Monthly Archives: May 2012
My general impression of our society is that if corporations can exploit a resource to earn a profit, then they will unless there are measurable consequences – their bottom line is to maximize profit.
I also recognize that there are a lot of concerned people in this world who have gone to great lengths to either run a company that prioritizes maximizing social welfare over maximizing their profit margin, or to start an organization that certifies companies who consider social welfare.
The purpose of this page is to provide a guide of how to live life sustainably, so that neither the environment, animals, or other humans suffer as an expense of you enjoying life (for example, if you own an ipad, it was probably manufactured by a factory run by Foxconn, by workers who were being mistreated, so for you to enjoy having an iPad, someone had to suffer. On the other hand, if you bought some eggs from a local farmer who raises his own hens, you can enjoy a fantastic and fresh egg, and neither the farmer or the chicken had to suffer as a consequence of your enjoyment!)
Here are some companies that sell organic sweatshop free clothing, bedding, pillows, etc.
I just got some sheets and pillows from here and they look great, pillows are nice and fluffy too! Not all their stuff is organic, you have to go to each section (e.g. ‘Bedding’) and select the organic subsection. Their organic products are GOTS certified, here is a summary of description of West Elm’s labels concerning sustainability.
I want to explain why I believe that it is important to primarily eat vegetables, and not more than a half pound of meat a week.
This 20 min TED talk by Mark Bittman explains the historical development of the typical diet in America, and why it is important for our health and for the environment to eat only 5 oz of meat a week, and to eat mostly vegetables.
This 20 min TED talk by Ann Cooper “Ann Cooper talks school lunches” explains how the meat and processed food that makes up our diet, and school lunches in our country, are not nutritious and contain large amounts of anti-biotics (the typical American eats 5 lb of anitbiotics a year in their meat). She explains the health consequences of this (according to the Center for Disease Control, 45% of Americans born in 2000 will have diabetes before graduating high school). She explains how this can be remedied (she fixed her school), but that it will take more money (currently on average school lunch costs $1 /day/child).
The reasons are threefold.
First, personal health. In the book Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy a group from the Harvard Medical School outlines with scientific evidence a healthy diet. Their food pyramid is shown below and found on their website.
Second, climate change. Livestock production causes one fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases (see NY Times article). As such, avoiding meat consumption is one of the greatest steps an individual can take towards mitigating the effects of climate change.
Third, animal cruelty. The movie Food Inc. does a fantastic job of describing the conditions that the animals we eat are raised in. Here is the trailer for it. You can either buy it on this website, or find it on Netflix.