The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and our Health—and a Vision for Change - Annie Leonard (2010)




1. “Recycle City: Materials Recovery Center,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

2. Ken Stier, “Fresh Kills: Redeveloping one of the biggest landfills in the world,” Waste Management World, December 2007 (

3. “Earth at a glance,” Ecology Global Network (

4. Astronomy: Measuring the Circumference of the Earth,” Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development (

5. “Earth at a glance.”

6. CO2 Now website:

7. “Body Burden—The Pollution in Newborns: A benchmark investigation of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in umbilical cord blood,” executive summary, Environmental Working Group, 2005 (

8. Fourth Global Environmental Outlook—Environment for Development, summary, United Nations Environment Programme, 2007 (

9. “Ten Facts About Water Scarcity,” World Health Organization ( files/water/en/index.html).

10. “Income Inequality,” UC Atlas of Global Inequality (

11. Tim Jackson, “What Politicians Dare Not Say,” New Scientist, October 18, 2008, p. 43.

12. “More than five times” the CO2 emissions as the 2050 goal is based on the mandate from top scientists for an 80 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. For an explanation of that target, see “Global Warming Crossroads: Choosing the Sensible Path to a Clean Energy Economy,” Union of Concerned Scientists, May 2009 (

13. Joseph Guth, “Law for the Ecological Age,” Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, vol. 9, no. 3, 2007–2008 (–2008).

14. Thom Hartmann, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004), pp. 14–15.

15. Personal correspondence with Dave Batker, May 2009.

16. Bill McKibben, Deep Economy (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2007), pp. 203–4.

17. “More than Half the World Lives on Less than $2 a Day,” Population Reference Bureau (
Than2aDayAugust2005.aspx), citing data from the World Bank’s World Development Report 2000/2001.

18. James Gustave Speth, The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 7–9.

19. Interview with Michael Cohen, July 2009.

20. James Pethokoukis, “McCain or Obama: Who’s Pro-Growth?” US News & World Report, June 2, 2008 (

21. Donella Meadows, The Global Citizen (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1991), p. 4.

22. Donella Meadows, “Places to Intervene in a System,” Whole Earth Review, Winter 1997 (

23. Ibid.

24. Interview with Jeffrey Morris, May 2009.

A Word About Words

1. Thomas Princen, Michael Maniates, and Ken Conca, Confronting Consumption (Boston: MIT Press, 2002), pp. 45–50.

2. James Gustave Speth, The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 170.

3. Speth, The Bridge at the End of the World, p. 62.

4. Herman E. Daly and Joshua Farley, Ecological Economics (Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2003), p. 433.

5. N. Senanayake and L. Karalliedde, “Neurotoxic effects of organophosphorus insecticides,” New England Journal of Medicine, March 26, 1987, pp. 761–63.

6. Ken Geiser, Materials Matter (Boston: MIT Press, 2001), p. 22.

7. Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, UN World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987 (–brundtland.pdf).

8. Robert Gilman’s definition of sustainability is widely quoted, by organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (
4007842da!OpenDocument) and the Center for World Leadership (

9. Center for Sustainable Communities, quoted in Sustainable Sonoma County’s “Key Concepts: Defining Sustainability” (

Chapter 1: Extraction

1. Paul Hawken and Amory L. Hunter, Natural Capitalism (New York: Little Brown & Co., 1999), p. 50.

2. Washington State official website:

3. Bill Chameides, “Pulse of the Planet: U.S. Whiffs on Climate Change While Rain Forests Burn,” The Huffington Post, July 14, 2008 (

4. Charles Czarnowski, Jason Bailey, and Sharon Bal, “Curare and a Canadian Connection,” Canadian Family Physician, vol. 53, no. 9, September 2007, pp. 1531–32 (

5. Peter Rillero, “Tropical Rainforest Education” (–1/tropical.html).

6. Ibid.

7. “Cancer Cured by the Rosy Periwinkle,” The Living Rainforest (

8. Ibid.

9. “Rainforest Facts,” Raintree ( Raintree is an informational website founded by Leslie Taylor, author of The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs (Square Garden City Park One Publishers, 2005) and founder of the company Raintree Nutrition, which markets rainforest botanicals.

10. Ibid.

11. Global Diversity Outlook, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environment Programme, 2001, p. 93 (

12. “About Rainforests,” Rainforest Action Network (

13. Don E. Wilson and DeeAnn M. Reeder (eds.), Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 3rd. ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005); Available online from Bucknell University’s Mammal Species of the World database (

14. “Promoting Climate-Smart agriculture” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (

15. Condition and Trends Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Current States and Trends, vol. 1 (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2005), p. 2.

16. “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity,” European Commission (

17. Richard Black, “Nature Loss ‘Dwarfs Bank Crisis,’” BBC News, October 10, 2008 (

18. “Deforestation and net forest area change,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (

19. State of the World’s Forests 2007, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (

20. “Old Growth,” Rainforest Action Network (

21. State of the World’s Forests 2007.

22. Allen Hershkowitz, Bronx Ecology (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2002), p. 75.

23. Stephen Leahy, “Biofuels Boom Spurring Deforestation,” Inter Press Service, March 21, 2007 (

24. Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums (New York: Viking Press, 1958; Penguin Books, 1976), pp. 225–26.

25. John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1911; Sierra Club Books, 1988).

26. “Forestry; Wood; Pulp and Paper: ILO Concerns,” International Labour Organization (

27. Leahy, “Biofuels Boom Spurring Deforestation.”

28. “Common and Uncommon Paper Products,” TAPPI ( TAPPI is the leading technical association for the worldwide pulp, paper, and converting industry.

29. “Facts About Paper,” Printers National Environmental Assistance Center (

30. “Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the U.S. Book Industry,” Book Industry Study Group and Green Press Initiative (

31. “Forest Products Consumption and Its Environmental Impact” Sierra Club (sierra

32. “Good Stuff? Paper,” Worldwatch Institute (

33. “What are some ways to save paper at the office?” E/The Environmental Magazine, October 18, 2004 (

34. “Recycling Facts and Figures,” Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 2002 (

35. International Institute for Environment and Development, A Changing Future for Paper: An Independent Study on the Sustainability of the Pulp and Paper Industry (Geneva: World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 1996), p. 4 (

36. Environmental Paper Network website:

37. “ForestEthics Junk Mail Campaign,” fact sheet, Forest Ethics (

38. Ibid.

39. “Recycle City: Materials Recovery Center,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

40. FCS-US: Leading Forest Conservation and Market Transformation, Forest Stewardship Council (

41. Personal communication with Todd Paglia, November 2008.

42. “What Percentage of the Human Body is Water?” The Boston Globe, November 2, 1998 (

43. Personal communication with Pat Costner, August 2009.

44. “Fascinating Water Facts,” Agua Solutions (

45. John Vidal, “UK gives £50m to Bangladesh climate change fund,” The Guardian [UK], September 8, 2008 (

46. Seth H. Frisbie, Erika J. Mitchell, Lawrence J. Mastera, et al., “Public Health Strategies for Western Bangladesh That Address Arsenic, Manganese, Uranium, and Other Toxic Elements in Drinking Water,” Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 117, no. 3, March 2009 (

47. Amie Cooper, “The Lawn Goodbye,” Dwell Magazine, February 26, 2009 (

48. “Cleaner Air: Gas Mower Pollution Facts,” People Powered Machines (people

49. Cooper, “The Lawn Goodbye.”

50. Rebecca Lindsey, “Looking for Lawns,” NASA Earth Observatory, November 8, 2005 (

51. “Productgallery: Paper,” Water Footprint Network (

52. “Productgallery: Cotton” Water Footprint Network (

53. “Productgallery: Coffee” Water Footprint Network (

54. “Siemens Offers Tips for Manufacturers to Reduce Their Water Footprint,” PRNews-wire/Reuters, August 17, 2009 (

55. “Where Is Earth’s Water Located?” U.S. Geological Survey (

56. Ibid.

57. Ger Bergkamp and Claudia W. Sadoff, “Water in a Sustainable Economy,” State of the World 2008 (Washington, D.C.: The Worldwatch Institute, 2009), p. 107.

