Sustainability, A Pitcher At A Time


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 As many of us recover from the activities of this “Non HPW”, I wonder how many opportunities were lost to enact some sustainable practices this weekend. Its hard to imagine how many  cans of  Natty or bottles of the  Andre´ were tossed in the trash or tucked  away in the bushes. It’s not just a question I raise just because this weekend past, but every weekend we seek a release from the stresses of being a student. Every register there is alcohol served and because kegs are not allowed on campus, the hosts are then required to buy around 450 cans each party. Because the cans are not redeemable, they are often tossed on the trash.  My question is, is there a way to make incorporate being sustainable  in the party activities on campus? Is there a way to create some incentive that encourages students to think about recycling more at parties and events? 

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Return of The Nap!


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As a young child, we were often forced to take naps whether it was at school, or at home. We resented the attempts to take us away from our favorite cartoons or play time. Fast forward a decade and some and as a college student we relish the chance to take a nap in between out hectic schedules. Being a sleep deprived student myself, I decided my policy would be for mandatory nap time for college students. Continue reading

BItch Bad – Lupe Fiasco


As I was trying to figure out what song I should choose for this week’s blogpost, Lupe Fiasco’s Bitch Bad played on my iTunes and I knew it was the perfect song. The song looks to address the negative stereotypes hip hop artist reinforce of black culture and women. Lupe attempts to show the negative affects the misogynistic messages that is passed on to young children.

All Fair in Fair Trade?


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       You’re morning alarm goes off and there is only one thing on your mind, a hot fresh cup of joe cascading down the slippery smooth lining of your throat. After two satisfying gulps and a slight moan of appreciation you are awake and coffee has once again saved the start of your day. Coffee has become a daily necessity for some. It’s no surprise then that coffee is the second greatest trade commodity in the world, trailing only the Crude Oil industry. Thanks this popularity, Starbucks has been able to become ‘King of the Beans’ as the largest coffee company in the world. The demand for coffee is so great that it outpaces water consumption. So it might make sense then why as I write this paper, I have a cup of Starbucks coffee next to me.

As I sip on my ice-cold Dark Verona coffee, I have to wonder where Continue reading

Fair Phones


For my TED talk, i decided to look for videos with relevance to my paper topic of fair trade. What I pulled up was a video called Demand a fair trade cell phone and as I am always on my phone, it figured it would be a good video to watch. I didn’t expect my views to be changed so much or for me to take a different look at the technology industry.

I decided to research the speaker , Bandi Mbubi a little and find out more information about him. If its anything Mike Daisey thought us its a little research never hurts. Mbubi moved to the UK at 21 under political asylum from his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo.He was a student activist who fled the country after his safety was threatened.

One of the things the struck me the most during the video was Bandi’s comment, “strange paradox that the phones in our pockets are instruments of both freedom and oppression.” This country that has been so war torn because of the used of titanium to fund the actions of illegal arms group was also important for a country striving to grow. This is not the first time we have seen something like this however. For decades conflict diamonds were used to fund militias and armed rebels in countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Much like the push for conflict free diamonds, electronic manufacturers  have the opportunity to change and that is the purpose behind Bandi’s Congo Calling. it works to bring awareness of the injustice in the nation as well as seeking to share the benefits from these resources with the Congolese people.

Fair Cup Of Joe


cartoon-1For my paper two, I decided it would be a good to look into Starbucks and the Fair Trade Coffee industry. I was fortunate enough to find multiple books in the library’s stacks that could help me with research for my paper. I used the library’s catalog search and browsed several titles on fair trade and coffee. I found several books with information on particular fair trade countries. However, it thought these books would not carry enough information on the research I was trying to conduct. I decided to go with the book “Fair Trade Coffee: The Prospects and Pitfalls of Market-Driven Social Justice” by Gavin Fridell. Having had to search for books within the library, it didn’t take me long to find out the book was on lower level 2.

The book’s author Gavin Fridell is an International Development Studies professor at St.Mary’s University in

Continue reading

Opportunity for all


I scored a 9 out of 10  which seems to say I know a fair amount about the act. During the hype about the act and the shutdown i took some time to read a few articles about the act and clear up some of the myths that were associated with the act. One thing I didn’t know about the bill was that small business and individuals could receive subsidies on insurance plans.

ObamaCare creates new entities in every state through which individuals buying insurance on their own must purchase their government-approved insurance. The Exchange Subsidy is influenced by a family’s income. Households with incomes below 400 percent and above 133 Continue reading

Does Bigger Mean Better?


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The Original TBTF one way ticket to icy fun

