Holidays

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Valentine’s Day: COVID-19 wilted the industry, but sustainable flowers are still a thorny issue

Cut flowers are a multi-billion-dollar business globally, closely linked to social events and holidays, such as Christmas, Hanukkah and Mother’s Day, and to happy and sad occasions, like weddings and funerals… And then there’s Valentine’s Day. By Paul D. Larson, University of Manitoba The Conversation In the United States alone, an estimated $1.9 billion worth […]

February 14th

Valentine’s Day: five ways to ensure your flowers are ethical

If you take an interest in ethical consumerism and plan to treat someone special this February 14, what dilemmas lie ahead? You might already be conscious of getting child labour and slave-free chocolate, a recycled card, even fair trade gold, and perhaps vintage or conflict-free diamonds if it’s a very special year. But what about […]

February 14th

How to keep COVID-safe this Christmas

It’s Christmas 2020 and COVID-19 is unfortunately still here. Many people are visiting loved ones, including vulnerable family members. So, to try to keep our loved ones safe during this festive period, there are two questions we need to answer: what’s the best thing to do for me and my family this Christmas? And if we […]

December 25th

Oppression in the kitchen, delight in the dining room: The Christmas Eve story of Caesar, an enslaved chef and chocolatier in Colonial Virginia

Christmas Eve is almost here, and among the many treats of the season are chocolate and hot cocoa. While these traditions provide a hefty dose of sugar, there’s a bittersweet side to chocolate’s history, too. By Kelley Fanto Deetz, University of California, Berkeley The Conversation This year, at Stratford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia, […]

December 24th

Don’t stress about what kind of Christmas tree to buy, but reuse artificial trees and compost natural ones

Environmentally conscious consumers often ask me whether a real Christmas tree or an artificial one is the more sustainable choice. As a horticulture and forestry researcher, I know this question is also a concern for the Christmas tree industry, which is wary of losing market share to artificial trees. By Bert Cregg, Michigan State University […]

December 23rd

Jim Hightower: This holiday season, choose a new food future

America certainly has an abundance of food, even though many Americans do not. We face a momentous choice of whether to pursue a food future rooted in the ethic of sustainable agri-culture — or one based on the exploitative ethic of agri-industry. By Jim Hightower Otherwords What better symbol of agri-industry’s vision of “food” than the […]

December 13th

On Thanksgiving, some thoughts on language and family

If you’ve got one of those families—nuclear or extended—in which talking politics at the dinner table brings out the glares and knives, or you just get bored hanging around the in-laws and outlaws of your own little clan on Thanksgiving, perhaps you can turn the whole affair into a language experiment that everybody can participate in. […]

November 26th

9 ways to make a greener Thanksgiving this year

It’s been a weird mixed bag of a year, but we still have a lot to be thankful for…  And as we officially enter the season of holiday cheer, holiday shopping and holiday excess, can we all think about the planet, too? By Jeremy Bloom  They say that green is the new black, but that […]

November 25th