Believe it or not, but it’s time to dig out your backpack, prep your lunch box, and dust off those books: the new school year has just begun! With Fair Trade USA’s Back-to-School guide, you can easily choose products that ensure children in farming communities around the world stay in school, have food on the table, and can access scholarship programs for higher education.
Here are six moments during your day to make a simple Fair Trade swap:
1. Wake-Up: We’ve all been there – your alarm clock is ringing and you can’t seem to leave the covers. Greet the day with some delicious Fair Trade Certified coffee  or tea , sustainably sourced around the world from Nicaragua to India. Whether you prefer a bold French Roast, a crisp black tea, or the new guayusa  “focused energy” tea, look for the Fair Trade Certified label when you buy your next early morning pick-me-up!
2. Dress-up: Spruce up your back-to-school wardrobe with some fashionable new Fair Trade Certified apparel . prAna has a beautiful line of Fair Trade Certified clothing, including the women’s Spirit Tee  and men’s Urchin Fair Trade Tee  (also found at REI: here ). Or maybe your student would enjoy a new pair of Good & Fair’s  Fair Trade Certified boxers , made with 100% Organic Poplin cotton. If you’re looking for a basic t-shirt, check out HAE Now  for a wide variety of colors and sizes. These blank shirts are perfect for screen printing! Fair Trade clothing directly benefits the farmers who grow the cotton and the workers who sew your garments.
3. Lunch Break: We all know that a healthy lunch is vital to acing your exams, so make sure to fill your lunch bag with Fair Trade Certified™ fruit and vegetables . From bell peppers and cucumbers to bananas and pineapples, you have a wide variety of options for a responsibly-sourced Fair Trade lunch.
4. Sweet Treat: For dessert, make your student the envy of the cafeteria with some Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate. Try out TCHO’s  rich Serious Milk “Classic” chocolate  with hints of caramel or sweetriot’s  D ark Chocolate with a Hint of Fabulous Flax . Can’t get enough dessert? After a long week of studying, bake up a special treat from Simply Organic’s  line of Fair Trade Certified baking mixes , with unique flavors such as Banana Bread Mix , Carrot Cake Mix , Devil's Food Cake Mix , or even Chai Spice Scone Mix .
5. After-School Sports: For the extracurricular sports fans, you can now trade up your sports ball  for one that’s Fair Trade Certified. Check out Senda Athletics  to find top quality Fair Trade soccer equipment that combines the joy of sports and the satisfaction of social responsibility. Senda’s Fair Trade Certified soccer  balls are stitched with a commitment to fair wages and sweatshop-free labor. When you hit the field, you can beat your opponent and conquer sweatshops at the same time-- Now that’s a goal!
6. Bedtime Story: Looking for a new book to read to your little one? Roses for Isabella  is a touching and educational children's book by author Diana Cohn . The book invites us to experience life on flower farms in Ecuador through the words of a young girl. Isabella’s journal reveals that not all flower farms are fair to workers and kind to the earth, yet we learn how her family's life changes for the better when her parents find work on a Fair Trade flower farm.
Many children in farming communities around the world do not get to experience the thrill of a first day of school or the pride and honor of graduating from high school or college. Remember that when buying school supplies, it’s an opportunity to get your kids (or yourself!) something that will help give educational opportunities to the many children of the farmers and workers around the world. Your every purchase of Fair Trade products helps ensure educational opportunities for over 1.5 million farmers' children in 70 countries worldwide.
Learn more about incredible educational  opportunities enabled through Fair Trade.