It is trash day. Consumers have placed their garbage and recycling units outside to be whisked away by municipal garbage trucks. This ritualistic behavior has contributed to American’s accustomed lifestyle of “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to garbage. What needs to be enlightened is the dark side of decay and filth: a subject that most people are not consciously aware of or perhaps do not even care to think about. It is time to start caring as our country, and the world as we know it, is becoming a giant heap of trash.
Personal health needs to be at the forefront of what is important in life. Often people carry so much on their shoulders, trying to juggle what seems like a million things at once. There is barely enough time in the day to get things accomplished – let alone think of spending quality time on one’s self. This needs to change.
One thing we don’t get enough of is sleep. Sleep should not be considered just another thing on the “to do” list. It’s more than just having the dark circles under the eyes and the annoyance of constant yawning. You feel better when sleeping close to 8 hours a night because the benefits of getting adequate sleep are immense! A good night’s sleep affects your overall lifestyle: more stamina, ability to focus, increased life expectancy, decreased anxiety and increased memory. As the brain rejuvenates itself while it sleeps (busy reorganizing thoughts and memories, allowing you to dream in the REM cycle), it may result in more creativity as well. Sleep deprivation has been linked to fatigue, weight gain, inflammation, stress, slower reaction times, lower performance, poorer decision making, cancer and other diseases. Plus, who likes a cranky person?
Sleep isn’t something you can try to make up during weekends; sleep is essential for life. This choice to ensure your body gets the rest it needs will enable you to wake up well-rested and ready to seize the day – to learn, to serve your community, to change the world!
Onslaught of Green
Consumers are finding it more and more challenging to differentiate goods and services that are advertised as environmentally friendly. According to a 2010 study by TerraChoice, an independent testing and certification organization, there are 73% more green products on the market today than in 2009.1They also revealed that roughly 95% of green products are being greenwashed to some degree (based on their seven sins of greenwashing).1 While this study focused on home and family products, the purchasing power of greenwashing is evident across many industries. Greenwashing can be defined as the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.2 Additionally, Wikipedia defines green washing as a term describing the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote the perception that an organization’s policies or products are environmentally friendly.3,4 While most organizations do not outright greenwash, any exaggerated behavior is inappropriate: greenwashing is “an extremely serious matter…it is insidious, eroding consumer trust, contaminating the credibility of all sustainability-related marketing and hence inhibiting progress toward a sustainable economy,” stated in a report by Ogilvy & Mather, a huge advertising firm.5 The Federal Trade Commission does provide guidelines for environmental marketing claims, but these are not enforceable.6,7 It has been the responsibility of corporations to not jump on the green public image bandwagon, spend resources on environmentally sound practices, and inform the public about the truthful environmental impacts of buying and using their products.
A helpful document for corporations is Ogilvy’s guide on brand management: “From Greenwash to Great: A Practical Guide to Great Green Marketing (without the Greenwash).” The guide presents a framework that speaks to an honest green story starting from inside the company, not from a marketing idea that is created and spun for consumers.8 A company that has started in an honest place is Levi Strauss & Co. The company was founded in San Francisco, California in 1853 and created the very first pair of blue jeans in 1873.9 The Levi’s brand has become one of the most widely recognized brands, positioned as the original and authentic jeans brand. It’s merchandising and marketing seeks to reflect the brand’s core attributes: original, definitive, honest, confident, and youthful. It is obvious the company is proud of its history and heritage: “People have worn our products during the seminal moments of social change over the past 150 years.”10 The company has a long lineage of corporate social responsibility: shorter work weeks were implemented to mitigate the massive lay-offs happening during the Great Depression; factories were racially integrated prior to the Civil Rights Act; was one of the first companies to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as remaining committed to the pandemic; established a set of Global Sourcing and Operating Guidelines; and joined the Federal Labor Association (FLA) efforts to improve working conditions around the globe.11,12,13 According to Ogilvy’s brand management guide, environmental improvements and benefits need to be measurable, verified and significant to the product’s real footprint.14 Beyond their corporate social responsibility, Levi’s is considered a pioneer in sustainability, making efforts to minimize their environmental footprint in all levels of their operations. Continue reading
As mentioned in class, I want to focus my paper 2 topic on Levi’s. The company has established itself as having success with corporate responsibility – and is well known for it. Over the years the company has broadened the scope to also include more sustainable and environmental practices. I started my research with their Water<Less campaign where they are using social media to create awareness to consumers that Levi’s is using less water in the production of the jeans, engage consumers in how to help Levi’s in supplying water to less fortunate areas around the world, and to engage consumers in using less water themselves. Questions I raised were: was it enough to talk about water saved in these jeans? what about other products? Does this really attack the issue of water consumption (e.g. cotton)? the impact? – hope this gives you the gist.