58. Ibid., p. 108.

59. World Health Organization and UNICEF, Water for Life: Making It Happen (Geneva: WHO Press, 2005), p. 5.

60. “Human Appropriation of the World’s Fresh Water Supply,” University of Michigan Global Change Program (

61. Bergkamp and Sadoff, “Water in a Sustainable Economy,” p. 108.

62. Maude Barlow, “A UN Convention on the Right to Water—An Idea Whose Time Has Come,” Blue Planet Project, November 2006 (

63. “Running Dry,” The Economist, August 21, 2008. The quote “water is the oil of the 21st century” was from Andrew Liveris, the chief executive of Dow Chemical Company.

64. “The Soft Path for Water,” Pacific Institute ( ability/soft_path/index.htm).

65. “‘Virtual Water’ Innovator Awarded 2008 Stockholm Water Prize,” Stockholm International Water Institute (

66. Quote appears on the Water Footprint website:

67. Bergkamp and Sadoff, “Water in a Sustainable Economy,” p. 114.

68. “Dublin Statements and Principles,” Global Water Partnership (

69. Ray Anderson, “The business logic of sustainability,” TED talk filmed February 2009, posted May 2009 (
logic_of_sustain ability.html).

70. Dirty Metals: Mining, Communities, and the Environment, Earthworks and Oxfam America, 2004, p. 4 (

71. “Bingham Canyon Mine,” Wikipedia (

72. Rich Lands Poor People: Is Sustainable Mining Possible? Centre for Science and the Environment, 2008, p. 1 (

73. Dirty Metals: Mining, Communities and the Environment, p. 4.

74. Ibid.

75. Ibid.

76. “Mining: Safety and Health,” International Labour Organization (

77. “Mineworkers Rights,” GRAVIS (

78. “1872 Mining Law,” Earthworks (

79. Ken Geiser, Materials Matter (Boston: MIT Press, 2001), p. 170.

80. Ibid.

81. “H.R. 699: Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2009,” Congressional Research Service summary, GovTrack (–699&tab=summary).

82. Radhika Sarin, No Dirty Gold: Consumer education and action for mining reform (Washington, D.C.: Earthworks, 2005), pp. 305–6.

83. “Why a Campaign Focused on Gold?” No Dirty Gold (

84. “Poisoned Waters,” No Dirty Gold (

85. “Cyanide process,” Encyclopaedia Britannica (

86. “The Gold Discovery That Changed the World: Coloma, California, 1848,” Coloma Valley website, adapted from Discover Coloma: A Teacher’s Guide, by Alan Beilharz (

87. Pratap Chatterjee, Gold, Greed and Genocide (Berkeley, Calif.: Project Underground, 1998).

88. “NIH Mercury Abatement Program,” National Institutes of Health, Office of Research Facilities (

89. Rebecca Solnit, “Winged Mercury and the Golden Calf,” Orion, September/October 2006 (

90. “The Golden Rules,” No Dirty Gold (

91. “Combating Conflict Diamonds,” Global Witness (

92. “Leaders of diamond-fuelled terror campaign convicted by Sierra Leone’s Special Court,” press release from Global Witness, February 26, 2009 (

93. Ibid.

94. Ibid.

95. “The Kimberley Process,” Global Witness (

96. “Conflict Diamonds: Sanctions and War,” United Nations (

97. Loupe Holes: Illicit Diamonds in the Kimberley Process, Partnership Africa Canada and Global Witness, November 2008, p. 1 (

98. “Tantalum,” Encyclopaedia Britannica ( The entry states: “Tantalum was discovered (1802) by the Swedish chemist Anders Gustaf Ekeberg and named after the mythological character Tantalus because of the tantalizing problem of dissolving the oxide in acids.”

99. “Congo’s Tragedy: The war the world forgot,” The Independent [UK], May 5, 2006 (

100. Ibid.

101. Ibid.

102. Ibid.

103. Faced with a Gun, What Can you Do? War and the Militarisation of Mining in Eastern Congo, Global Witness, July 2009. Tables with statistics on the mineral exports from 2007 and the first half of 2008 can be found on p. 90 (

104. “Congo’s Tragedy: The war the world forgot.”

105. Jack Ewing, “Blood on Your Phone? Unlikely It’s ‘Conflict Coltan,’” Der Speigel Online International, November 18, 2008 (,1518,591097,00.html).

106. Larry Greenemeier, “Trashed Tech: Where Do Old Cell Phones, TVs and PCs Go to Die?” Scientific American, November 29, 2007 (

107. American Chemical Society, Chemistry in the Community, 5th ed. (New York: W. H. Freeman, 2006), p. 176.

108. Ibid.

109. “The Next 10 Years are Critical—The World Energy Outlook Makes the Case for Stepping up Co-operation with China and India to Address Global Energy Challenges,” press release from the International Energy Agency, November 7, 2007 (

110. Steve Connor, “Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast,” The Independent [UK], August 3, 2009 (

111. Ibid.

112. Ibid.

113. Lou Dematteis and Kayna Szymczak, Crude Reflections: Oil, Ruin, and Resistance in the Amazon Rainforest (San Francisco: City Lights Publishers, 2008), pp. 6–18.

114. “Carbon plan in Ecuador would leave jungle oil reserves untapped,” Yale Environment 360, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (

115. Haroon Siddique, “Pay-to-protect plan for Ecuador’s rainforest on the brink,” The Guardian [UK], October 9, 2008 (

116. Ibid.

117. Jess Smee, “Oil or Trees? Germany Takes Lead in Saving Ecuador’s Rainforest,” Sustainable Development Media Think Tank, June 24, 2009 (

118. “The Ogoni Bill of Rights,” Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, October 1990 (

119. Andrew Walker, “Fresh start for Nigerian oil activists?” BBC News, August 11, 2008 (

120. “Shell in Nigeria: What Are the Issues?” Essential Action (

121. Andy Rowell, “Secret papers ‘show how Shell targeted Nigeria oil protests,’” The Independent [UK], June 14, 2009 (

122. “Ken Saro-Wiwa’s closing statement to the Nigerian military-appointed special tribunal,” Southern Africa Report, vol. 11, no. 2, January 1996 ( The following is the full text of Ken’s final statement:

We all stand before history. I am a man of peace, of ideas. Appalled by the denigrating poverty of my people who live on a richly endowed land, distressed by their political marginalization and economic strangulation, angered by the devastation of their land, their ultimate heritage, anxious to preserve their right to life and to a decent living, and determined to usher to this country as a whole a fair and just democratic system which protects everyone and every ethnic group and gives us all a valid claim to human civilization, I have devoted my intellectual and material resources, my very life, to a cause in which I have total belief and from which I cannot be blackmailed or intimidated. I have no doubt at all about the ultimate success of my cause, no matter the trials and tribulations which I and those who believe with me may encounter on our journey. Nor imprisonment nor death can stop our ultimate victory.

I repeat that we all stand before history. I and my colleagues are not the only ones on trial.

