest Alliance.

 

I have been a board member for 7 years now and I am so proud to have witnessed firsthand what The Rainforest Alliance has accomplished. The Rainforest Alliance (not to be confused with The Rainforest Foundation-a.k.a. (the one Sting does the concerts for) is well respected leader setting high standards for certification of products grown in biodiversity-threatened areas of the rainforest and elsewhere. Rainforest Alliance works with businesses to help guide them toward sustainable business practices-both for the land and for the people whose livelihoods depend on it. They have helped Chiquita go from being boycotted to being celebrated for the way their banana plantations transformed under the (blindly audited) certification program Rainforest Alliance implemented for them. RA has certified timber, bananas, coffee, pineapple, passion fruit, macadamia nuts, cocoa, furniture, eco-tourism and now tea for large and small growers all over the world. They have pushed to get exclusively Rainforest Alliance coffee into McDonald's in the UK and Ireland as well as the new Harry Potter book to be printed on certified paper. It seems every week there's a new press release about something RA has done to make the world a better place. What I love about the RA's approach is that they seek realistic solutions to our planet's most pressing problems.

 

We are running out of real estate and time.

 

With the growing pressure developing nations around the globe place on our natural resources, we need to act now in everyday ways, big and small to change the way we think and act. We can't look at our world as disposable. Beyond recycling, reusing, & renewing, we need to be accountable and demand from our leaders-both business and governmental-responsibly sourced energy, products and services. We have to live the values we hold dear: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness implies responsibility. We have all the information and technology we need to stop the degradation of our world. We need only to implement the changes available to us and we can survive.

 

"Socialism collapsed because it did not allow prices to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow prices to tell the ecological truth." --Ã'ystein Dahle, former Exxon vice president for Norway and the North Sea.

 

Changing the way we think is essential to change. We must quantify the cost of environmental degradation into the bottom line of any budget. The Worldwatch Institute's website states that, more and more "publicly traded companies are starting to include environmental risks in their annual reports". This is a huge shift in corporate thinking! In Texas, of all places, wind energy development is a booming business. This is great news. Each of us can support corporate greening, by seeking out products and services that reflect our values. Whether it's buying Rainforest Alliance certified products (check out www.rainforest-alliance.org), locally grown food (through a CSA, co-op or farmer's market), or by voting for our values (check out www.grist.org), we can change our throw-away economy and turn it into, what noted environmentalist, Lester Brown, calls an "eco-economy". We can change our incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent, we can boycott coal, we can filter our tap water and carry a reusable bottle with us, and we can bring our bags to the market. If we have some extra cash we can go solar, wind or geo-thermal. We can buy stocks that reflect our values. We can all read Plan B:3.0, by Lester Brown (go to www.earth-policy.org to learn more and purchase this amazing book) and educate ourselves about the inextricable links between population, poverty, natural resources and climate change and how to motivate for change. He has proposed a four-pronged approach to reverse the damage and save our planet that every elected leader and CEO should study!

 

Look: Nobody's perfect. I know I'm not. But we can all try to lighten our impact on the globe. We don't need to feel guilty 24 hours a day, but we need to be awake.

 

Visit: The Rainforest Alliance

 

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