Your Black Friday Survival Guide

Americans are looking to spend almost a grand each on gifts this season. According to a poll from the National Retail Federation, people are loosening their wallets this year to the tune of $935.58 each, a number so high it is second only to last year’s spending expectations. The survey says November is the biggest month to start shopping, and people say they’re most likely to shop in department stores, discount stores, and online. Black Friday, of course, is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, and it seems like every year it gets bigger with more sales, longer lines, and sometimes even starting on Thanksgiving Day. We have a few tips for you on how to survive this year’s Black Friday, without getting up early or fighting the crowds at the mall. Don’t go shopping. If you’re celebrating Christmas as your major gift-giving event, you still have 30 days from the Friday after Thanksgiving until the holiday. Hanukah celebrators have 29 days in between Friday and the first night of celebration. Solstice: 26 days. New Year’s Eve: 36. Basically, you have plenty of time to get what you need without contributing to the consumerist culture at its worst, Black Friday. Do go for a walk. Whether it’s around the block or up a mountain, enjoy nature instead of spending time in traffic or at the mall. The REI Co-op took up this cause with their #OptOutside movement […]

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What Fair Trade Means To Us

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Guest blog post by INDIGENOUS, certified member of Green America’s Green Business Network® Members make Green America’s fair trade programs possible. That’s why we’re sharing an incredible opportunity to make a difference while shopping. In celebration of Fair Trade Month, INDIGENOUS organic + fair trade fashion is offering 20% off to Green Americans, while donating 25% of each purchase to […]

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Read, Reuse, Recycle

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This summer, it’s all about recycling. At least for us it is—our new issue of the Green American is out, and in it we’re investigating a major pillar of environmentalism: recycling. While countries around the world are recycling 50-80 percent of their waste, the US sits at 34 percent. This summer, we asked how we could step it up, to push ourselves […]

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Chocolate is Big Business on Valentine’s Day

Between the  gifts for sweethearts and the cards for colleagues, Americans spent nearly $19 billion on Valentine’s Day last year, according to the National Retail Federation. Part of that spending, a whopping $1.7 billion, was spent on just candy and chocolate. It’s likely that 2016 could yield similar figures. But how much of this money makes it’s way back to cocoa farmers? Annually, the global chocolate industry commands more than $83 billion.  Since most chocolate on store shelves in the United States comes from West Africa, Green America has been persistently pressuring US cocoa companies to step up and take care of the workers—and child laborers—in their supply chains. This infographic traces the conventional cocoa supply chain in an effort to show where the majority of the money consumers spends on a chocolate bar ends up. Purchasing fair trade chocolate from companies that have more direct relationships with farmers is important, as is ongoing pressure on manufacturers, processors, and traders, to improve the situation for farmers and their families. Check out our Chocolate Scorecard to find organic and fair trade options for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. Click here to download the 1-page version of our Infographic. Share this:

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Choose Better Chocolate This Halloween

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We’re calling on consumers to choose chocolate for visiting goblins and witches that supports cocoa farmers and their families! That means buying from a chocolate company that has a direct and long-term relationship with the farmers it purchases from. Along with our partner, the International Labor Rights Forum, we’ve developed an informational card which can be printed and handed out along […]

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The End of Chocolate?

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Chocolate Too Cheap to Be Sustainable. Farmers Making as Little as 50 Cents Per Day. Inadequate Responses Mounted So Far to Address Very Serious Problems.These are the findings of our new report: The Cocoa Barometer Our new report, available online at www.cocoabarometer.org, is being released as cocoa industry representatives gather in Washington at the World Cocoa Foundation conference to discuss […]

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Enough is Enough: It’s time we knew the True Cost of our clothes

Will 2015 be the year when we say enough is enough? The year we hit the tipping point and start to see change in the global garment industry? The makers of the film The True Cost certainly hopes so. And so do I. The film, screening in cities around the world starting May 29, exposes the problems that exist, and still too often remain hidden, in the world of fast fashion. 2014, the year after Rana Plaza collapsed taking the lives of 1,134 garment workers, was the most profitable year on record for the fashion industry, estimated at roughly $3 trillion USD. And why is this so? Consumers around the world are fed messages that if only they purchase a certain garment to look a certain way, their lives will be better. And why not? It’s so cheap. If your life isn’t remarkably better after you buy said-garment, you can just buy another one. This trend is confirmed by the fact that we are consuming 500% more clothing than we were 2 decades ago. (Two decades ago was only 1995!) And we are throwing out more clothing too—on average 68 pounds of clothes per US consumer per year. This vicious cycle needs to stop, because it is workers and communities at the start of the supply chain that are paying the price for ever-more and ever-cheaper clothing. The price on the hangtag of a Zara blazer or Gap dress is […]

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