Shell is here on trial and it is as well that it is represented by counsel said to be holding a watching brief. The Company has, indeed, ducked this particular trial, but its day will surely come and the lessons learnt here may prove useful to it for there is no doubt in my mind that the ecological war that the Company has waged in the Delta will be called to question sooner than later and the crimes of that war be duly punished. The crime of the Company’s dirty wars against the Ogoni people will also be punished.

On trial also is the Nigerian nation, its present rulers and those who assist them. Any nation which can do to the weak and disadvantaged what the Nigerian nation has done to the Ogoni, loses a claim to independence and to freedom from outside influence. I am not one of those who shy away from protesting injustice and oppression, arguing that they are expected in a military regime. The military do not act alone. They are supported by a gaggle of politicians, lawyers, judges, academics and businessmen, all of them hiding under the claim that they are only doing their duty, men and women too afraid to wash their pants of urine. We all stand on trial, my lord, for by our actions we have denigrated our Country and jeopardized the future of our children. As we subscribe to the sub-normal and accept double standards, as we lie and cheat openly, as we protect injustice and oppression, we empty our classrooms, denigrate our hospitals, fill our stomachs with hunger and elect to make ourselves the slaves of those who ascribe to higher standards, pursue the truth, and honour justice, freedom, and hard work. I predict that the scene here will be played and replayed by generations yet unborn. Some have already cast themselves in the role of villains, some are tragic victims, some still have a chance to redeem themselves. The choice is for each individual.

I predict that the denouement of the riddle of the Niger delta will soon come. The agenda is being set at this trial. Whether the peaceful ways I have favoured will prevail depends on what the oppressor decides, what signals it sends out to the waiting public. In my innocence of the false charges I face Here, in my utter conviction, I call upon the Ogoni people, the peoples of the Niger delta, and the oppressed ethnic minorities of Nigeria to stand up now and fight fearlessly and peacefully for their rights. History is on their side. God is on their side. For the Holy Quran says in Sura 42, verse 41: “All those that fight when oppressed incur no guilt, but Allah shall punish the oppressor.” Come the day.

123. Stephen Kretzmann, “Shell’s Settlement Doesn’t Hide Unsettling Reality in Nigeria,” The Huffington Post, June 10, 2009 (

124. “The Case Against Shell,” Center for Constitutional Rights and EarthRights International (

125. Jad Mouawad, “Shell to Pay $15.5 Million to Settle Nigerian Case,” The New York Times, June 8, 2009 (

126. Shai Oster, “Shell to Start Talks with Nigeria,” The Wall Street Journal, May 31, 2005, page A7.

127. “The Ogoni Issue,” Shell Oil (

128. Oil for Nothing: Multinational Corporations, Environmental Destruction, Death and Impunity in the Niger Delta, a U.S. nongovernmental delegation trip report, September 6–20, 1999, p. 18 (

129. “Bowoto v. Chevron Case Overview,” Earth Rights International (

130. David Morris and Irshad Ahmed, The Carbohydrate Economy: Making Chemicals and Industrial Materials from Plant Matter (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Local Self-Reliance, 1992). This and many other titles about alternatives to petroleum are listed on the website of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance at

131. Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative website:

132. “Electricity Overview,” based on data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), Key World Energy Statistics 2008, Pew Center on Global Climate Change (

133. Shaila Dewan, “T.V.A. to Pay $43 Million on Projects in Spill Area,” The New York Times, September 14, 2009 (

134. Jeff Goodell, Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006), p. 146.

135. Ibid., p. 10.

136. Ibid., p. xx.

137. “National Memorial for the Mountains,” (

138. Deborah Bräutigam, Taxation and Governance in Africa, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, April 2008 (

139. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly September 13, 2007 (

140. “Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples,” International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (

141. “Extractive Industries,” issue brief, World Bank Group (
Extractive_Industries _IssueBrief.pdf).

142. “Environmental and Social Policies,” Bank Information Center (

143. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (

144. “Anti World Bank, IMF Activists Say,” Agence France-Presse, March 14, 2000 (

145. “World Bank Bonds Boycott,” Center for Economic Justice (

146. Jared Diamond, “What’s Your Consumption Factor?” The New York Times, January 2, 2008 (

147. “The State of Consumption Today,” Worldwatch Institute (

148. “Earth Overshoot Day,” Global Footprint Network (
/page/earth_overshoot_day/). For much more detailed information on the resource use of individual countries, see the Living Planet Report 2008, coauthored by the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Footprint Network (

149. One Planet Living website:

150. Ibid.

151. Hawken and Hunter, Natural Capitalism, p. 8.

152. “1994 Declaration of the Factor 10 Club” Factor 10 Institute (

Chapter 2: Production

1. Many references, including: Our Stolen Future (; State of the World 2006, Worldwatch Institute; Nancy Evans, ed., State of the Evidence 2006, executive summary, Breast Cancer Fund, p. 4 (–5F6A-4B57–9794-AFE5D27A3CFF%7D/State%20of%20the%20Evidence%202006.pdf); Gay Daly, “Bad Chemistry,” OnEarth, Winter 2006 (

2. “Of the more than 80,000 chemicals in commerce, only a small percentage of them have ever been screened for even one potential health effect, such as cancer, reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity, or impacts on the immune system. Among the approximately 15,000 tested, few have been studied enough to correctly estimate potential risks from exposure. Even when testing is done, each chemical is tested individually rather than in the combinations that one is exposed to in the real world. In reality, no one is ever exposed to a single chemical, but to a chemical soup, the ingredients of which may interact to cause unpredictable health effects.” From “Chemical Body Burden,” Coming Clean (

3. Theo Colburn, John Peter Myers, and Dianne Dumanoski, Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival? (New York: Plume Books, 1997). See the Our Stolen Future website for chapter synopses ( and recent news about chemical exposures (

4. Fred Pearce, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff (Boston: Beacon Press, 2008), p. 89.

5. A. K. Chapagain, A. Y. Hoekstra, H. H. G. Savenije, and R. Gautam, “The water footprint of cotton consumption,” Ecological Economics, vol. 60, no. 1, November 1, 2006, pp. 201–2 (

6. Ibid., p. 187.

7. Ibid., p. 195.

8. Ibid., p. 186.

9. Ibid., p. 187.

10. Pearce, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, pp. 111–12.

11. Ibid., p. 90.

12. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004 (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004), p. 162.

13. “Problems with conventional cotton production,” Pesticide Action Network North America (

14. Ibid.

15. Pearce, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, p. 114.

16. Charles Benbrook, Pest Management at the Crossroads (Yonkers, N.Y.: Consumer’s Union, 1996), p. 2.

17. “Problems with conventional cotton production.”

18. Ibid.

19. Ibid.

20. Billie J. Collier, Martin Bide, and Phyllis Tortora, Understanding Textiles (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2008), p. 11.

21. Ibid., pp. 20–27.

22. Michael Lackman, “Care What You Wear: Facts on Cotton and Clothing Production,” Organic Consumers Association, June 29, 2007 (

23. Michael Lackman, “Permanent Press: Facts behind the fabrics,”, January 3, 2009 (

24. “Formaldehyde,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( Effects).

