Making a difference now
So if you’re wondering: “What are some steps we can take right now to make a difference?” There are definitely ways you can create change from where you are. They include the following:
Educating ourselves and our kids – becoming and raising global citizens
One way is to teach our kids about people in different parts of the world through the following:
– Travel is a great way to do this, if children are exposed to the local cultures, languages and people. Need tips to make traveling with your kids easier, check out: Tips for Traveling With Your Kids or Baby
– Sometimes travel might not be in your budget, but books can help. Some recommended ones are Citizen Kid books
you can have a look at here
. Also, encouraging further discussion and research after reading stories about people in different parts of the world can help.
– You can purchase or create activities at home that inspire learning about other parts of the world. One company that does this is Little Passports
, it’s a subscription service where each month children receive a box full of information about a particular country.
Meals – Gathering recipes and cookbooks with foods from different cultures and serving meals from different parts of the world. One way to do this is to choose a culture or country of the week and serve foods from recipes originating there. Even if you don’t have time to do this, choosing ethnically diverse restaurants when you eat out and discussing the countries from where the recipes come from.
Community – Building or engaging in a diverse community of people with different backgrounds, religions, countries and cultures. This isn’t as easy in smaller communities, but still possible to a degree. If you’re in a place with a more diverse community, attending cultural events can be one way you do this.
Global view – Fostering a love for people from all over the world, not just one’s own country. Understanding that what people and countries do affects other people and countries.
How moms and all parents can make a difference
As parents what we purchase makes a difference and while it can be difficult to understand and research exactly where everything comes from, working on increasing our own knowledge to make better consumer choices can have an impact. We shouldn’t underestimate the purchasing power of people. Supporting companies with better ethical practices can have a ripple effect and encourage others to change their ways if they see consumers demanding products that are conflict free.
While electronics are everywhere, we don’t necessarily need a new phone, computer or tablet every year. If you knew that the minerals used to create them contribute to child labor or violence towards innocent civilians in another part of the world, would you still update them every time a new model came out?
What would you do if you found out about companies trying to change how electronics are used, creating long lasting and easily reparable models? One such company is Fairphone
. You can check them out here
Diamonds are not exactly a girl’s best friend… The diamond mining industry is fueling conflict in places
like the Democratic Republic of Congo. Often times children end up working in such mines due to poverty, and in some places they are forced to become child soldiers because of such conflict. Certification programs like the Kimberly Process aren’t always effective due to fake documentation and loopholes, meaning that there isn’t a guarantee that diamonds that are sold with such certifications aren’t conflict free.*
It takes community involvement
There is so much more that can be said with regards to our purchasing choices and decisions. As consumers we can make a difference, but it shouldn’t be our responsibility alone. Also, this doesn’t mean we should throw out products or items we have, but what can help is to make better choices as we are made aware of their impacts. An even greater difference can be made when entire communities and governments come together to create necessary changes to encourage companies to do better.