I keep meaning to put photos up of our new shop but have been so busy with our new guesthouse. I did write in a previous entry how proud I was of our new wall. I had rented this shop space because I thought the walls outside the shop had potential as a marketing tool. It was previously salmon coloured so I white washed it and paid a Cambodian artist, Khey, to paint our new logo and the words. (Khey has 2 shops of his own, one in the Old Market and another one near my previous shop where he sells his original paintings).
This is the Bloom wall:
In the day time.
And at night.
Tuk tuks line our street at night.
Khey did such a good job! Many, many tourists take photos of the green wall, with our logo and "Green is Revolution". They even pose with it!
I chose this slogan over many I have in mind, because I think it best encapsulates what we stand for. I had adapted it from Iran's Green Revolution, the name given to 2009's Iranian Presidential Election, in which many Persian protestors risked their lives to dispute the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over Mir-Hossein Mousavi.
Green is revolution in so many ways. As I see it, concern of the environment is waking people up from their robotic consumer lifestyles. So many people go through lives semi-conscious, never really using the brain to think about the choices we make.
To me, the green movement is revolutionary, forcing us to re-examine the way we thoughtlessly consume the earth's limited resources. We are only now beginning to think about our unsustainable lifestyles and the stress it puts on our planet. From buying hybrid cars to changing our diets (fat people cause climate change, says the British government's chief green adviser) to buying recycled goods, many, many people are trying to make changes in the way they lead their lives, so as to live more responsibly. (Some say it is too late, but I think better late than never).
For me, the green revolution also means change towards a fairer, more just, and more thoughtful society. People now care more about other people and animals and things as they think about how climate change affects poor people (half a million displaced people in Bangladesh pour into the capital Dhaka each year as their homes are destroyed); polar bears (forced to be cannibals as they have smaller platforms to hunt seals); and our planet's future ("by 2025 there could be three billion people without adequate water as the population rises still further. And massive urbanisation, increased encroachment on animal territory, and concentrated livestock production could trigger new pandemics" - 2009 State of the Future).
It is my hope that this new concern for other people also includes interest in making trade fair, in ending the exploitation of poor people in the third world, just so we in the developed world can have our cheap consumer goods.
I think it is happening. I have seen people come to the realisation that part of the problem about climate change is that rich countries are consuming too much at the expense of other countries. From there, it is not a big jump to conclude that the lifestyles of people in the developed world are being subsidised by poor people in the third world. Thinking about climate change, people realise how interconnected we are, how interdependent we are, and how one problem in one part of the world will ultimately affect the rest of us.
And this is how "Green is Revolution" applies to Bloom. At Bloom, we make products with recycled materials as our way of contributing to saving the environment. At the same time, we pay fair wages to producers and charge fair prices to customers as our way of trying to make trade fair. This is why the other part of the wall says "Making Trade Fair - one bag at a time." I hope this makes sense to you. But if not, please let me know, as it helps me sharpen my thinking about the issue.
A final pic. My team was so cute. They asked me to take a photo of them in front of the wall because they had seen many tourists do the same.
From left: Bora, Kagna, Socheata and Piseth. Hope to see you at Bloom Cambodia!
the green project looks green and well done!
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