What is fairtrade? – An instrument of power for consumers!

Fair Week 2018

Our online marketplace, greenpicks.de/en, offers fairtrade products all year-round, and we are pleased to highlight the theme during the Fair Weeks in September. This is a great opportunity to sensitize consumers to fair trade products.

Fairtrade seal at Greenpicks
Fairtrade seal at Greenpicks

What is fairtrade?

Worldwide working means securing the basis of life. So much for the theory. While in some countries of the world a so-called minimum wage is paid to employees, such regulations are missing, especially in developing countries. As a globally organized system, fairtrade protects people from exploitation. Regardless of the market value of the products, producers are always paid a minimum fairtrade price. This allows small and medium-sized producers and enterprises in developing countries to live from the production and sale of the goods while at the same time respecting environmentally sound aspects. Farmers and producers are organized in cooperatives that receive premiums for social projects. Thereof are being built, for example, schools, hospitals and drinking water fountains. Also, income flows into health care and social institutions.

Fair and more!

Anyone who buys fairtrade products also invests in the sustainable future of their fellow human beings and nature. Specifically, this means conscientiously consuming in the present, for a goal that is not always immediately visible: conservation and preservation of our planet for future generations. In fair trade, child and forced labour are taboo. The change to organic farming is generally encouraged and rewarded with additional premiums. Protective clothing is provided to people, social and medical precaution and paid holidays are secured. Achievements that are taken for granted for us.

How do you recognize Fairtrade products?

Unfortunately, there is no consistent Fairtrade seal. The most widely distributed certificate is given by the FLO to producers in developing countries who are committed to the principles of Faitrade – socially and environmentally sound. Based on the logos of the Fair Trade organizations GEPA, El Puente, BanaFair and dwp, fairtrade products can be identified. Companies that demonstrate that they meet all fair trade criteria can receive the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) label. Organizations such as the world shops’ umbrella association or importers (such as the shop Sundara Paper & Art at Greenpicks) or the Fair Trade Forum can be certified concerning to the WFTO’s warranty system.

In Germany you will find mainly two product labels for fair trade. Only products from the Global South that meet the requirements of the international Fairtrade standards may bear the Fairtrade seal, which is awarded in Germany by TransFair e.V. Products that are manufactured according to the Naturland guidelines for ecological and fair production can be awarded the Naturland Fair seal.

How much is Fairtrade in organic, how much organic is in Fair trade?

However, while fair trade focuses on people and fair wages for their work, the protection of the environment is inextricable from a fair economic system. Fairtrade does not necessarily mean that coffee, tea and clothing are produced in organic quality. Conversely, organic products are not necessarily fairtrade. Nevertheless, the tendency is increasing. Fairtrade certificates and organic seals meld. Many products, including at Greenpicks, are now both fairtrade certified and labeled with organic seals such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®), demeter etc.

Fairtrade product range at Greenpicks

The Greenpicks sustainability criterion “Fair & Social” is based on regional and international standards of fair trade. In addition, the in-house seal also considers products that are manufactured under socially acceptable conditions. On every category page, in every eco online shop and in all organic brands, interested consumers will find corresponding articles about the filter “sustainability criteria » fair & social “. The Fairtrade product line at Greenpicks does not only cover foods such as tea, coffee and chocolate but also fair trade fashion for babies, children, women and men; bags & backpacks, Fairtrade jewellery, toys, housewares, furniture as well as pet supplies & pet food.

Fair Week 2018
Fair Week 2018

The analogue and digital shopping cart is an instrument of power of the consumer

Consumers are dependent on the offer. If there are no fair trade products, you can only do without as far as you do not want to buy ordinary products. Consumers can only put pressure on concerns if they buy or consciously leave their products. It is not enough to revolt – about inhuman working conditions, about child labour, about plastic waste in the ocean. Civil disobedience, bringing into question, understanding and hands-on action is an instrument of power to change something with the shopping basket. This provides the opportunity to influence the conditions in the value chains.

In the right place: Greenpicks in the Fairtrade Town Cologne

Headquarters of Greenpicks – Eco & Upcycling Market is in the Fairtrade Town of Cologne. Coincidence or destiny? Presumably, the owner, Annette Husmann, was cradled to work for a fair world. Even before her studies in “Strategic Sustainability Management”, she was involved with the bilingual online marketplace Greenpicks in ensuring that the fair and ecological products offered convince as many people as possible. In addition, she advises unpacked shops and participants of GIZ programs on topics such as upcycling and sustainability.

More life quality through less

More life quality through less

Earthovershootday this year already on August 2, 2017, a progressive scarcity of resources, growing world population, climate change, melting “eternal” ice, weather extremes, the littering of the oceans – the list of the negative characteristics of our time could be continued even further.

