Compassionate Caffeine Consumption
NZ Bear at Truth Laid Bear, who runs the the TTLB ecosystem, made a very obvious suggestion the other day: Buying Sumatran coffee and Sri Lankan tea ought to help Tsunami survivors
. I would add in the long run and the big picture. The Sumatran coffee you pick up off the shelf today has already been paid for in Sumatra, so it's not a new source of funds. But an increase in demand might eventually create a more robust economy there, particularly since NZ Bear helpfully posts a long list of Free Trade and Shade Grown coffees and teas. Tully's has even created a special Tsunami response blend
, 100% of the net proceeds from which will go to WorldVision's Tsunami relief. Lutheran World Relief
regularly sells fair trade products to benefit their relief work.
, a family favorite, is a pretty good source of handicrafts from South and South East Asia, and you are very likeley to find some good stuff from Indonesia and Thailand and India there. They will often label their stuff with the region, so you can even concentrate on Sumatra or South India as the case might be. The South Indian coast is a source of beautiful shell work, embroidery and metal work, and I will keep an eye out for generally accessible suppliers.
I know that a lot of beautiful fabric, especially batik tie-dyes, comes from Indonesia, and I'm trying to find stores that specifically sell fabric from Sumatra. Perhaps we ought to see more sarongs this spring.