25. Lackman, “Care What You Wear.”

26. Chapagain, Hoekstra, Savenije, and Gautam, “The water footprint of cotton consumption,” p. 202.

27. Pearce, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, p. 104.

28. “Haitian Garment Factory Conditions,” Campaign for Labor Rights Newsletter, July 8, 1997 (

29. Personal correspondence with Yannick Etienne, August 2009.

30. “Lawmakers Vote to Increase Minimum Wage for Haitians,” Caribarena, August 5, 2009 (">

31. Pearce, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, p. 91.

32. “The Footprint Chronicles: Tracking the Environmental and Social Impact of Patagonia Clothing and Apparel,” Patagonia (

33. Susan Kinsella, “The History of Paper,” Resource Recycling, June 1990 (

34. Ibid.

35. “Environmentally Sound Paper Overview: Environmental Issues. Part III—Making Paper: Content,” Conservatree (

36. “Book Sector,” Green Press Initiative (

37. “The Trees of Central Park,” Central Park Conservancy (

38. “Impacts on Climate,” Green Press Initiative (

39. “Paper Making and Recycling,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

40. Comparison of Kraft, Sulfite, and BCTMP Manufacturing Technologies for Paper, white paper, Environmental Defense Fund, December 19, 1995 (

41. Carola Hanisch, “Finished in 15 Minutes: Paper Industry Global View,” Clariant, February 1999 (

42. Pulp and Paper Chemicals: Industry Forecasts for 2011 and 2016, Freedonia Group, February 2008 (

43. Jeffrey Hollender, “Putting the Breast Cancer/Chlorine Connection on Paper,” The Non-Toxic Times, July 2004 (

44. Draft Dioxin Reassessment: Draft Exposure and Human Health Reassessment of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin (TCDD) and Related Compounds, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2003 (; “Dioxin,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Assessment (; “Polychlorinated Dibenzo-para-Dioxins and Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans,” IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, vol. 69, August 12, 1997; J. Raloff, “Dioxin confirmed as a human carcinogen,” Science News, May 15, 1999, pp. 3–9 (

45. The American People’s Dioxin Report, Center for Health Environment and Justice (

46. “Chlorine Free Processing,” Conservatree (

47. “Getting Mercury Out of Paper Production,” Natural Resources Defense Council (

48. Michelle Carstensen and David Morris, Biochemicals for the Printing Industry, Institute for Local Self-Reliance; available for purchase at or online at

49. Ibid., p. 5.

50. Ibid., p. 4.

51. Elizabeth Grossman, High Tech Trash (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2006), p. 5.

52. Ibid., p. 78.

53. Michael Dell, speech given at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, October 2002, quoted in Clean Up Your Computer, a Catholic Agency for Overseas Development report (

54. Grossman, High Tech Trash, p. 5.

55. Interview with Ted Smith, June 2009.

56. Andrew S. Grove, Only the Paranoid Survive (New York: Doubleday Business, 1996).

57. Trade and Development Report, 2002, UN Conference on Trade and Development, p. vii (

58. Grossman, High Tech Trash, p. 4.

59. Ibid., p. 37.

60. Ibid., p. 36.

61. Ibid., pp. 37–38.

62. Ibid., p. 59.

63. Interview with Ted Smith, June 2009.

64. Alexandra McPherson, Beverley Thorpe, and Ann Blake, Brominated Flame Retardants in Dust on Computers: The Case for Safer Chemicals and Better Computer Design, Clean Production Action, June 2004, p. 5 (

65. Ibid., p. 24.

66. Ibid., pp. 30–32.

67. Grossman, High Tech Trash, p. 42.

68. Eric Williams, Robert Ayers, and Miriam Heller, “The 1.7 Kilogram Microchip: Energy and Material Use in the Production of Semiconductor Devices,” Environmental Science and Technology Vol. 36, no. 24, 2002, p. 5509.

69. Peter Singer, “The Greening of the Semi-Conductor Industry,” Semiconductor International, December 1, 2007 (

70. Ibid.

71. Grossman, High Tech Trash, pp. 42–43.

72. Ibid., p. 41.

73. Michiel van Dijk and Irene Schipper, Dell: CSR Company Profile, SOMO, the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, May 2007, p. 19 (

74. Interview with Dara O’Rourke, June 2009.

75. “Environmental Responsibility,” Dell (

76. “Soesterberg Principles Electronic Sustainability Commitment,” Clean Production Action (

77. “Life Cycle Studies: Aluminum Cans,” World Watch, vol. 19, no. 3, May/June 2006 (

78. Alan Thein Durning and John C. Ryan, Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things (Washington, D.C.: World Future Society, 1998), pp. 62–63.

79. Pearce, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, p. 146.

80. Durning and Ryan, Stuff, p. 63.

81. Pearce, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, p. 148.

82. Durning and Ryan, Stuff, pp. 63–64.

83. Personal communication with Juan Rosario, July 2009.

84. “Life Cycle Studies: Aluminum Cans.”

85. Jennifer Gitliz, The Role of the Consumer in Reducing Primary Aluminum Demand, a report by the Container Recycling Institute for the International Strategic Roundtable on the Aluminum Industry, São Luís, Brazil, October 16–18, 2003, p. 2.

86. Pearce, Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, p. 149.

87. Gitliz, The Role of the Consumer in Reducing Primary Aluminum Demand, p. 4.

88. Ibid.

89. “The Aluminum Can’s Dirty Little Secret: On-going Environmental Harm Outpaces the Metal’s ‘Green’ Benefits,” press release from the Container Recycling Institute and International Rivers Network, May 17, 2006 (–5-AlumDirty.htm).

90. “Calculating the Aluminum Can Recycling Rate,” Container Recycling Institute (

91. Gitliz, The Role of the Consumer in Reducing Primary Aluminum Demand, p. 18.

92. Ibid., p. 13.

93. Ibid., p. 14.

94. Elizabeth Royte, Garbageland: On the Secret Trail of Trash (New York: Little, Brown & Co., 2005), p. 155.

95. “Life Cycle Studies: Aluminum Cans.”

96. Ibid.

97. Michael Belliveau and Stephen Lester, PVC—Bad News Comes in Threes: The Poison Plastic, Health Hazards and the Looming Waste Crisis, The Environmental Health Strategy Center and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, 2004, pp. 16–18 (

98. Ibid., p. 18.

99. Ibid., pp. 19–20.

100. Stephen Lester, Michael Schade, and Caitlin Weigand, “Volatile Vinyl: the New Shower Curtain’s Chemical Smell,” Center for Health, Environment and Justice, June 12, 2008 (

101. Belliveau and Lester, “PVC,” pp. 1, 35.

102. Ibid., p. 2.

103. Ibid., p. 13.

104. Ibid., p. 21.

105. Beverley Thorpe, “Closing the Product Loop: How Europe Is Grappling with Waste,” Clean Production Action, February 11, 2003 (

106. “PVC Governmental Policies Around the World,” Center for Health, Environment and Justice (

107. Ibid.

108. Payal Sampat and Gary Gardner, Mind Over Matter: Recasting the Role of Materials in Our Lives, Worldwatch Institute, December 1998 (

109. Personal correspondence with Ted Schettler, July 2009.

110. “Lead, Cadmium, and Other Harmful Chemicals Found in Popular Children’s Toys,” press release from the Washington Toxics Coalition, December 12, 2007 (

111. David Duncan, Experimental Man (Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2009), p. 159.

112. Michael Hawthorne, “Pregnant women get new mercury warning,” Chicago Tribune, February 7, 2004 (

113. Duncan, Experimental Man, p. 129.

114. “Mercury in the Environment,” U.S. Geological Survey (–00/).

115. Duncan, Experimental Man, p. 159.

116. “Historic Treaty to Tackle Toxic Heavy Metal Mercury Gets Green Light,” press release from the United Nations Environment Programme, February 20, 2009 (

117. Ibid.

118. Ibid.

119. Stacy Malkan, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry (Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers, 2007), p. 2.