In the face of these horrific developments one can quickly fall into a depression or resign. What can I do as an individual against all this? Admittedly, alone you are quite powerless if you want to save the world.

Fortunately, a sustainable lifestyle helps to contribute with joy and fun to an improvement, while at the same time enriching your own life.

As so-called consumers, we have a power that can not be underestimated, which we can make much better use of. Private consumption and the resulting production of goods play a large part in the above-mentioned developments.

A first step is certainly to move to sustainable products when it comes to consumption. For example, you can buy long-lasting or harmless items, or replace conventional products over the long term with sustainable ones.

Sustainable consumption as an entry into a life as a strategic, conscious consumer. The more people change their purchasing behavior in this direction, the greater the pressure on manufacturers and their motivation to produce products that are ecological, durable, recyclable, harmless and resource-efficient.

The mere shift to sustainable consumption in the sense of “the same in green” will, however, not be enough to effectively reduce the mad goods flows and mountains of items and thus, the absolute global environmental impacts.

What can be the solution? In addition to a focus on technological advances and resource efficiency, which has been stepped up in the sustainability debate, it is the approach of so-called “sufficiency”.

With sufficiency to a higher quality of life

Suffi-what? The concept of sufficiency is derived from Latin; The verb “sufficere” means “suffice”. In sufficiency it is the question of the right measure and the need to have as much as one’s own needs require. In the ecological context, sufficiency is the consideration of natural borders and resources and is accompanied by the lowest possible raw material consumption.

And what does this mean for me as an individual? I really do not want to do without anything. How can you, on an individual level, change your own consumption habits or your own lifestyle in such a way that fewer resources are consumed? And how can the quality of life of the individual be improved without consuming more, but on the contrary rather less?

More life quality through less - Vivienne Westwood

In the course of recent years, various possibilities and approaches have crystallized out and at least established in the niche how one can live better without consuming more. It is about time instead of commodity, alternatives to a lifestyle of the other, better and more beautiful.

Instead of buying and consuming more and more, for which you need more and more money and because of the rising working hours and at the same time sinking leisure time you have less and less opportunity to use the bought things, there is also a different way. Fun and joy are then found much more beyond the shopping center – in nature, in sport, in the joint cooking with friends.

Many people find their happiness in doing-it-yourself (cooking, preserving, handicrafts, etc.) and in the experience that they can repair something (which we unfortunately unlearn more and more in our throwaway society). Longevity of products and upcycling also play an important role. Self-catering by gardening or urban gardening are further approaches. And a very important starting point is the prevention of garbage, which can be operated through the use of reusable containers in a wide range of fields (ZeroWaste / LowWaste, plastic-free living).

We at Greenpicks have the vision to put these approaches more firmly in the foreground and to inspire more and more people. We dream of a movement that connects more and more people. Together for a better world.

Author: Annette Husmann

In the bathroom without pollutants

In the bathroom without pollutants
In the bathroom without pollutants

In the bathroom without pollutants

Linda Green and Verde Wood have been living together for some months. Renovated three-room flat in an old building, kitchen, hall, bathroom in a popular Cologne city quarter. When looking for a place to live, the newly in love couple, among other things, concentrated on a central location, short distances to work and a home that was free from harmful substances.

After all, the owner put emphasis on green building in kitchen and bathroom. Natural raw materials such as wood were used. The long-lasting material comes from forests in which new trees are growing and bears the FSC seal for sustainable forestry. In the eco bath you can find tiles and water-saving fittings.

With Linda Green, sustainability has also moved in the newly enamoured household. In kitchen and household, she has always exchanged kitchen helpers and storage boxes by sustainable alternatives made of natural or recycled materials when the kitchen utensils were broken and worn. But in the bathroom there is still a lot of plastic accessories. A slip resistant bath mat and a shelf for personal care products are still missing.

Goal: Eco bath with individual character

The goal of Linda Green: to equip the bathroom environmentally friendly and to ban harmful substances. She was also able to convince her partner. And so they sent an email to Greenpicks. We gave them the following advice:

Dental Care without plastic for adults and kids

Toothbrushes with bamboo handle
Toothbrushes with bamboo handle

Renewable resource: The Hydrophil toothbrushes have a bamboo handle and nylon bristles. The environmentally friendly brushes are available in various strengths and for children.

Recycling/Upcycling ✓ Vegan ✓ Energy- and resource-efficient ✓ Reduction of pollutant  ✓

For oral hygiene

Maienfelser tooth powder
Maienfelser tooth powder

The Maienfelser tooth powder is a healthy alternative to commercial toothpastes. It contains neither chalk nor harmful chemicals. Instead, the tooth powder is made only from natural ingredients and certified organic ingredients. The herbs provide a mild, anti-bacterial oral flora.

