Tag Archives: consumerism

5 Surprising Ways That “Green” Products Are Trying to Trick You

You’re standing at the store, a bottle of shampoo in each hand. Your gaze circles from one label to the other, and your mind runs 10 simultaneous comparisons to decide which bottle you’ll bring home. Blue is, after all, your favorite color. And this label does have a nice flower on the side. But, you’re a … Continue Reading ››

Slavery is a thing of the past, right? Think again.

Most people think slavery is a thing of the past and has nothing to do with them. They’re wrong on both counts. Slaves or trafficked victims are exploited in mining (gold, coltan, molybdenum, niobium, tin), agriculture, weaving, ship breaking, brick and charcoal making, timber cutting, quarrying, and fish processing. Victims are also involved in pornography, prostitution, … Continue Reading ››

What You Should Know About the Chocolate You’re Eating

Few things are better than biting into a good piece of chocolate. But melting into dark chocolate  autopilot may be hiding a darker side of this sweet treat. Take a bite. Then take a minute to think. Have you ever considered where your chocolate comes from? You might know that it grows on trees (perhaps justifying … Continue Reading ››

Why Your Stuff Turns to Junk and Cooks the Planet

Much of the energy of the environmental movement and of policymaking is focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through low- or zero-carbon development. This is a necessary and, in many ways, proper focus. But it is too narrow an approach to deal successfully with the broader challenge of endless growth in consumption, which is a … Continue Reading ››

Plastic Straws: A Life Cycle

They come in crazy, bendy, and color-changing varieties. And, while many people use them daily, their 20 minutes of convenience have major hidden consequences. I’m talking about drinking straws.

History of Straws

Humans have been using “drinking tubes” for over 7,000 years. Mesopotamians used straws made of reeds or gold to filter beer, and … Continue Reading ››

Escaping Fido’s Cave

Babies and puppies. Everybody seems to love them—perhaps it’s instinctual, perhaps it’s socialization. Probably the latter, for in Washington, DC, where I live, far more people stop to make goo-goo noises at puppies than at babies. And in some cultures, dogs are meat sources, not sources of affection.