120. Ibid., p. 54, citing the research of the Environmental Working Group that resulted in the Skin Deep database, a review of more than 150,000 personal care products. Ingredients evaluated by Skin Deep come from the following sources: product labels; industry ingredient listings; assessments of the personal care product industry’s internal safety panel, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review; fifty data sources on the toxicity, regulatory status, and study availability of chemicals in personal care products; and ingredients entered into the database by manufacturers and individual users (

121. Jane S. Fisher, “Environmental anti-androgens and male reproductive health: Focus on phthalates and testicular dysgenesis syndrome,” white paper for the University of London School of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology, 2004 (

122. Malkan, Not Just a Pretty Face, p. 26, citing Jane Houlihan, Charlotte Brody, and Bryony Schwan, Not Too Pretty: Pthalates, Beauty Products and the FDA, Environmental Working Group, Coming Clean, and Healthcare Without Harm, July 8, 2002 (

123. “A Poison Kiss: The Problem of Lead in Lipstick,” The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, October 2007 (

124. “No More Toxic Tub,” The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, March 2009 (

125. Malkan, Not Just a Pretty Face, p. 60.

126. Ibid., pp. 65–68.

127. Ibid., p. 70.

128. “Statement of Jane Houlihan on Cosmetics Safety. Discussion Draft of the ‘Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act’ Legislation: Device and Cosmetic Safety Before the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce United States House of Representatives, May 2008,” Environmental Working Group (

129. Skin Deep cosmetics safety database ( See note 120.

130. Barry Commoner’s foreword to Ken Geiser, Materials Matter (Boston: MIT Press, 2001), p. x.

131. “Chemical Body Burden,” Coming Clean (

132. “The Foundation for Global Action on Persistent Organic Pollutants: A United States Perspective,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, March 2002 (

133. David Santillo, Iryna Labunska, Helen Davidson, et al., Consuming Chemicals— Hazardous chemicals in house dust as an indicator of chemical exposure in the home, Greenpeace Research Laboratories (

134. “Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns,” Environmental Working Group, July 14, 2005 (

135. Sonya Lunder and Renee Sharp, Mother’s Milk: Record Levels of Toxic Fire Retardants Found in American Mothers’ Breast Milk, Environmental Working Group, September 2003, pp. 15–17 (

136. Ibid., p. 17.

137. Ibid., p. 5.

138. Joene Hendry, “Being Breast-fed May Lower Breast Cancer Risk,” Reuters Health, May 9, 2008 (

139. Lunder and Sharp, Mother’s Milk, p. 33.

140. “What is REACH?” EUROPA-Environment (

141. “Why We Need the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act,” Environmental Working Group (

142. “Lautenberg, Solis, Waxman Introduce Legislation to Protect Americans from Hazardous Chemicals in Consumer Products—’Kid Safe Chemical Act’ Would Ensure All Chemicals Used in Every Day Products, Including Those Used in Baby Bottles and Children’s Toys, Are Proven Safe,” press release from the office of Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, May 20, 2008 (

143. “Landmark Chemical Reform Introduced in Congress,” press release from the Environmental Working Group, May 20, 2008 (

144. “More than a Paycheck,” Sweet Honey in the Rock (

145. Personal correspondence with Peter Orris, July 2009.

146. “Occupational Cancer,” National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (

147. Ibid.

148. “Environmental Justice,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

149. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., and Charles Lee, Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States: A National Report on the Racial and Socio-Economic Characteristics of Communities with Hazardous Waste Sites,United Church of Christ, 1987, p. xiv (

150. Temma Kaplan, Crazy for Democracy: Women in Grassroots Movements (New York: Routledge, 1997), p. 69.

151. “Environmental Justice,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

152. Robert D. Bullard, Paul Mohai, Robin Saha, and Beverly Wright, Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987–2007, United Church of Christ, March 2007, p. xii (

153. Steve Lerner, “Fenceline and Disease Cluster Communities: Living in the Shadow of Heavily-Polluting Facilities,” Collaborative on Health and the Environment, October 1, 2006 (

154. Mick Brown, “Bhopal gas disaster’s legacy lives on 25 years later,”, August 6, 2009 (
5978266/Bhopal-gas-disasters-legacy-lives-on-25-years-later.html); Helene Vosters, “Bhopal Survivors Confront Dow,” CorpWatch, May 15, 2003 (

155. “What Happened in Bhopal?” The Bhopal Medical Appeal (

156. Researchers found heavy concentrations of carcinogenic chemicals and heavy metals like mercury. Mercury was found at between 20,000 to 6 million times the expected levels, and elemental mercury was discovered to be widely distributed across the plant premises. Twelve volatile organic compounds, most greatly exceeding EPA standard limits, were found to have seeped and continue to seep into the water supplies of an estimated twenty thousand people in the local area. Three water wells in this community, northeast of the factory, were discovered to have the most severe contamination. Other wells, though not as severely contaminated, also showed elevated levels of toxic chemicals. I. Labunska, A. Stephenson, K. Brigden, et al., “Toxic contaminants at the former Union Carbide factory site, Bhopal, India: 15 years after the Bhopal accident,” Greenpeace Research Laboratories, April 1999.

157. Srishti, Surviving Bhopal 2002: Toxic Present, Toxic Future, Fact Finding Mission on Bhopal, January 2002 (

158. “What Happened in Bhopal?”

159. Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla, Goldman Prize 2004 acceptance speech (

160. “Padyatra/Dharna/Hungerstrike 2008 Demands,” International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (

161. Ann Larabee, Decade of Disaster (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2000), p. 136.

162. Kim Fortun, Advocacy after Bhopal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), p. 58.

163. Ibid.

164. “Responsible Care,” American Chemistry Council (

165. Trust Us, Don’t Track Us: An Investigation of the Chemical Industry’s Responsible Care Program, U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, January 28, 1998 (

166. “What is the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

167. “2007 TRI Public Data Release,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

168. “Pollution Report Card for Zip Code 94709, Alameda County,” (

169. Ibid.

170. “Limitations of EPA’s Exposure Estimates,” (

171. “What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish: 2004 EPA and FDA Advice for: Women Who Might Become Pregnant, Women Who Are Pregnant, Nursing Mothers, Young Children,” press release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, March 2004 (

172. Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “FDA Moves to Advise Pregnant Women to Consume More Mercury-Laced Seafood,” Associated Press, December 15, 2008 (ewg.orgnode/27440).

173. Lyndsey Layton, “FDA Draft Report Urges Consumption of Fish, Despite Mercury Contamination,” The Washington Post, December 12, 2008 (

174. Ibid.

175. Research compiled by Renee Shade, from the official websites of the U.S. Office of Environmental Quality, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, Department of Commerce, and Environmental Protection Agency.

176. Geiser, Materials Matter, p. 140.

177. “Federal Advisory Committee Act: Issues Related to the Independence and Balance of Advisory Committees,” U.S. Government Accountability Office, GAO-08–611T, April 2, 2008 (

178. “FDA Statement on Release of Bisphenol A (BPA) Subcommittee Report,” press release by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, October 28, 2008 ( events/newsroom/pressannouncements

179. “NTP, FDA at Odds on Bisphenol-A,” Integrity in Science Watch, Center for Science in the Public Interest, week of September 8, 2008 (

180. Kirsten Stade, Twisted Advice: Federal Advisory Committees Are Broken, Center for Science in the Public Interest, January 2009 ( _final_report.pdf).