Recycling/Upcycling ✓ Raw materials from organic farming ✓ Vegan ✓ Energy- and resource-efficient ✓ Reduction of pollutant ✓ Regional production ✓ Hand made  ✓

Natural body care

Klar´s Sea Salt Soap
Klar´s Sea Salt Soap

Shower gel does not need plastic bottles. Klar´s Sea Salt Soap is a natural mixture of plant oils, lanolin and with natural sea salt. Free of artificial fragrances, colors and preservatives. Also suitable as shaving soap.

Raw materials from organic farming ✓ Vegan ✓ Energy- and resource-efficient ✓ Reduction of pollutant ✓

Soap dish made of olive wood

Soap dish made of olive wood
Soap dish made of olive wood

If you chose soap instead of shampoo in a plastic bottle, a soap dish made of olive wood is a good choice. It is not only decorative but highly resistant to moisture. Shop Olivenholz erleben.

Recycling/Upcycling ✓ Vegan; Fair & Social ✓ Cradle to Cradle ✓ Energy- and resource-efficient ✓ Climate friendly ✓ Reduction of pollutant ✓ Durabiltiy ✓ Regional production ✓ Hand made  ✓

Vegan Toilet Paper

Vegan Toilet Paper
Vegan Toilet Paper

For the loo Smooth Panda offers vegan bamboo toilet paper, Silky and soft, 8 toilet rolls à 240 sheet each pack, FSC certified, 3-ply, especially vegan/animal-friendly, unbleached and resource-efficient in plastic-free recycling carton. 8 toilet rolls or the stock for a year with 48 rolls.

Recycling/Upcycling ✓ Raw materials from organic farming ✓ Vegan ✓ Energy- and resource-efficient ✓ Climate friendly ✓ Reduction of pollutant  ✓

Gentle care for hair

olive wood hairbrush
olive wood hairbrush

The olive wood hairbrush from the German manufacturer Redecker is perfect for gentle detangling and for the care of long hair. Ergonomic design. The olive wood is damp-resistant.

Recycling/Upcycling ✓ Energy- and resource-efficient ✓ Climate friendly ✓ Hand made ✓ Regional production ✓

Nonslip and sustainable

Bath mat made of Thermowood
Bath mat made of Thermowood

With the bath mat made of Thermowood by Redecker, you can stand on safe feet after bathing and showering. The “baked wood” is particularly resistant to moisture. Without the use of chemicals, the wooden bath mat is an environmentally friendly alternative and a decorative, sustainable accessory for the bathroom.

Recycling/Upcycling ✓ Energy- and resource-efficient ✓ Reduction of pollutant ✓ Regional Production  ✓

Upcycled wooden shelf for bathroom utensils

Upcycled wooden shelf
Upcycled wooden shelf

Despite the minimalist approach … also the few bathroom utensils and body care products of Linda Green and Verde wood want to be accommodated in the eco-friendly bathroom. The resource-conserving variant is a shelf made of recycled disposable pallets and bicycle tubes. available in different colours and sizes in shop reditum.

Recycling/Upcycling ✓ Durability ✓ Fair & Social ✓ Cradle to Cradle ✓ Hand made ✓ Regional Production  ✓

An eco bath is particularly sustainable when it is timeless designed and furnished. It is universally usable, takes into account social, economic and ecological aspects, so that people have a lot of fun with their baths. Small accessories such as colorful towels made of organic cotton create individual accents. In the bathroom without pollutants – this has a positive effect on the environment and on your finances.

Price versus Value at Eco Products

Price versus Value

Oscar Wilde: Price versus Value
Oscar Wilde: Price versus Value

Greenpicks stands for conscious consumption. Sustainable products are often slightly more expensive than conventional products and meet environmental and social standards. The value is always in the “eye of the beholder”, it is always “subjective”. Whether something is worth, is the sole responsibility of the acting person that assigns a benefit to a good. This also applies to the ecological and social awareness. However, here the human incorporates other aspects in his purchase decision. These include beside the benefit of the good criteria such as

  •  Has the product been manufactured environmentally friendly?
  • Were the persons involved in the production process compensated fair?
  • Do the working conditions of the producers meet social and health standards?
  • Is it possible to recycle the good or even return it by Cradle to Cradle criteria into the natural cycle?
  • Are the materials used free of pollutants?
  • What is the carbon footprint in the production of the products?
  • Is the good produced locally or regionally? And are thereby jobs secured in the region?

In addition to general economic factors and the benefit these and other sustainability criteria determine the value of the eco-friendly product. The benefit results from the fact that one thing (a good) helps to provide a need. Fair production conditions for workers and environmentally friendly production are as important for ecoconscious people as their causal personal need.

