It's Up to Us

It's Up to Us

Posted by Dave Thompson on 24th Jan 2017

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It has been a year since my last newsletter or blog post. Life has been hectic and I haven’t been making enough room for writing. But ever since November 8th, the day the United States elected its 45th President, the pen (or keyboard) has been calling to me.For a while, though, it almost felt too painful to write. I needed to give some space to what has felt like a sucker punch to the gut.A lot of folks don’t understand what’s the big deal. “So what? Your candidate lost, get over it!” they say.But this is different.I didn’t want to see George W. Bush elected but this is far more painful. This time, we elected an individual who ran a campaign based on fear, based on insulting and bullying people, and at its worst, based on hate. Last week we coronated as President aman who, in spite of what he claims behind his bully pulpit, doesn’t give one iota for the wellbeing of you and me, doesn’t know a thing about justice or fairness, and certainly doesn’t care about the planet.

As I spoke to friends and coworkers in the days following the election I remember thinking that now more than ever we have to be the ones to make the world a better place. We have to get off our collective couches, off our Facebook feeds, and get out into the community.At first I thought, “It is now up to us” to create a world where love and compassion dominate. Where stewardship of the earth is the norm, not the exception. But then I realized, it has always been up to us.

I started Epic Coffee because I believed coffee could be a platform to help people make small decisions - like what kind of coffee they pour in their cup each morning - that can have a meaningful impact on the shape of the world. If great coffee can be sourced by paying farmers fair wages and incentivizing environmentally sustainable growing practices, and people can feel they are a part of that decision, then we can make similar decisions in other areas of our lives.Decisions that put people and planet first.

With a Cabinet of billionaires, it is clear that President Trump will not be putting people and planet first.But we can.As American Ferrera said at the Women’s March in Washington D.C., "The president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America. And we are here to stay." Every day, we can make decisions that lead to a better world. As consumers, we have incredible power to change the world.We can become economic activists, because we are America.

Here are FOUR ways you can become an economic activist TODAY:

  • 1.By organic foods grown by local farmers – Most agriculture, and food in general, is controlled by corporate interests. As much as I love raspberries, buying fruit grown in arid Baja California, Mexico is neither good for people nor the environment. For things like bananas and sugar, buy Fair Trade!
  • 2.Reuse – When things break, fix them. When clothes rip, sew them back together. Zip lock bags can be used more than once.We don’t need more landfills and buying stuff doesn’t make us any happier. Jamie Facciola’s Repair Revolution in Oakland can teach you how!
  • 3.Take public transit – Or better yet, bike!Oil companies have incredible say, even more so now, in our government.The less we depend on their oil, the less power they will have.And we all know that all facets of the oil industry are damaging the earth.
  • 4.Move your money – Big banks care about profit, period (after all, it’s the law). They invest all manner of things where profit is more important than people or planet. Move your money to a local credit union, which are governed by their members, you! I’m a member of Self-Help

Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking it takes big things to make a difference. If each of us takes the above small steps, we can have a huge impact. If we help just one other person do the same, we can multiple that impact!

What do you do?What are the small steps you are taking to make the world better?I’d love to hear from you.