Tag Archive: shopping

Green America: Guide to Ending SweatshopsToday’s post comes from Green America, a U.S.-based non-profit dedicated to creating a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. I wanted to highlight the list they’ve compiled on the sweatshop labor that makes the shoes you most likely wear:

Footwear can be one of the trickiest parts of building a
sweatshop-free wardrobe. Hundreds of shoe companies have shifted their operations overseas in recent years, and many have little or no oversight for their supply chains.

We used two of Green America’s online tools (ResponsibleShopper.org and GreenPages.org)
to build this list of “leaders and laggards” in the athletic-shoe industry. Click the links on the company names [t]o learn more about the conventional companies at Responsible Shopper, or to find the green
businesses’ listings in the Green Pages.

See the list at Green America: Sweatshops: Sneakers, Leaders and Laggards (Summer 2008).


A chard leaf surrounded by text,

A chard leaf with the caption, “Local and Organic Chard Can Be Delivered using a Smartphone or Tablet…But was it made possible through gentrification, farm-worker exploitation, or racial injustice?”

Dr. Amie “Breeze” Harper, a senior research analyst/strategist for Critical Diversity Solutions (CDS) and intersectional food justice theorist, writes about the gap between tech innovation, venture capital funding, foodie culture, and labor/human rights:

Most people who are into mainstream ‘foodie’ culture care more about their food being ‘local’, ‘fresh’, and ‘organic’ than if the food came to them through the abuse and exploitation of farm workers and other marginalized human workers in the food system.

Many foodies actually think organic and sustainable mean the treatment of human beings and non-human animals is ‘humane,’ which is false. What would be great to have from Blue Apron is a statement that acknowledges the need to be more critical about horrible treatment of human workers.

So far, such statements are no where on their site, however, once
again, it could very well be that investors do not want to appear to be ‘too political’ and prefer to be ‘post-racial’ and ‘post-class’. Yes,
their focus is not farm-workers or other food industry worker rights.

However, the silence around this is quite compelling because the fact is, foodie-tech start-ups could not exist without the human laborers in the food system.

However, I’m still always fascinated by the fact that millions of dollars can be poured into foodie-tech apps by venture
capitalists when food justice activists working in/for the poor and
communities of color, with hardly any resources, struggle like hell to create food security and/or sovereignty for themselves.

Read her full post over at her website, The Sistah Vegan Project.

7/30 UPDATE: Check out her update here, where Dr. Harper announces her theme for next year’s food justice conference.

colorful paint in buckets

Source: Mom Goes Green

Once upon a time, but not that long ago, there was only one brand of no-VOC paint for the home. I used it in my bathroom and was pleased by the absence of cancer fumes billowing out, but was a bit disappointed by its staying power (it seems it can wash off easily from brushes—and walls— with water!) Sadly, that brand left this world a few years ago. I assumed that was the end for zero-VOC paint, and we’d have to settle for “low”-VOC paint.

Color me surprised (har har), when I was trying to calculate the cost for repainting my place when I stumbled upon loads of no-VOC interior paint by different  paint companies—some conventional  ones dipping into the “green craze” market, and others wholly new and dedicated to this kind of safe(r) product. Even Tree Hugger featured 5 brands of no-VOC paint that they like (for whatever reason), and Consumer Reports took some companies’ claims to the test (and found, for example, VOCs in every paint). This is good news for everyone, not just pregnant people or folks who have children or pets. Everyone should be concerned about poisonous off-gassing by the things they use and live in. Of course, no-VOC paint doesn’t mean it won’t add toxicity to the air in your home. There’s much more to poison-free air than VOCs in paint, but it is a step, a small step, in the right direction.

HappyCow: the healthy eating guideYou must forgive my sporadic posting…I’ve been travelling all over the place and working and hardly have time to catch my breath, let alone post something thoughtful here. But, as I’m sitting at the computer searching for a good place to buy food and groceries, it dawned on me that I should share what I’ve been using for the past few weeks. Introducing HappyCow, a site which bills itself as “The most trusted vegetarian and vegan restaurant guide since 1999″. Basically, it’s like Yelp but without meat—it’s directory of restaurants and health food stores spans the globe. But it’s only as good as its users make it, so if you know of good veg-friendly restaurants, cafés, and stores near you, head over there and start posting. I’ve found some great places to eat while abroad thanks to HappyCow.

A shout out for my favorite thrift stores: Savers is having a sale this Memorial Day. It’s worth mentioning that many vets have to shop at thrift stores by necessity, if they’re lucky enough to be able to afford clothes. Many more are homeless, lack jobs and healthcare, and/or suffer from PTSD.


Please note: there will be no Club pre-sale event on May 27.

* Valid in US stores only. Offer may not be combined with other coupons or discounts. Sale excludes Jewelry, Books, Housewares, Furniture and new merchandise (red tags).

Source: Mother Jones

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss’ classic tale of conservation gone 3-D, opened in N. Am. theatres this weekend at an unexpected $70.7 million in gross earnings. Ironically enough, much of its success it no doubt due to the heavy promotion it received from its marketing partners, including Mazda, HP, Pottery Barn Kids, and IHOP.

The internet is abuzz with appropriate cynicism, and there’s not much more I can add to the conversation. I’ve gleamed excerpts from some thoughtful articles to contextualize the original book, the film, and materialism.

Continue reading

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