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Fair Trade

You've Been Greenwashed in the Eco World

You've Been Greenwashed in the Eco World

Picture Henry David Thoreau, writing On Walden Pond, down in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Emerald palm fronds stirring in immense tracts of subtropical ecology, diamond white beaches limned by tropical sun, a thatch hut woven against rain. Henry is writing contemplatively in his little eco-world that he is visiting. Then, a sound startles him. A diesel generator cranking up to power something very materialistic like air conditioning. His eco-tourist experience just went sour. He has just been “greenwashed.”

October 24, 2007

The Democratic Corporation Remains a Distant Dream

The Democratic Corporation Remains a Distant Dream

The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a series of measures designed to enhance the power small shareholders have in operation of a company. The reforms face stiff opposition from Wall Street and corporate boardrooms, who have long held that any democratic interference in the direct management of a firm threatens its bottom line.

October 24, 2007

Wal-Mart Lumbers Towards Ethical Responsibility

Wal-Mart Lumbers Towards Ethical Responsibility

Wal-Mart has been increasing overall audits of suppliers every year, with surprise audits increasing at a more rapid rate. What exactly it finds when it performs these audits is a secret, but Wal-Mart will say that there has been a 23 percent reduction in high-risk factory violations, and that this came as a result of its supplier training program.

October 23, 2007

Fair Trade Labels Look to Replicate Organic's Success

Fair Trade Labels Look to Replicate Organic's Success

The growing consumer demand for ethical products has a lot in common with the organic food boom of a decade ago, including the difficultly ethical consumers face in figuring out which products actually live up to their lofty expectations. But while it is extremely unlikely that a government agency is going to step in anytime soon to create a similar set of requirements for "ethical products," independent certifiers like TransFair USA are stepping in to fill the need.

October 9, 2007

Dark Chocolate: Underneath the Pleasure Zone

Dark Chocolate: Underneath the Pleasure Zone

If you enjoy chocolate on occasion or are a hopeless addict, you don’t have to be part of 21st century slave labor. There is way to alter your consciousness with chocolate without bugging your conscience. Inspired by the free trade philosophy and practice that has fairly successfully reshaped the economics of other third world export crops such as coffee, a good number of small chocolate purveyors offer fantastic chocolate without the stain of child labor.

September 17, 2007

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Buy It

  • Find natural and organic products at Atlantis Natural.
    Natural and Organic Products and Information for Babies and Kids
  • Fairtrade casual attire at a reasonable price
  • EcoStrip
    Energy saving power strip for computer workstations
  • BioBag
    100% biodegradable kitchen and garden bags
  • Credit card supports progressive non-profits

Don't Buy It

  • Racial profiling and discrimination
  • Altria? Formerly known as Philip Morris
  • Processed meat sold as 'natural' food. Union-buster.
  • World's largest oil company--human rights, oil spills and misinformation about climate change
  • Numerous ethical problems with largest maker of household products in U.S.