It’s urgent to reshape our economy towards justice and sustainability

June 15, 2020 by  
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It’s urgent to reshape our economy towards justice and sustainability Diane Osgood Mon, 06/15/2020 – 00:30 Right now, talking about shopping can seem trite. Yet, to address systemic racism, we need a more just economy. An economy slanted towards white ownership plus discriminatory labor practices perpetuate systemic racism. As discussed in earlier columns ( here and here ), consumer demand drives 70 percent of the economy. Consumers and citizens have significant influence over the shape of the economy because we — in aggregate — ultimately control almost 70 percent of it. As sustainability professionals, we need to ensure our companies do more than take a stand against racism and unfair labor practices. We must urgently guide the economy now because: In the face of worldwide protests against systemic racism and the coronavirus pandemic, many people became more conscious of what they value. How do we draw clear links between the action of shopping and what we value? So much about shopping is reflexive yet shopping and consumption patterns have been deeply altered during the pandemic. People everywhere have had to learn new behaviors. In this moment, can we introduce new behaviors to support a more just and sustainable economy? What can we do to reinforce changes and create lasting habits? Governments are making huge capital investments in their economies. Those trillions of dollars will not be readily available again for at least the next 10 years. Thus, this capital injection will define the shape of the economy for the next decade. Climate scientists say these are the exact 10 years that we have to reduce greenhouse gases. The climate horizon and COVID horizon are merging. We can’t wait 10 years to advance economic change on both fronts. If we want a more just economic system, we have two levers, voting and shopping: Vote for local, state and national leaders and policies that support minority-owned businesses and require fair and safe labor standards. Shop at minority-owned businesses and buy products from companies with a verified track record of fair and safe labor standards, just hiring practices and diverse leadership. Today we have a unique opportunity to reimagine and reshape the 70 percent of the economy that is consumer-driven. By doing so, we can shift the economy towards justice and environmental sustainability. As sustainability professionals, we need to ensure our companies do more than take a stand against racism and unfair labor practices. We need to help our companies operationalize true equality and fair labor practices throughout all its activities from board and executive representation down to supply-chain partners. Then we can guide consumers and help drive the changes our economy needs. Join me in the conversation, in the comments below or at diane@osgood.com . Pull Quote As sustainability professionals, we need to ensure our companies do more than take a stand against racism and unfair labor practices. Topics Consumer Trends Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock

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It’s urgent to reshape our economy towards justice and sustainability

Infographic: The True Cost of that $14 Shirt

July 20, 2013 by  
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There are hidden costs to buying cheap clothing. And if there’s one meager silver lining to the horrific Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh earlier this year, it’s that consumers around the world are beginning to understand that fast fashion is often born from unsafe work conditions. A 2011 report by  O’Rourke Group Partners  found that labor costs just 12 cents for a typical shirt that retails for $14. Visit Ecouterre to view a new infographic that shows a complete breakdown of how much a $14 shirt really costs. READ MORE >   Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: $14 t-shirt , cheap clothes , eco-fashion , ecouterre , fast fashion , Rana Plaza , shirt , t-shirt , unfair labor , unsafe work conditions        

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Infographic: The True Cost of that $14 Shirt

Children and Teens Exhibit Signs of Technology Addiction

July 20, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock “Addiction” is a word that’s casually thrown around to describe the increasing attachment to digital technology among children, but new research shows that it may actually be a very apt describer. The majority of teens and younger children spend as much as 75 percent of their waking lives staring into some sort of screen, and they exhibit symptoms of withdrawal and depression when deprived of their gadgets. Head over to Inhabitots to learn why technology addiction is real, and how it may be affecting your kids. READ MORE >   Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: addicted to computers , Children , digital technology , Inhabitots , parenting , Screen addiction , technology addiction        

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Children and Teens Exhibit Signs of Technology Addiction

6 Hot Ways to Stay Cool Today

July 20, 2013 by  
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Temperatures are soaring across the northeastern US at present , with several areas experiencing their longest heatwaves in over a decade . If you’re looking to keep cool through this sweltering summer, but you don’t want to blast your air conditioning 24/7, check out our six tips to beat the heat today. From mastering the art of popsicle-making to testing out your swimming skills, there are plenty of ways to stay cool and healthy. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , air conditioning , east coast heat , heatwave , high temperatures , picnics , popsicle making , stay cool , staying cool , swimming        

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6 Hot Ways to Stay Cool Today

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