181. Ken Geiser, “Comprehensive Chemicals Policies for the Future,” Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts Lowell, November 2008 (

182. M. King Hubbert, “Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels,” Drilling and Production Practice, American Petroleum Institute, 1956 (

183. William McDonough quoted in Sidwell Friends Alumni Magazine, Spring 2005, p. 9 (

184. “Mobile Industry Unites to Drive Universal Charging Solution for Mobile Phones,” press release from the GSMA, February 17, 2009. GSMA (Groupe Special Mobile) is the association of the worldwide mobile communications industry.

185. Ibid.

186. Biomimicry Institute website:

187. Ibid.

188. Janine Benyus, “Janine Benyus shares nature’s designs,” TED talk filmed February 2005 (

Chapter 3: Distribution

1. Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, and Thea Lee, Field Guide to the Global Economy, rev. ed. (New York: New Press, 2005), p. 6.

2. Interview with Dara O’Rourke, April 2009.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson, Nike Culture: the Sign of the Swoosh (London: Sage Publications Ltd., 1999), p. 168.

6. Interview with Dara O’Rourke, April 2009.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. William Greider, “A New Giant Sucking Sound,” The Nation, December 31, 2001 (

10. David C. Korten, When Corporations Rule the World, 2nd ed. (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2001), p. 216.

11. Interview with Dara O’Rourke, April 2009.

12. Gary Fields, Territories of Profit: Communications, Capitalist Development and the Innovative Enterprises of G. F. Swift and Dell Computer (Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2004), p. 208.

13. Interview with Dara O’Rourke, April 2009.

14. Personal communication with Patrick Bond, professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, August 2009.

15. Interview with Dara O’Rourke, April 2009.

16. Ibid.

17. Correspondence with Dara O’Rourke, September 2009.

18. Interview with Dara O’Rourke, April 2009.

19. Ibid.

20. Personal correspondence with Michael Maniates, March 2009.

21. America’s Freight Challenge, a report by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) for the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, May 2007, p. 25.

22. Ibid.

23. Wayne Ellwood, The No-Nonsense Guide to Globalization (London: Verso, 2005), p. 18.

24. “Ship Sulfur Emissions Found to Strongly Impact Worldwide Ocean and Coastal Pollution,” Science Daily, August 20, 1999, based on research from Carnegie Mellon and Duke universities.

25. Rochester Institute of Technology, “Pollution from Marine Vessels Linked to Heart and Lung Disease,” FirstScience News, November 7, 2007 (

26. “Commercial Ships Spew Half as Much Particulate Pollution as World’s Cars,” NASA Earth Observatory, February 26, 2009 (

27. “Large Cargo Ships Emit Double Amount of Soot Previously Estimated,” Science Daily, July 11, 2008 (

28. John W. Miller, “The Mega Containers Invade,” The Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2009 (

29. America’s Freight Challenge, p. 13.

30. Freight and Intermodal Connectivity in China, a report sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, May 2008, pp. 19–23 (

31. Ibid., p. 23.

32. Ibid., p. 31.

33. America’s Freight Challenge, pp. 18–19.

34. Ibid., p. 19.

35. Ibid.

36. “Quantification of the Health Impacts and Economic Valuation of Air Pollution from Ports and Goods Movement in California,” California Air Resources Board, April 20, 2006 (

37. David Bensman and Yael Bromberg, “Deregulation has wrecked port trucking system,” The Record/, March 29, 2009.

38. David R. Butcher, “The State of U.S. Rail, Air and Sea Shipping,” ThomasNet News, February 3, 2009 (

39. Helen Lindblom and Christian Stenqvist, “SKF Freight Transports and CO2 Emissions: A study in environmental management accounting,” master’s thesis, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, 2007 (

40. “SmartWay,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( mation/index.htm).

41. Justin Thomas, “UPS Unveils ‘World’s Most Efficient Delivery Vehicle,’” TreeHugger, August 10, 2006 (

42. Michael Graham Richard, “FedEx Converts 92 Delivery Trucks to Diesel Hybrids with Lithium-Ion Batteries,” TreeHugger, July 21, 2009 (

43. Andrew Posner, “DHL Unveils Guilt-free Shipping,” TreeHugger, March 9, 2008 (

44. Mark Bernstein, “Driving the Integrated Global Supply Chain from the Top,” World Trade 100, September 1, 2005 (

45. Sarah Raper Larenaudie, “Inside the H&M Fashion Machine,” Time, February 9, 2004 (

46. Ola Kinnander, “H&M Profit Falls 12% as Currencies Aggravate Weak Sales,” The Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2009 (

47. Larenaudie, “Inside the H&M Fashion Machine.”

48. Susanne Göransson, Angelica Jönsson, and Michaela Persson, “Extreme Business Models in the Clothing Industry: A case study of H&M and ZARA,” dissertation, Department of Business Studies, Kristianstad University, December 2007, pp. 50–52.

49. Interview with Dara O’Rourke, April 2009.

50. Göransson, Jönsson, and Persson, “Extreme Business Models,” p. 55.

51. Interview with Dara O’Rourke, April 2009.

52. Larenaudie, “Inside the H&M Fashion Machine.”

53. Keisha Lamothe, “Online retail spending surges in 2006,”, January 4, 2007 (

54. Stacy Mitchell, Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses (Boston: Beacon Press, 2007), p. 12.

55. Speech by Jeff Bezos at MIT, November 25, 2002 (

56. Ibid.

57. Renee Wilmeth of Google Books and Literary Architects, quoted by Dave Taylor, Ask Dave Taylor (
_printed_end_up _destroyed.html).

58. H. Scott Matthews and Chris T. Hendricks, “Economic and Environmental Implications of Online Retailing in the United States,” dissertation, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, August 2001.

59. “By 2010, more than 50 percent of books sold worldwide will be printed on demand at the point of sale in the form of library-quality paperbacks,” predicts Jason Epstein, the former editorial director of Random House and author of Book Business: Publishing—Past, Present, and Future, quoted by Wired magazine, May 2002 (

60. Collin Dunn, “Online Shopping vs. Driving to the Mall: The Greener Way to Buy,” TreeHugger, February 13, 2009 (

61. Freecycle website:

62. Mitchell, Big-Box Swindle, p. 13.

63. Ibid.

64. “Wal-Mart awarding $2B to U.S. hourly employees, report says,” Reuters, March 21, 2009 (–03–19-walmart-workers_N.htm).

65. Mitchell, Big-Box Swindle, p. 13.

66. Ibid., p. 12.

67. Ibid., p. 15.

68. Ibid.

69. Ibid., p. 13.

70. Ibid., p. 14.

71. Sonia Reyes, “Study: Wal-Mart Private Brands Are Catching On,” Brandweek, August 21, 2006 (

72. Mitchell, Big-Box Swindle, p. 7.

73. “Where to buy appliances: Big stores aren’t necessarily the best,” Consumer Reports, September 1, 2005.

74. Mitchell, Big-Box Swindle, p. xvii.

75. “The Real Facts About Wal-Mart,” (

76. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Robert Greenwald, director, 2005.

77. “The Real Facts About Wal-Mart,” citing data from the UFCW analysis of Wal-Mart’s health plan,, March 2008 (

78. “Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents Are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First, updated October 26, 2009 (

79. “How Wal-Mart Has Used Public Money in Your State,” Wal-Mart Subsidy Watch (

80. Mitchell, Big-Box Swindle, p. xv.

81. Al Norman, “Barstow, CA., Lawsuit Freezes Wal-Mart Distribution Center Until May,” Wal-Mart Watch, January 12, 2009 (

82. Mike Troy, “High-tech DC streamlines supply chain,” DSN Retailing Today, May 9, 2005 (

83. Norman, “Barstow, CA., Lawsuit Freezes Wal-Mart Distribution Center Until May.”

84. Bensman and Bromberg, “Deregulation has wrecked port trucking system.”

85. Ibid.

86. Stephanie Rosenbloom and Michael Barbaro, “Green-Light Specials, Now at Wal-Mart,” The New York Times, January 24, 2009 ( Also see the fact sheets that Wal-Mart regularly up-dates on their company website (

87. “Zero Waste,” Wal-Mart (

88. Mitchell, Big-Box Swindle, pp. 3–4.

89. Ibid., pp. 5–6.

90. Ibid.

91. Ibid.

92. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.

