2024 Climate Change Initiatives

While we are committed to sustainability every year, we're focusing on four key initiatives throughout 2024 to support our global partners.

Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth--173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That's more than 10,000 times the world's total energy use. So why aren't we using more?

Cost is one of the biggest hurdles.

To help overcome this obstacle, several of our fair trade partners have invested in solar panels for offices and workshops. SERRV has provided grants over the years to support their efforts. This generates a reliable and eco-friendly source of electricity in areas where power grids are limited and polluting.

Solar success stories
  • BFTA in West Bank installed a solar system for their main office building
  • Allpa in Peru installed solar panels in several artisan workshops
  • Justea in Kenya uses solar power at their tea processing facility

Anniversary Initiative #1: Solar Powered Water Heating Systems

Funds raised will be donated in part to ACP in Nepal to help them fund multiple solar powered water heating systems for several felting workshops.

Currently, five groups of felting artisans, including a workshop of 49 artisan women and one artisan man who make our popular felted ornaments, rely on fossil fuels to heat water for the wet felting process. By installing solar powered water heating systems, these artisans will have a reliable and eco-friendly method of generating the hot water needed for their crafts.

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2.4 billion people live in water-stressed countries. Many are small-scale farmers, women, refugees, and indigenous peoples who already struggle to meet their daily needs for drinking water, nutritious food and basic services such as hygiene and sanitation.

To conserve and protect local water sources, many of our fair trade partners have developed wastewater treatment systems for any byproducts of their handcrafts. They also collect rainwater, providing a vital and waste-free source of water year-round.

Water Winners
  • Sindyanna in Israel funds hydroponic home agriculture as a safe way for their farmers and workers to grow food
  • Dhaka in Bangladesh built an Effluent Treatment Plant to treat and purify wastewater produced during the handcraft process.
  • Tara in India harvests rain water for home use

Anniversary Initiative #2: Textile Wastewater Treatment Systems

Funds raised will be donated in part to Sasha in India to help them fund textile wastewater treatment systems.

Our partners are working on installing micro-Effluent Treatment Plants at five rural workshops to treat wastewater from the dyeing process. These ETPs feature soil scrape filter technology, which passes wastewater through three layers of biological and natural mediums--organic fertilizer on the top, sand in the middle, and stone at the bottom. The organic fertilizer layer contains soil, microbes, and other water-soluble materials which absorb and convert pollutants in wastewater. By installing these ETPs, artisans in rural workshops can safely dispose of wastewater and minimize the impact of dyes on the environment.

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Our partners use natural, sustainable, and upcycled materials, helping reduce waste and protect the planet while accessing a regular source of raw materials for crafting. Our partners utilize native woods, grasses and more while avoiding at-risk and endangered species, preserving the environment for future generations.

Natural solutions
  • Camari in Ecuador harvests natural tagua nuts from the forest floor, which helps protect the rainforest
  • Dominion Traders in Pakistan utilizes onyx, Burma Teak, and other varieties of stone
  • CORR in Bangladesh uses plentiful jute, sea grass, and clay for their handcrafts
  • Asha in India produces block-printed textiles colored with all-natural vegetable dyes

Anniversary Initiative #3: Conserving Resources in Indigenous Communities

Funds raised will be donated in part to CCAP in the Philippines to help them fund native plants on ancestral lands and ongoing training on the management of a tree nursery.

A group of 30 artisans belonging to the Teduray Lambingian tribe in Palawan, Philippines use bamboo, rattan, and nito vine to weave their handmade items. By planting on their ancestral lands and managing a local nursery, these indigenous communities can sustainably source the raw materials needed for their crafts and replace plants lost to natural disasters and development.

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Forests are vital to our survival. Despite this, worldwide forest cover shrinks by an average of 4.7 million hectares per year (that's nearly 12 million football fields!). So, how do we change this?

By supporting reforestation efforts anywhere in the world, we can combat the loss of forests and build back this incredibly important natural resource.

Planting the seeds of change
  • Get Paper in Nepal plants trees every year, planting over 30,000 trees in 25 years!
  • CCAP in the Philippines started a tree nursery
  • Nyabigena in Kenya plants seedlings in their local community

Anniversary Initiative #4: Reforestation in the Village of Gumawang

Funds raised will be donated in part to Apikri in Indonesia to help them fund seedlings for an artisan-led reforestation project in the rural village of Gumawang.

In order to provide raw materials for handcrafts and support his community, artisan leader Bayu used his land in Gumawang to plant sengon, teak, and cocoa trees. Many of these trees reached the age to be used for raw materials and were cleared to expand an artisan workshop. With support from SERRV, Bayu will organize the artisans in his community to plant sengon, teak, and durian fruit trees to create additional sources of income through integrated farming and fruit sales to the tourist industry while providing a sustainable source of raw materials for handcrafts to employ artisans.

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Resources: Energy.gov, United Nations, Earthday.org