The best stories of the year from YES! Magazine: Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions

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 Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions

YES! This Week is one year old!

From a collection of over 800 new articles posted online and from our flagship print publication, YES! Magazine, here’s a top 5 in each topic, along with the best YES! interviews, videos, and photo essays of 2010. Enjoy!

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Allegory of Happiness by Agnolo Bronzino A History of Happiness

Darrin M. McMahon, Ph.D.   |   Oct 01, 2010

We've forgotten much of what older traditions knew about happiness.   MORE »

Michael Janzen building his tiny free house My Tiny, Free House

Michael Janzen   |   Aug 10, 2010

Michael Janzen had a big house and a big mortgage. Then the financial crisis hit, and he wondered just how small, and how cheap, a house could be.   MORE »

Akaya Windwood Life After Worry

Akaya Windwood   |   Jun 15, 2010

A few years ago, Akaya Windwood made a decision not to worry. Ever. So how’s that working out for her?   MORE »

A new study found that activism leads to feeling more alert, alive, and satisfied with life. Photo by Elijah Nouvelage. elijah/3291738201/ Making a Difference Makes You Happy

Tim Kasser   |   May 05, 2010

A series of studies find that activism brings pleasant emotions, greater life satisfaction, and more experiences of freedom, competence, and connection to others.   MORE »

Shannon Hayes and family Meet the Radical Homemakers

Shannon Hayes   |   Feb 01, 2010

How families are achieving ecological, social, and economic transformation... starting under their own roofs.   MORE »


Detail of a Berkshare by Jason Houston. All Rights Reserved. A Day in the Life of a BerkShare

Bill McKibben   |   Oct 18, 2010

What’s it really like to deal in regional currency?   MORE »

Despite lower income levels, Guatemalans are happier than people in the United States. Photo by Ingmar Zahorsky. ingmar What is Real Wealth?

John Robbins   |   Aug 31, 2010

We've been measuring happiness in all the wrong ways. What's the pathway to true quality of life?   MORE »

Photo by Sarah Gilbert. cafemama Homeowners’ Rebellion: Could 62 Million Homes Be Foreclosure-Proof?

Ellen Brown   |   Aug 18, 2010

The financial juggling that helped cause the 2008 crisis may be coming back to haunt banks—and help homeowners.   MORE »

Photo by Jo Christian Oterhals. oter 10 Common Sense Principles for a New Economy

David Korten   |   Aug 06, 2010

It’s time we the people declare our independence from the money-favoring Wall Street economy.   MORE »

Shoppers browse through Grimey's New and Preloved Music, an independent record store in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Kelly Stewart A New Deal for Local Economies

Stacy Mitchell   |   Apr 29, 2010

More local, durable economies are already taking root. We can help them along by changing the way we regulate businesses, plan cities, and finance the communities we want.   MORE »


US Bike sign, Photo by Jeri Packer/ The Voice News An Interstate Bicycling System

Winona Bateman   |   Nov 01, 2010

A system of bicycle routes to connect the nation? It’s happening.   MORE »

Exotic spices, one of Vicki's few exceptions to her 10-mile diet. Photo by Tambako 8 Food Rules from My 10-Mile Diet

Vicki Robin   |   Oct 19, 2010

After a month of hyperlocavore eating, Vicki Robin developed her own food rules for a lifetime.    MORE »

Photo by D'Arcy Norman. dnorman Waste Not: Seattle’s Road to Zero Trash

Richard Conlin   |   Aug 16, 2010

There’s simply no room for waste in a carbon neutral city. Seattle has a plan to cut its contribution to landfills—and it’s working.   MORE »

Green tie. Photo by Kaitlin Bailey, YES! Magazine UN Calls for Climate Friendly Diet

Frances Moore LappÉ   |   Jun 23, 2010

Frances Moore Lappé: Global food problems are about justice, not scarcity.   MORE »

Home sizes have ballooned over the last few decades-as have their ecological footprints. Photo courtesy Cascadia Green Building Council The Righteous Small House: Challenging House Size and the Irresponsible American Dream

Jason McLennan   |   Jan 29, 2010

An architect asks, at what point does size cancel out sustainability?   MORE »


Pittsburgh Councilman Doug Shields speaking with activists. Photo by Mark Knobil. knobil Pittsburgh Bans Natural Gas Drilling

Mari Margil, Ben Price   |   Nov 16, 2010

A historic new ordinance bans natural gas drilling while elevating community decision making and the rights of nature over the “rights” associated with corporate personhood.   MORE »

London Ferrill Community Garden, breaking ground: Photo by geoffandsherry geoffandsherry 10 Ways Our World is Becoming More Shareable

Neal Gorenflo, Jeremy Adam Smith   |   Jun 22, 2010

We’re sharing more things, more deeply, with more people. Why sharing is the answer to some of today’s biggest questions.    MORE »

Adults and children gathered to dance and interweave multi-colored ribbons around the Maypole at Albany's Veterans Memorial Park.  Photo by Peter Tichenor Weaving A Great Turning: Transition Albany Takes It Step-by-Step

Pamela O'Malley Chang   |   Jun 10, 2010

A follow-up on the efforts to transform a 1.7-square-mile California town into a self-sufficient and resilient community.    MORE »

Supreme Court building Citizens United: People Strike Back

Riki Ott, David Cobb   |   Apr 16, 2010

How states and people are mobilizing to defend democracy.   MORE »

Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, addresses the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Photo by Paulo Filgueiras/UN Climate Game Changer

Sarah van Gelder   |   Apr 02, 2010

Can Cochabamba pick up where Copenhagen failed?   MORE »


Boy eating fruit. Photo by David Dennis. davidden Slavery Goes Public

Christa Hillstrom   |   Oct 21, 2010

Are the products you buy tainted by slavery and child labor? A new California law can help you find out.    MORE »

'Most Americans are not only convinced we have the best troops, the best training, and the most advanced weapons, but also the purest motives.' Photo by Jayel Aheram. aheram An End to Constant War

William J. Astore   |   Jul 09, 2010

Seven reasons we’re always at war … and seven ways to quit.   MORE »

'Love Your Self' paving stone in Los Feliz. Photo by DonnaGrayson. donnagrayson The Roots of Compassion

Sheikh Jamal Rahman   |   Jun 08, 2010

To be compassionate toward others, we first have to learn to be merciful with ourselves.   MORE »

Photo by Peter Pereira, 4SEE Building Cultures of Peace

Riane Eisler   |   Feb 11, 2010

If we are to build cultures of peace we have to start talking about something that still makes many people uncomfortable: gender.   MORE »

Still from the film Avatar What’s Wrong with Avatar?

Fran Korten   |   Jan 15, 2010

OK, I enjoyed the movie. A lot. Right up to when I took off the goggles and reflected on the ending.    MORE »

Following 'intersection repair' by local neighbors, the corner of 33rd St. and Yamhill in Portland, Ore. is now better known as Sunnyside Piazza. Photo courtesy of City Repair Building the World We Want: Interview with Mark Lakeman

Brooke Jarvis   |   May 12, 2010

Interview with the co-founder of the City Repair Project, a Portland group that helps neighbors turn public spaces into gathering places.   MORE »

Detail from U.S. cover of The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett Want the Good Life? Your Neighbors Need It, Too

Brooke Jarvis   |   Mar 04, 2010

New research shows that, among developed countries, the healthiest and happiest aren't those with the highest incomes but those with the most equality. Epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson discusses why.   MORE »

Chris Jordan collects plastic garbage on the beach in Midway. Photo by Jan Vozenilek Bearing Witness: Chris Jordan on Art, Grief, and Transformation

Brooke Jarvis   |   Apr 14, 2010

Photographer Chris Jordan’s latest project left him feeling grief and hopelessness. Now he wants more people to discover how productive those emotions can be.    MORE »

John Francis delivering a TED talk John Francis: Walking Away From Oil

Madeline Ostrander   |   May 28, 2010

When an oil spill coated birds in San Francisco Bay 40 years ago, he quit driving. Then he quit speaking. Madeline Ostrander asked him what he learned in that process that can help us deal with the BP oil spill.   MORE »

Image from Fixing the Future, interview with David Korten Building Community: An Economic Approach

David Korten with David Brancaccio   |   Nov 17, 2010

David Korten: What economic transformation has to do with building stronger, happier communities.   MORE »


Becoming an Empathic Civilization

Nov 04, 2010

Economist Jeremy Rifkin believes we can do it, and now he’s got cartoons to show why.   MORE »
Image from the video Animating an Empathic Civilization

The Happy Planet Index

Oct 08, 2010

Video: Forget the GDP. There’s a new way to measure the good things in life.   MORE »
Image from Nic Marks' TED talk on the Happy Planet Index

How to Be Alone

Sep 03, 2010

What can we learn about ourselves when we let go of our fear of loneliness?   MORE »
Poet/singer/songwriter Tanya Davis uses poetry, art, and music to offer advice for tackling one of society's biggest fears, alone time, in this quirky video.

Pete Seeger: Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In

Aug 04, 2010

As Willie Nelson taught us, you just can’t play a sad song on a banjo. Folk legend Pete Seeger unveils his newest protest song.   MORE »
Pete Seeger performing his latest protest song with James Maddock

Move Your Money

Jan 13, 2010

Move Your Money is a growing national movement to switch money out of big, national banks and into local, community banks. A video paralleling "It's a Wonderful Life" promotes the campaign.   MORE »
Move Your Money video


Humanity, in Photos

Nov 15, 2010

Featuring 150 images from around the world, and complemented by heartwarming and inspiring quotes, Humanity is a touching tribute to our most treasured relationships.   MORE »
Surprise Kiss. Photo by Wayne Jones

Signs of Sanity (and/or Fear)

Nov 01, 2010

The best sights and signs from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.    MORE »
Hi, Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen pamhule

Roots of the Local Food Movement

Sep 15, 2010

Photo essay: The locavore movement may seem like a fad to some, but these wartime posters show that equating local food and security has deep roots in U.S. history.    MORE »
Photo courtesy of the Collection of the National Agricultural Library

Building a Handmade Cob House

Aug 13, 2010

Brian Liloia had never built anything before he took on the task of building his own home. See how he turned a mixture of straw, clay, and sand into a uniquely cozy place to live.   MORE »
The light from the windows falls on the smoothed out cob walls with their embedded hooks and shelves. Photos courtesy of Brian Liloia

It’s Everybody’s Water

May 13, 2010

All living things need water. It’s time we fell in love with the bundle of atoms that makes Earth possible. Watch this short, fun video.   MORE »
YES! Slideshow: It's Everybody's Water. Gustav the dog. Photo by Michael Dalby

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