One Day

One day I hope that children won’t have to work so their families can survive,
That they won’t have to work in factories or scavenge plastic bottles or find crabs to sell. … More One Day

Computer Buying Tips for the Ethically Minded

So you want to buy a new laptop or a smart phone, but you’ve read about numerous social and environmental impacts during their lifecycles. You’ve learnt about polluting production processes – the leaching of toxic chemicals and the heavy reliance on fossil fuels. You are aware that making electronics requires the mining of minerals which … More Computer Buying Tips for the Ethically Minded

Sustainability: an Exquisite Fabric

Sustainability is a concept I often mention to people I meet, often producing blank faces or a response like “What’s that?… Like environmental stuff?… So, are you a greenie/tree-hugger/environmental loon/hippie…?”

It appears to me that sustainability is not a term that is well understood in the general public or one that people can easily relate to. People often associate ‘the environment’ with it. … More Sustainability: an Exquisite Fabric

Being The Other: A White Kiwi’s Experience

As a Farang in Thailand, I definitely felt like
‘the other’. Being blonde and fair skinned, people often stared at me in the
street; they talked about me on the bus (“…… Farang…… …… Farang…..”);
they rudely pushed in front of me at checkout lines at 7-Eleven; I often had to pay higher prices than locals or was sometimes not served at food outlets (I attributed this predominantly to shyness or embarrassment at not being able speak English – even though I could speak enough Thai to order food). … More Being The Other: A White Kiwi’s Experience

Four Years on from Paris: Why I’m Attending Tomorrow’s School Strike for Climate

It’s easy to get depressed or feel useless about the continuing climate devastation. But tomorrow’s school climate strikes, which have spiraled from teenager Greta Thunberg’s solo #FridaysForFuture strikes outside the Swedish parliament into a worldwide movement, inspire me. Like the pace of carbon emissions themselves, climate change action is rapidly evolving into a mainstream movement with those who will be impacted most, the youth of today, taking the lead. … More Four Years on from Paris: Why I’m Attending Tomorrow’s School Strike for Climate

Children Who Work

Globally, there are around 168 million children (or 11% of all children) who work, with over half of these engaged in work which is harmful to their health and well-being. Many (68%) of these children are working unpaid, assisting family with care-giving, household tasks or helping in family businesses. … More Children Who Work

Volunteering: Ethical Considerations

Before I left for a three-month volunteer teacher position working with Burmese migrants in Ranong, Thailand (which subsequently turned into 15 months) I pondered some of the issues raised in my last blog: We Need to Talk About Voluntourism: A Commentary Was I doing the right thing? Was I really needed there? What would the impact of having someone from another culture and no knowledge of the local language be? Were my experience and qualifications adequate to do the job I was tasked with? Rather than become part of the problem, I wanted to empower, build capability and inspire. … More Volunteering: Ethical Considerations

We Need to Talk About Voluntourism: A Commentary

A while back a friend sent me an article written in The Spinoff entitled “We need to talk about voluntourism”. ‘Voluntourism’ or volunteer tourism, is based upon the concept of doing something good while travelling, and has been gaining popularity in recent years. NGOs connect people wanting to give something back with projects (usually) in so-called developing countries. This may include assisting with construction, conservation and environmental projects, teaching English and the oft sought after orphanage tourism. While it is often possible to help for long periods of time – months or years, tourists often dedicate part of their holiday to a project, say a few weeks. … More We Need to Talk About Voluntourism: A Commentary