Information for consumers about how their spending habits affect human rights, animal rights and welfare, and the environment.
2014 March 9: Slavery and child labor in India carpet industry.
A report from the FXB Center for Health & Human Rights at Harvard University, cited on the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, contradicts "claims that slavery and child labor have been eliminated from the" industry and states that "the working conditions uncovered were nothing short of subhuman".
"The major carpet exporters who were found to be using slave-like labor will be contacted and invited to collaborate with the FXB Center in an effort to eradicate these practices. Similarly, the major retail chains in the United States who have relationships with these carpet exporters will be encouraged to closely examine their supply chains to ensure that they are free of slave-like labor exploitation. The U.S. companies include Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Target, Sears, Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Ethan Allen, IKEA, Home Depot, Walmart, JC Penny, Pier 1 Imports, ABC Carpet and Home, and Cost-Plus, among others."
2014 March 4: Ethical Eating.
The First Principle of Unitarian Universalist Association is "The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person". Currently there is discussion about changing "person" to "being". Many UUs are concerned about the rights and welfare of animals as well as humans. Some animal rights activists have gained reputations as terrorists, but the UUA website on ethical eating/animal rights is an opportunity for deep and sober reflection, with many great resources.
2013 Dec. 12: Guardian reports on discovery of Greenhouse gas used by the electrical industry that is "7,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth". Because there is such a small concentration of this gas, perfluorotributylamkine (PFRTBA), in the atmosphere, scientists say it does not present a threat to global warming at present, but we must not let the concentration of this gas and others like it grow.
Fair Trade News: Fair World Project works to protect the strength and integrity of the term fair trade.
Special Report: Chocolate
2013: How to make sure your chocolate purchases do not support child slavery.
Special Report: Torture
There is hope! Please see the post on a January 2012 anti-torture resolution by the city of Chicago, and how other municipalities can do the same. If you do not see it at first, refresh the page by clicking the refresh button on your browser bar or pressing the f5 key.
Special Report: Fair Trade
2013 update summarizes changes in standards and controversy over increasing availability of products with the certification by making it easier to get certified vs. maintaining more rigorous standards. Fair World Project offers suggestions for resolving the conflict by making product labels more transparent about percentage of ingredients that are certified.
Special Report: Modern-Day Slavery
2012 Oct. 3: good news!Green America reports that Hershey Co. "will be certifying 100 percent of its cocoa by 2020 and urged the chocolate giant to go 100 percent Fair Trade with incremental benchmarks."
2012 Oct. 5: more good news! Chipotle signed the Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Trader Joe's signed back in February 2012.