I’ve recently found that late last year they began another campaign, teaming up with the Better Cotton Initiative. This continues the conversation on promoting water conservation and addressing water use in more aspects of their business. They’re currently working to educate suppliers (cotton farmers specifically) to conserve water. Overall the measures they’re taking are impacting their manufacturing and they’re communication with their customers. From here I thought I could work in some type of greenwashing ideas, but Levi’s is definitely playing in the opposite side and has managed to continually cascade it’s sustainability practices throughout their operations.
So, my question is, can I formulate my case by addressing a company that is a GOOD example? I don’t have anything to “argue” per say – but I can work through the importance of stakeholder theory and the beneficial impacts Levi’s is experiencing by it’s practices?
For the blog posting this week I chose to use a “piece of knowledge” on Freeman. An optional reading for our session 4 class back in February was Edward Freeman’s Stakeholder Theory of the Modern Corporation. Ever since taking Management 101 the concept of stakeholders has interested me: how to identify who is a stakeholder, are their various levels, how does one encapsulate the needs of stakeholders and somehow make that align or fit within what the mission of the overall corporation is, etc.
I searched Stakeholder Theory and Freeman within the Web of Knowledge database. Since Stakeholder Theory of the Modern Corporation itself is within another piece of work, I browsed around a bit, checking out other pieces of work by Freeman regarding stakeholder theory. I spent some time searched within those for different terms, such as Wal-Mart, but did not come up with many results nor any I was particularly interested in. I eventually narrowed my focus onto Stakeholder Theory and “the corporate objective revisited” . This has been cited 76 times within the Web of Knowledge database! In settling on this document, I began sifting through the 76 items cited; I wasn’t really thrilled with this set of resources either. I eventually found an article that, from it’s abstract at least, appeared really interesting: Social Sustainability in Selecting Emerging Economy Suppliers by M. Ehrgott, F. Reimann, L. Kaufmann, and C.R. Carter. The source of the article is Journal of Business Ethics. I did a cited reference search on this article as well, but it has only been cited 3 times within Web of Knowledge.
The abstract provides great insight into what the study was about Continue reading
Last spring semester I took part in the 1.5 credit program course Conflict and Peace in Northern Ireland. This program course during the spring prepared the class for a short-term study abroad program known as Bucknell in Northern Ireland (BUNI). The program is a collaboration of Bucknell, International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), and the University of Ulster-Magee College. This service-learning program focuses on the histories and cultures of people in Northern Ireland. From mid-May to early June, we stayed in Derry/Londonderry. We briefly visited the Republic of Ireland as well. Despite the constant overcast and rain showers, it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen! (my pictures don’t even do it justice)
Please note that Northern Ireland is part of the UK. It is not united with the rest of Ireland (the Republic) which is independent of British rule. As you may know, society in Northern Ireland is recovering from a period of sectarian conflict. The worst part of this conflict is referred to as “The Troubles” (late 1960s-1990s). This conflict between Catholics (Nationalists/Republicans) and Protestants (Unionists/Loyalists) was the spark of much violence in Northern Ireland during their history. When we, as Americans, think of these time periods, we see them as so long ago. To society in Northern Ireland, their history is still very much alive, like it was only yesterday. Continue reading
This week for the TV blog post prompt, I chose one of my favorite shows: Criminal Minds. It airs on CBS every Wednesday night at 9, and is currently in season 7. The show is made up of an elite group known as a subsection of the FBI: Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). Sometimes referred to as the unit, the members include Rossi, Morgan, Garcia (computer whiz), Dr. Reid, JJ (communications), Prentiss and Hotch (head of team). Their base is located in Quantico, Virginia, but the unit is constantly called in by police departments and other agencies around the country to assist in crimes. These crimes the unit is called in to help solve typically have many layers and are extremely or disturbing cases. When the BAU is handed a new case, much of their job revolves around profiling and victimology. By piecing together the basic characteristics of the assailant(s) and analyzing them, the team can work in an effort to anticipate the next moves, and hopefully catch the unsub (unidentified subject) before it’s too late.