93. Mitchell, Big-Box Swindle, p. 40.

94. “The Real Facts About Wal-Mart,” WakeUpWalMart (, based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (

95. “The Real Facts About Wal-Mart,” quoting directly from Wal-Mart’s “A Manager’s Toolbox to Remaining Union Free,” pp. 20–21.

96. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.

97. Ross Perot with Pat Choate, Save Your Job, Save Our Country (New York: Hyperion Books, 1993), p. 41.

98. Thomas Friedman, “Mexico feels job-loss pain,” Arizona Daily Star, April 3, 2004 (

99. Mitchell, Big-Box Swindle, p. xv.

100. Uri Berliner, “Haves and Have-Nots: Income Inequality in America,” National Public Radio, February 5, 2007 (

101. John M. Broder, “California Voters Reject Wal-Mart Initiative,” The New York Times, April 7, 2004 (

102. Ellwood, The No-Nonsense Guide to Globalization, pp. 24–27.

103. Ibid.

104. Ibid., pp. 27–34.

105. “World Bank energy complex creates hell on earth for Indian citizens,” Probe International, March 1, 1998 (

106. “About Us,” The World Bank (

107. Amitayu Sen Gupta, “Debt elief for LDCs: The new Trojan Horse of Neo-Liberalism,” International Development Economics Associates (

108. “Status of Kenya’s Debt,” fact sheet, Jubilee USA (
Resources/Kenya_2005.pdf), citing Njoki Githethwa, “Government of Kenya should declare official position on debt,” press release from the Kenya Debt Relief Network, July 19, 2005 (

109. “How Big is the Debt of Poor Countries?” Jubilee Debt Campaign ( How big is the debt of poor countries%3F+2647.twl).

110. Ibid.

111. “World Bank/IMF Questions and Answers,” Global Exchange ( See also 50 Years Is Enough, a campaign of the U.S. Network for Global Economic Justice (

112. “H.R. 2634: Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation of 2008,” Open Congress (

113. “Clinton pledges more than $50m in aid for Haiti,” Agence France-Presse, April 14, 2009 (

114. “Top Reasons to Oppose the WTO,” Global Exchange ( See also Ellwood, The No-Nonsense Guide to Globalization, p. 34.

115. Ellwood, The No-Nonsense Guide to Globalization, pp. 36–37.

116. Amory Starr, Global Revolt: A guide to the movements against globalization (London: Zed Books, 2005), p. 30.

117. For images of the 1999 Battle of Seattle, see$;;

118. “A Million Farmers Protest Against the WTO in India,” Karnataka State Farmers’ Association, March 21, 2001 (

119. “Memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister: Keep Agriculture Out of WTO,” Members of the Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements, October 2, 2005 (

120. “Suicide and protests mar summit,” BBC News, September 11, 2003 (

121. “South Korea Activist Kills Himself, Others Injured in Cancun Protest,” Agence France-Presse, September 11, 2003 (–06.htm).

122. “TRADE Act Fact Sheet 2009,” Public Citizen (

123. Personal correspondence with Kevin Gallagher, August 2009.

124. “This is USAID,” USAID (

125. Marc Lacey, “Across Globe, Empty Bellies Bring Rising Anger,” The New York Times, April 18, 2008 (

126. Oscar Olivera and Tom Lewi, Cochabamba!: Water War in Bolivia (Boston: South End Press, 2004).

127. “100 Mile Diet: An interview with James and Alisa” ( Find out more in their book: Alisa Smith and J. B. MacKinnon, Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100 Mile Diet (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2007).

128. Bill McKibben, Deep Economy (New York: Times Books, 2007), p. 128.

129. David Kupfer, “Table for Six Billion, Please: Judy Wicks on her plan to change the world, one restaurant at a time,” The Sun Magazine, iss. 392, August 2008 (

130. Ibid.

131. Rob Hopkins and Peter Lipman, Who We Are and What We Do, Transition Network, February 1, 2009 (

132. Anderson, Cavanagh, and Lee, Field Guide to the Global Economy, p. 52.

133. Barbara Ehrenreich, foreword to Anderson, Cavanagh, and Lee, Field Guide to the Global Economy, p. viii.

Chapter 4: Consumption

1. Robert D. McFadden and Angela Macropoulos, “WalMart Employee Trampled to Death,” The New York Times, November 28, 2008 (

2. Ken Belson and Karen Zraick, “Mourning a Good Friend and Trying to Make Sense of a Stampede,” The New York Times, November 29, 2008 (

3. Christian Sylt, “Christopher Rodrigues: Visa is far more than just a card, says its Cambridge Blue boss,” The Independent [UK], November 6, 2005 ( -says-its-cambridge-blue-boss-514061.html).

4. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004: Special Focus—Consumer Society (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004), p. 5.

5. John De Graaf, David Wann, and Thomas H. Naylor, Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic, 2nd ed. (San Francico: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2005), p. 13.

6. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004, p. 10.

7. Benjamin Barber, Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2008), p. 8.

8. Paul Lomartire, “The Monster That Is the Mall of America,” Chicago Tribune, May 11, 2003 (

9. Mellody Hobson, “Mellody’s Math: Credit Card Cleanup,” ABC News, February 28, 2009 (

10. De Graaf, Wann, and Naylor, Affluenza, p. 41.

11. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004, p. 4.

12. Margot Adler, “Behind the Ever-Expanding American Dream House,” National Public Radio, July 4, 2006 (

13. Juliet Schor, “Cleaning the Closet,” essay in Duane Elgin’s The Voluntary Simplicity Discussion Course (Portland: Northwest Earth Institute, 2008), p. 35.

14. Michelle Hofmann, “The s-t-r-e-t-c-h Garage,” Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2006 (

15. SSA Industry Report and SSA Update for 2009, Self Storage Association (

16. See the transcript of Bush’s speech in Atlanta on November 8, 2001; the quote is “People are going about their daily lives, working and shopping and playing, worshipping at churches and synagogues and mosques, going to movies and to baseball games. Life in America is going forward, and as the fourth grader who wrote me knew, that is the ultimate repudiation of terrorism.” (

17. Robert Louis Stevenson, “Henry David Thoreau: His Character and Opinions,” Cornhill Magazine, June 1880.

18. Edward Wagenknecht, John Greenleaf Whittier: A Portrait in Paradox (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 112.

19. Wynn Yarborough, “Reading of Thoreau’s ‘Resistance to Civil Government,’” Virginia Commonwealth University, 1995 (

20. Eisenhower quoted by Joni Seager in Earth Follies: Coming to Feminist Terms with the Global Environmental Crisis (New York: Routledge, 1993), p. 221.

21. “Brighter” by Discover Card (

22. Bill McKibben, Deep Economy (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2007), pp. 35–36.

23. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004, p. 166. (The thirteen thousand dollars is annual per person income in 1995 dollars or “purchasing parity.”)

24. Richard Layard, Happiness: Lessons from a New Science (London: Penguin Press, 2005), pp. 29–35.

25. Layard, Happiness, pp. 34–35.

26. Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000).

