What is ethical consumerism?

A picture of a toothpaste tube, annotated to suggest that 80% of the toothpaste is used in 4 weeks but the remaining 20% lasts for 4 months

To me, ethical consumerism is a pretty self-explanatory term and I think that most people have a good idea of what it means. But it’s worthwhile to take a fresh look at the concept from time to time and address any misconceptions that crop up. So here's a quick guide to ethical consumerism from the … Continue reading What is ethical consumerism?

A New Beginning

The Marin headlands and coast, seen from the side of Mount Tamalpais

The world has changed. I see it in the water. I feel it in the Earth. I smell it in the air. J. R. R. Tolkien’s words could well describe our current situation. A darkness grows, the divide between light and dark is more apparent than ever, and there is a call to action for … Continue reading A New Beginning

Ethical Consumerism, Part 9 – How to reduce your carbon footprint

The top 7 actions to mitigate climate change from Project Drawdown. #1 Refrigerant Management; #2 Wind Turbines; #3 Reduce Food Waste; #4 Plant-Rich Diet; #5 Tropical Forests; #6 Educating Girls; #7 Family Planning

I had always intended to write a post on the top things you can do to reduce your footprint. But I procrastinated, partly because I never felt that I’d done enough research and partly because the topic has been covered pretty widely. However, many of the lists that you’ll find online don’t really hit on … Continue reading Ethical Consumerism, Part 9 – How to reduce your carbon footprint

Renewable Energy comes to the East Bay

A graphic showing the three options provided by East Bay Community Energy: Bright Choice (38% renewable, 47% hydroelectric, and 15% conventional), Brilliant 100 (40% renewable and 60% hydroelectric), and Renewable 100 (100% renewable, from mainly wind and solar).

One of the top things that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to switch to a renewable electricity provider. In the East Bay (the cities across the bay from San Francisco, including Berkeley and Oakland) this has now become a lot easier! In fact, by default, electricity is now being provided by … Continue reading Renewable Energy comes to the East Bay

Ethical Consumerism Part 8 – Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Even though we might be vaguely aware that slavery still exists, many of us think of it as a thing of the past, or a thing that is separate from us. When we pick up a mainstream chocolate bar, it may not occur to us that the cacao was harvested by children who were sold … Continue reading Ethical Consumerism Part 8 – Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Ethical Consumerism, Part 7 – How to Sustain the Population in 2050.

A summary of the main points of the article. On the left, a representative from GlobalCorp Agrichemical is telling us to use all of their products all of the time. On the right are the suggestions to eat a plant-based diet, reduce food waste, and reduce consumption

Hi folks! In the previous post, I looked at how we can take actions as consumers to help curb population growth. This post is about actions we can take to sustain the human population without completely destroying our planet. Population growth fears are exploited by corporations One of the most common abuses of the population … Continue reading Ethical Consumerism, Part 7 – How to Sustain the Population in 2050.

Ethical Consumerism, Part 6: Population Growth

In an early GSP post, Sociopathy and Kindness, Part 2, I somehow got onto the topic of population growth. It’s a topic that’s worth revisiting because the key questions of how to control population growth and how to sustain future populations are both closely tied to ethical consumerism. I believe that these issues have also … Continue reading Ethical Consumerism, Part 6: Population Growth

The EU bans neonics. What will the US do?

You may have heard the news yesterday that the EU has voted to ban neonics (neonicotinoids) in Europe, putting a more permanent stamp on the temporary ban that had been in place since 2013. Meanwhile, in the US, the use of neonics has increased to a point where a large percentage of several major crops, … Continue reading The EU bans neonics. What will the US do?

The Muggle and the Big Ugly Pile of Discarded Coffee Cups

Starbucks recently announced that they are making $10 million in grants available to people with proposals for coffee cups that are compostable and recyclable. So it seems timely to do a post on this dreaded topic. Throughout development, the solution will be open source so others can benefit and innovate on the path towards the … Continue reading The Muggle and the Big Ugly Pile of Discarded Coffee Cups