This past weeks’ episode is titled “A Family Affair.” The Unit travels to Atlanta to investigate a string of murders. The victims have been prostitutes in the area who are stabbed to death in the same fashion. The Unit is called in because the frequency of these attacks continues to mount. The episode tells the story of dysfunctional family, the Collins. The Mother has been using pills, the Dad an alcoholic. They have one son, Jeffrey. Some years ago, there was a car accident. The Dad was drunk behind the wheel, the Mother in the front seat and Jeffrey in the back. Jeffrey is wheelchair-bound due to the accident, but blames his mother for what happened to him. Preview: criminal_minds_preview_a_family_affair_season_7_episode_16 Continue reading
This week, like some of the posts already up, I want to talk about my upbringing. Of those I read, they mentioned private schools and predominantly white schools and/or areas. My experience was the quite the opposite.
I went to public schools all my life, until coming here. I grew up in Pottstown, which is a relatively small town in south-eastern PA. Pottstown is a diverse town. There is a main street that runs through the town, “High Street.” People would associate each side with “the bad side” and “the good side” of High Street. I lived on Cherry Street which happened to be on the “good side”. Thinking back, the majority of my neighbors and my area were predominantly white. The “bad side” of Pottstown was primarily black. Further down certain areas were also bad areas I was told not to go to at night with friends. I never thought of it in racial terms when I was younger.
I attended Edgewood Elementary School from k-almost all of 6th grade. Mod’s were built at the elementary school temporarily as the middle school underwent construction. This school was very mixed in terms of race and ethnicity. Some of my closest friends were other races than my own. As I mentioned in one of my comments, I believe to Dana, I actually was envious of having such pale skin and freckles (I don’t ever tan- I burn) compared to the bronze skin of some of my friends. Continue reading
In browsing through the “people to watch” I came across someone I find inspiring. This someone is 25 year old Tammy Tibbetts who was featured in Meet The Change Generation. She founded She’s The First in 2009, bringing together ideas and experimenting with creative ways to raise money. This money is used to fund girls in the developing worlds be the first in their family to graduate.
As Valentine’s Day is upon us, I’ve been contemplating on what type of item or object to blog about. Seeing as chocolate was covered (and made me have such a craving), I thought of what else is related to this special holiday, being chocolate and jewelry of course. My boyfriend came up to visit and celebrate Valentine’s Day. Luckily, I received a present early that’s given me inspiration to search more information on a popular jeweler: Zales.
My first stop for information was their website. In browsing around, great detail is given on the various facets of diamonds: clarity, cut, science, myth, carats, etc. The one that caught my eye (no pun intended) was what are called conflict diamonds. I’ve never heard this term used before. The term I have heard of, which I feel is possibly more common, is blood diamonds. I’m sure some of us in class have seen the film Blood Diamond. Conflict diamonds in short are diamonds that come out of conflict zones. Continue reading
In looking through the blog choices for this week, the Work Matters blog stood out to me. I’ve worked since I legally could (and the typical babysitting prior to that) so work for me has always mattered. In clicking this link, I found Bob Sutton’s writing engaging and also gives the reader a bit of a chuckle. His style of writing is almost pointing out the common sense in things, yet somehow these topics might not necessarily seem obvious. His blogging is pretty addictive; I’ve read about five in a row now.
He has covered an array of topics but a similar theme I found is separating the good from the bad. In the blog posting I’m focusing on for this week, Sutton is arguing Bad is Stronger than Good . What I find interesting is he describes the first order of business is to actually eliminate the negative in a working environment prior to even thinking of acknowledging the positive. In bosses providing positive reinforcement and career development for individuals, this seems to create a more productive environment. While bringing in great people and rewarding their efforts is beneficial, Sutton feels ‘bad apples’ will undermine this culture. Continue reading
Charles Wright Mills, 1916-1962
C. Wright Mills was born in Texas to a white-collar insurance broker and a housewife. His childhood consisted of moving around a lot within Texas, causing him to grow up with many intimate friendships. After grade school, Mills anticipated an engineering career and enrolled in Texas A&M. One year later he transferred to the University of Texas. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in philosophy, and went on to receive his PhD. Mills became a Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and later, one of the most controversial figures in American social science. Continue reading