It should be noted that we have seen the notion of  “too big to fail” long before Congressman Stewart Mckinney’s use in the 1984 Congressional hearing. There was once a ship, a rather large one called the Titanic , whose creators believed that its size and technological advances made it indestructible. The biggest ship of its time, it set off on its maiden voyage to much glory and praise. It was in every sense,  “too Big to fail”. We all know how this story ends. (Side note: Titanic was financed by J.PMorgan). I think it is hard, especially after watching the film, to think the notion of  “too big to fail” does not still exist. The 6 largest banks in the U.S control more than 66% of the $13.1 trillion worth of assets in the economy. These figures stand as evidence as to how much  larger these banks have been allowed to grow. With the events that unfolded in the film, one would think government would put measures in place to make sure the exact opposite of this happened. The financial industry has slowly come under more and more of a monopoly for these larger banks as they absorb smaller banks in their path. It was interesting to see that one of the solutions presented was merging banks to make them even larger despite their already large size was the reason for the problems being faced. There is a dire  need for government intervention to help regulate the market and reduce the power these corporations have over the global market. These banks were given federal funds to increase lending as a way to increase capital in the market. Instead they showed their true greed and reduced lending to one of its lowest levels in years. As former politician David Stockman said, ” If they’re too big to fail, they’re too big to exist. They should be broken up, reduced in size if we’re to have a safe and stable financial market.”(http://marketsanity.com/banks-too-big-to-fail/).  However, with the ongoing shutdown it seems the government has a hard enough time regulating their own day to day business to take control of the market.  These institutions should have never been given the power to cripple the entire global economy. But as the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Bucknell’s Got Talent


The performance was a very good way depicting Mike Daisey’s performance. It also did a interesting job of inflating the story, a way of poking fun of the lies that Daisey created. The performance became confusing at several points but it all was part of the necessary delivery of the play. What I took most from this performance was Professor Zhu’s’ speech. His description of what those jobs meant to those people in China helped me to realize we are looking at everything with a very narrow western lenses. To us, those people are being taken advantage of, which may be true in some parts, but to them, it is a an opportunity to make better for themselves. Isn’t it the same thing as the working poor in America? The people who work the jobs most of us turn our noses up at in order to create a better living for them and their families can equally compared to the work done by those in China. You must really ask how much different is Apple than to the Hilton or these lavish restaurants who use cheap labor to run their business.

Having read this week David Shipler’s: The Working Poor, it opened my eyes to the fact that this is not an issue specifically with just Apple. The overall problem comes from a lack of opportunities for people to advance into better socio-economic conditions. These people in China are essentially forced to accept the conditions and treatment they receive because there is simply no other way for them to make some type of income. While we can blame corporations for exploiting these workers, underneath it all it is still serving some good. I am in no way justifying their actions, but i do understand that without these businesses, many of these families would have much less than they have.

By riley246 Posted in Blog 4

George R. R. Martin Eat Your Heart Out


Mike Daisey has provided me with one of the best pieces of fiction I have heard in a while. In part with my obsession of Game of Thrones, I hope HBO takes his monologue  and produces it into 7 part series.  All of my quips aside, the retraction is another example of why it is important to take information reported by media agencies with a grain of salt. We were all moved and down right appalled by what we heard Mr. Daisey describe last week about the conditions these workers lived in and how they were treated. But how many of us really took the time to look for the true story of if this all happened? We believed his account because, well, he sounded sincere, and honest, and passionate and it seemed like such a tragedy, much like the Red Wedding (another Game of Throne Reference btw). Whatever it was, it begs to question, what are the falsities we encounter in daily media sources?

I think there is a greater point to look at here. MIke Daisey is not a reporter. Rather, he is an actor, author, and monologist. For him, prize is all about the captivation of his audience. Yeah sure he could have recounted the true nature of his events and given us the actually picture of what happened. But where is the captivation in this? Needless to say, much faults falls on The American Life to thoroughly examine what Mr. Daisey was going to say and check in on the validity of this story. If you ask a crook if he is a crook, chances are, his answer is going to be no. When asking Daisey to get in contact with his source, especially on a subject so saturated with controversy given the public name of Apple, you might want to dot your i’s and cross your t’s.  It would have been less of a public embarrassment to have taken the 2-3 weeks to check in on the validity of Mr. Daisey’s sources. Especially when it is usually company policiy to have some one from The American Life along to ensure the validity of a story.

With this said, next time before we part ways with one of our products because of a “groundbreaking” report, we should look to see if it even scratches the surface. In today’s age of being technology flooded, a little research shouldn’t command to much on us. We cannot allow someone’s opinion to shape and mold our perception of the truth without having the full picture. For most, we can hope those who report news and information are like the Lannister, and stays true to their word.

Toms


The one for one concept became a huge hit over recent years thanks to the popularity of Toms. The basic principal is that for every shoe purchased, the company donates a pair to children in one of 60 countries it supports. The shoes are made with sustainable and vegan materials. Toms also actively manages and oversees their suppliers and vendors to make sure they are in compliance with the company’s policies and code of ethics. The company has gone beyond simply giving shoes, and worked extensively in bringing awareness to issues such as children’s health and educational needs. They also have a focus on improving sight for the visually impaired. Toms has also allowed for the customer to be involved and created a program called Ticket to Give. The program allows for Toms’ customers to apply and, if selected, attend one of the service trips with the company and assist in the distribution of the shoes to children.  On an internal level,  they provide training for their employees on a number of business and leadership topics, including training their supply chain employees by a respected third party expert on the important topic of human trafficking and slavery prevention.

Ed and Milton would both applaud Toms for their move to be social responsible as well as maintaining ethical values. Toms is proof that a business whose can be created with a social responsibility as its driving force and has be successful from it it. Employees are able to see first hand  “that their work matters” and are given a large portion of the responsibility in helping to make the difference.  The company has identified its stakeholders, and has devoted their efforts to make sure they work to improve their lives. The work to educate and create opportunities for their staff, identifying the importance they play in not only keeping their business alive, but also in promoting and enacting Toms’ mission.