Fall 2013

Table of Contents

The Human Cost of Stuff

From the Editors

After Rana Plaza: Let’s Bring Humanity Back Into Our Stuff

We all know our stuff doesn’t grow on store shelves. Here’s how we can rehumanize our relationship with our things—and the people who make them.

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Annie Leonard photo by Lane Hartwell

Annie Leonard: How to Be More than a Mindful Consumer

The way we make and use stuff is harming the world—and ourselves. To create a system that works, we can't just use our purchasing power. We must turn it into citizen power.
Annie Leonard
Photo by DFATD.

The TPP Is Another Job Killing Trade Deal—So Why Are Both Parties Supporting It?

Factory owners in the United States say that the Trans-Pacific Partnership—which is being negotiated this week in Brunei—will force them to lay off workers. Yet opponents in Washington are few and far between.
Natalie Pompilio
Taza factory in Somerville

What’s Fairer than Fair Trade? Try Direct Trade With Cocoa Farmers

Fair trade is good, but it still leaves cocoa growers in poverty. Here’s how to do better.
Kristy Leissle
Marie Hogan. Photo by Diane Greene Lent.

What 11-Year-Olds Get—and Adults Forget—About Child Labor in Chocolate

Marie Hogan confronted Hershey’s about using children in its supply chain because she cares about other kids, fairness—and candy. Here’s what we can learn from her.
Katrina Rabeler
Flor Molina photo by Christopher Meeks

Escape from an L.A. Sweatshop: How Modern-Day Slaves Become Lobbyists

Lured from Mexico into forced labor at an American factory, Flor Molina’s human trafficking story was typical. What’s remarkable is what she did next.
Christa Hillstrom

Too Much Stuff in Your Life? 7 Ways to Turn it Around

From sharing to repairing, the inspiration you need to lighten your load.
Shannan Lenke Stoll
The Myth of Cheap Stuff Graphic
Just the Facts

Infographic: Your Stuff’s Not As Cheap As You Think It Is

What do we really trade for all of the cheap stuff we buy?
Doug Pibel & Katrina Rabeler
Adam Hochschild

Adam Hochschild: We Can End Slavery—Again

It took just 20 years to end the British slave trade. What history teaches us about ending exploitation today.
Christa Hillstrom
Indian Garment Workers photo by UUSC4all

For Safer Factories, CEOs Are Listening to Workers on the Frontlines

The future of corporate responsibility means hearing firsthand from factory workers about their conditions.
Samir Goswami
Cell Phone Pile by Shutterstock

Is Your Phone Smart Enough to Not Poison the People Recycling It? This One Is

Our throwaway electronics harm people overseas, but new trends in responsible design are not just smart—they’re kind.
Chris Sweeney
Simon Okelo photo by Betty Udesen

Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff

It was only after experiencing the abundance of stuff in the United States that Simon Okelo learned to value life with less, the way he grew up.
Simon Okelo

Move Over Duct Tape—Why a Mason Jar Is the One Thing You Need

The best measure of the value of a thing may be this: “How many ways can I use this? How many other things will I not have to buy?”
Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz

Solutions We Love

Explore Section
Nelson Mandela photo by Jane Feldman

The Unexpected Gifts of Photographing Mandela, Tutu, and the Dalai Lama

Photographer Jane Feldman on earning the trust of beloved world leaders—and capturing their laughter.
Valerie Schloredt
Teen photo by Jane Braxton Little

How a Small California Town Curbed a Teen Suicide Epidemic—By Talking About It

Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for 10- to 14-year-olds in rural America, and Native American kids are hit the hardest. After Indian Valley lost its sixth teenager, residents started talking about suicide out in the open—and it's working.
Jane Braxton Little
Photo by Danny Perez.

A Safe Place for Bees: Will US Follow Europe in Banning Hive-Killing Pesticides?

While banning the use of bee-killing pesticides is crucial, planting your yard with flowers instead of grass helps, too.
Katrina Rabeler
Prairie bison

Bringing Bison and Biodiversity Back to the Prairie

A Montana-based nonprofit is moving to preserve 3.5 million acres of the Great Plains.
Sarah Kuck

One Thing College Alumni Can Do about Climate Change Right Now

I've respectfully informed my alma mater that, until it divests its holdings in the fossil fuel industry—coal, oil, tar sands, and fracked natural gas—I will not donate another cent.
Laurent Daloz

Culture Shift

Explore Section
Photo by Shutterstock.
Yes! But How?

4 Ways to Share the Season’s Harvest (and Make Friends Doing It)

Guerrilla grafting, crop mobs, and other ways to make the fruits of your labor go further.
Chris Francis & Katrina Rabeler
Judy Wicks Cover

The Economy of Smallness: Making Economic Exchange a Loving Human Interaction

Philadelphia restauranteur and local economies movement leader Judy Wicks on making good and doing good.
Abby Quillen
Gather at the Table Book Cover

The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade

Why an African American marketing consultant and a white writer took a journey to explore the effects of slavery, racism, and privilege.
Lisa Gale Garrigues
Urban Dandelion photo by Frederick Linge

Foraging the Urban Wilderness—From High-Carb Cattails to Dandelions

“Dandelion Hunter” is an education about the food that grows along our city streets, and the deep history author Rebecca Lerner discovered along the way.
Valerie Schloredt
Beauty in Truth Poster

“Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth” Is as Beautiful Visually as It Is Spiritually

Filmmaker Pratibha Parmar's presentation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s life will inspire you.
Heidi Hutner
Bookstore Photo by MorBCN

Main Street Comeback: How Independent Stores are Thriving (Even in the Age of Amazon)

Despite behemoths like Starbucks and Amazon, the number of independent bookstores, coffeeshops, and other businesses is growing.
Fran Korten