Nowadays people know
the price of everything
and the value of nothing.

– Oscar Wilde –

Plastic Waste on the Beach

Sunbath on the Beach in between of Plastic Waste

Gradually the summer holidays in Europe start. Many tourists spend the best time of the year at the seaside. But who would like to sunbath in the sand between all the plastic waste? Because unfortunately on every beach of the ocean can be found plastic – various kinds of plastic waste and mikroplastic.

plastic waste
Careless plastic waste lying around on the beach (Spain) close to a dustbin | © streitline

Close to the dustbin

Who wants to have clean beaches and enjoy an unburdened holiday season, will make the short distance way to provided dustbins or take his garbage at home. And if there is no refuse bin available, then do good for yourself, for others and for the environment and take your rubbish and dispose of in an appropriate place. Plastic – less means more ocean and nature!

A good rest for body, mind, soul and nature wishes Greenpicks.

Personal Climate Protection – Act now!

For a better climate

The Climate Protection Conference has negotiated two weeks in December 2015 in Paris about how global warming can be slowed. The result is a milestone in the history of the climate summit.

For the first time 195 member states have contracted to do something concrete to protect the climate. This historic event sets the general conditions for climate-protecting measures. The states must fill it with concrete climate actions. For example:

  • Renewable energy as an energy source of the future.
  • Global energy transition: away from carbon and crude oil to renewable energy.
  • New development projects between industrialized and developing countries.
  • Support of weak countries by the developed countries in addressing the adverse effects of climate change

Personal Climate Protection

Today and now, everybody can participate with everyday decisions on active climate protection. With these things you achieve rapidly success:

1. Change to Green Energy

Climate Protection with Green Energy by Wind Turbines
Climate Protection with Green Energy by Wind Turbines






Continue reading Personal Climate Protection – Act now!

Sustainability in Household, Kitchen & Co

Sustainability in Household, Kitchen & Co

Sustainability in Household, Kitchen & Co | Greenpicks
Sustainability in Household, Kitchen & Co | Greenpicks

Your kitchen is one place where natural and green products can really make a sustainable difference for your family’s health. Regional foods are the most sustainable and leave a small carbon footprint. Who swims on the eco-conscious vibe in the kitchen, should be choosy even with kitchen supplies and household helpers. Green alternatives for sustainability in household, kitchen & Co. are made from natural or recycled materials. Continue reading Sustainability in Household, Kitchen & Co

Stress-free Christmas

Tips for stress-free Christmas

stress-free Christmas
Tips for stress-free Christmas

Greenpicks – Eco & Upcycling Market does not stand only for a sustainable consumption, but also for a sustainable lifestyle. In our view this includes the minimalistic use of objects and careful use of time. This refers to the composition of the pre-Christmas season and the scrupulous dealing of Christmas presents.

stress-free Christmas: Advent is supposed to be a peaceful time
Advent is supposed to be a peaceful time

In the Advent season Christians prepare for the arrival of Christus. The Advent period was supposed to be a peaceful, cosy and joyful time, regardless of the religious ethos. Especially the winter and the dark season are well suited to shift down a gear, to hold communion with oneself and to pay attention to dear fellows. But the opposite is true: Christmas time is stress.

The hunt for Christmas presents is opened

In the current consumer society, however, the Advent season is preparing for Christmas in such a way that many people go on the hunt for Christmas presents. Furthermore people go on errands such as cheap (and sometimes toxic) Christmas decoration from China, Christmas roast from factory farming, Christmas carp, standardized Christmas cards, Christmas wreath from discounters, candles, Christmas trees from the DIY market and buying groceries on stock. Baking cookies, decorate christmassy the apartment, wrap gifts and send Christmas cards and New Year’s wishes, supplement the pre-Christmas stress. And no later than on 27th December are all glad when it’s all over. And one or the other gift is exchanged or some days later it is already defective.

Free yourself from the festive collective stress

But do we have to take part every year in Christmas consumption binge? Have to? Hardly likely. As responsible citizens, we can decide not to follow the Christmas consumption frenzy and collective stress like every day in our lives. Whoever deliberately consumes over the whole year, can also do at Christmas!

There are many things that cost nothing and yet are ecologically valuable and sustainable. We only need to bother ourselves about it and leave unnoticed the solutions offered to us by advertising. Those who manage to get rid of all the angel like praised needs at Santa Claus and Christmas, can actually enjoy Advent as the quietest time of the year and the Christmas holidays.

The following proposals are less to save money, but in your own interest to bring yourself stress-free Christmas. And to act in terms of sustainability and to think about what could make happy the recipient. Continue reading Stress-free Christmas