Issue 010 / Zombie Plastic, Minimalism & How We Use Money to Express Ourselves (+ New Social Impact Jobs Board)

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 

This Week's Five Links

Too Hot to Fly? Climate Change May Take a Toll on Air Travel — The New York Times
A few weeks ago, high temperatures in Phoenix, Ariz., forced airlines to ground flights because airplanes were unable to generate enough “lift” to take off. Researchers say that as global warming makes the earth hotter and jet streams more intense, it could change air travel as we know it, resulting in more flight disruptions and greater turbulence in air.

Boycotts And Buycotts: How We Use Money To Express OurselvesHidden Brain/NPR
In this podcast, Hidden Brain host Shankar Vedantam speaks with Georgetown University researcher Neeru Paharia on how consumers use their purchasing power as a way to signal their political leanings, moral values and status. 

Zombie Plastic. or Why Our Stuff Just Won’t DieLinkedIn
Futerra’s Solitaire Townsend reframes the plastics epidemic as a question of life and death in this thoughtful LinkedIn post. 

American Chipmakers Had a Toxic Problem. Then They Outsourced It — Bloomberg
Thirty years ago, scientists discovered that women working in U.S. computer chip factories experienced significantly higher rates of miscarriage, reproductive disorders and cancer. Toxic chemicals were pinpointed as the cause and were supposed to have been phased out from the production process. But recent incidents show that the problem wasn't eliminated — it was exported to South Korea, where issues persist in factories for Samsung, SK Hynix and LG.

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
Our culture is consumed by “stuff.” This film explores the backlash against this obsession through the eyes of families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker — all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less. Available to view on Netflix or Vimeo.

What I’ve found with minimalism is it’s a way to say, let’s stop the madness.
— Leo Babauta, Zen Habits blogger (and fellow Guamanian! 🇬🇺  ) in Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Spotlight: Plastic-Free July

I read something shocking the other day: every minute, one million plastic bottles are bought around the world. EVERY MINUTE. That number’s set to jump another 20% by 2021, which could lead to an environmental crisis as serious as climate change. 

A couple months ago, I wrote about the tragic ocean waste problem that’s turned Bali’s beaches into landfills. If this disposable plastic trend continues as it’s expected to, it’s predicted that by 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish. 

This is unacceptable. And it’s a problem that most people — myself included — contribute to directly. 

Thoughtlessness toward plastic is also a behavior that can be changed… starting this month with Plastic Free July

Here’s your challenge: This month, #ChoosetoRefuse single-use plastic.

  • Avoid products in plastic packaging (choose alternatives)
  • Reduce where possible (opt for refills, remember your reusable shopping bags)
  • Refuse plastics that escape as litter (e.g. straws, takeaway cups, utensils, balloons)
  • Recycle what cannot be avoided

Make your pledge here.

Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing it!