27. Shankar Vedantam, “Social Isolation Growing in U.S., Study Says,” The Washington Post, June 23, 2006 (

28. “Obesity and Overweight Statistics,” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

29. From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, reported in Science Daily, September 8, 2007 (

30. De Graaf, Wann, and Naylor, Affluenza, p. 77.

31. Ibid., p. 45

32. McKibben, Deep Economy, p. 114.

33. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004, p. 112.

34. “Credit Card Debt Statistics,” (

35. Tim Kasser, The High Price of Materialism (Boston: MIT Press, 2003), p. 22.

36. Ibid., p. 59.

37. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004, p. 18.

38. The Happy Planet Index 2.0: Why good lives don’t have to cost the earth, The New Economics Foundation, 2009, p. 61.

39. Malin Rising, “Global Arms Spending Rises Despite Economic Woes,” The Independent [UK], June 9, 2009 (

40. The Happy Planet Index 2.0, p. 5.

41. “Earth Overshoot Day 2009,” Global Footprint Network (

42. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004, pp. 6–7.

43. “Earth Overshoot Day 2009.”

44. David W. Orr, “The Ecology of Giving and Consuming,” in Consuming Desires: Consumption, Culture and the Pursuit of Happiness, edited by Roger Rosenblatt (Washington D.C.: Island Press, 1999), p. 141.

45. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004, p.12.

46. Ibid.

47. Juliet B. Schor, The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure (New York: Basic Books, 1993), p. 77.

48. “Corporate Deals with Nazi Germany,” UE News, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (

49. Elaine Ganley, “French Spend More Time Sleeping and Eating than Other Nations,” The Huffington Post, May 4, 2009 (

50. McKibben, Deep Economy, p. 114.

51. Duane Elgin, The Voluntary Simplicity Discussion Course, p. 15.

52. Thomas Princen, Michael Maniates, and Ken Conca, Confronting Consumption (Boston: MIT Press, 2002), p. 216.

53. Michael Burawoy, Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process Under Monopoly Capitalism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), pp. 32–40.

54. Victor Lebow in the Journal of Retailing, quoted in Vance Packard, The Waste Makers (New York: David McKay, 1960), p. 24.

55. “Industrial Strength Design: How Brooks Stevens Shaped Your World,” Milwaukee Art Museum (

56. Bernard London, Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence, originally published in 1932. Text of this pamphlet is posted at _blog/consumer_society_made_break.htm.

57. Packard, The Waste Makers, p. 46.

58. Elgin, The Voluntary Simplicity Discussion Course, p. 31.

59. This is based on the widely cited figure of forty thousand TV commercials per year; see “Television Advertising Leads to Unhealthy Habits in Children; Says APA Task Force,” press release from the American Psychological Association, February 23, 2004 ( Some analysts say fifty thousand; see the excerpt from Nolo Press’s Marketing Without Advertising(

60. Barber, Consumed, p. 29.

61. Elgin, The Voluntary Simplicity Discussion Course, p. 30.

62. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004, p. 14.

63. Barber, Consumed, p. 11.

64. Barber, Consumed, p. 13.

65. “Big Three Spent $7.2 Billion on Ads in 2007,” Dollars & Sense Blog (

66. “Apple’s Advertising Budget: Revealed!” BNET Technology Blog (

67. “Sharp will change your life?” Media Mentalism (

68. “Advertisers go after bedroom eyes,” Sustainable Industries Journal, February 2007.

69. Aaron Falk, “Mom sells face space for tattoo advertisement,” Deseret News, June 30, 2005 (,5143,600145187,00.html).

70. Mya Frazier, “Channel 1: New Owner, Old Issues,” Commercial Alert (

71. Ibid. See also

72. James Gustave Speth, The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), p. 159.

73. Juliet B. Schor, The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need (New York: Harper Perennial, 1999), pp. 49–50.

74. Vedantam, “Social Isolation Growing in U.S.,” quoting Robert B. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone ( 2201763.html).

75. “Average Home Has More TVs than People,” USA Today, September 21, 2006 (–09–21-homes-tv_x.htm).

76. Alana Semuels, “Television viewing at all-time high,” Los Angeles Times, February 24, 2009 (

77. Schor, The Overspent American, p. 81.

78. Layard, Happiness, p. 89.

79. Schor, The Overspent American, pp. 74–79.

80. Sandra Gonzales, “Berkeley to Vote on Politically-Correct Coffee,” San Jose Mercury News, October 24, 2002 (–05.htm).

81. Barber, Consumed, pp. 82–88.

82. Ibid., p. 139.

83. “Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test of Their History and Institutions,” Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2008 (

84. Eric Lane and Michael Oreskes, “The Scary Consequences of Our Mindless Indifference to the History of the Constitution,” History News Network, October 8, 2007 ( Lane and Oreskes are authors of The Genius of America: How the Constitution Saved Our Country—and Why It Can Again (NY: Bloomsbury USA, 2007).

85. “National Voter Turnout in Federal Elections,” Infoplease (

86. Putnam, Bowling Alone; an excerpt published online by the League of Women Voters cites the number of people ever attending a public meeting as 13 percent in 1993 (

87. Layard, Happiness, pp. 8, 63.

88. Jane E. Dematte, “Near-Fatal Heat Stroke During the 1995 Heat Wave in Chicago,” Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 129, no. 3, August 1, 1998, pp. 173–81.

89. Personal communication with Judith Helfand, 2009.

90. McKibben, Deep Economy, p. 117.

91. Layard, Happiness, p. 74.

92. Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2004, p. 5.

93. Ibid., p. 6.

94. “Overview,” Human Development Report 1998, United Nations Development Programme (

95. Ibid.

96. “1.02 Billion People Hungry: One Sixth of Humanity Undernourished, More than Ever Before,” Science Daily, June 20, 2009 (

97. Andrew Pollack, “Disease of Rich Extends Its Pain to Middle Class,” The New York Times, June 12, 2009 (

98. “More than Half the World Lives on Less than $2 a Day,” Population Reference Bureau (
LessThan2aDayAugust2005.aspx), citing data from the World Bank’s World Development Report 2000/2001.

99. Robert Frank, “Market Failures,” Boston Review, Summer 1999 ( and in Luxury Fever, New York: Free Press, 1999.

100. World Resources Institute, quoting Josette Sheera, executive director of the World Food Programme (

101. William Greider, “One World of Consumers,” in Consuming Desires, p. 27.

102. Carbon Footprint of Nations website, Norwegian University of Science and Technology:

103. Elgin, The Voluntary Simplicity Discussion Course, p. 16.

104. Alan Durning, How Much Is Enough? The Consumer Society and the Future of the Earth (Washington, D.C.: Worldwatch Institute, 1992), p. 150.

Chapter 5: Disposal

1. Jerry Seinfeld live on tour, 2008. (My friend, Andre Carothers, was in attendance and reported this to me.)

2. The automotive information website states, “A car loses roughly a quarter of its value the moment it leaves the dealer’s lot” (
/122630/article.html), but 10 percent is the figure usually referred to as “common knowledge.”

3. “George Carlin Talks About ‘Stuff’” (

4. Personal correspondence with Paul Connett, June 2008.

5. “The Impact of the Economic Downturn on Solid Waste Services,” Solid Waste Association of North America (

6. Maria Elena Baca, “One Silver Lining of the Economic Downturn,” Star Tribune, August 2, 2009 (

7. “U.S. Waste Management Industry Overview,” Themedica, February 23, 2009 (

8. Joel Makower, “Industrial Strength Solution,” Mother Jones, May/June 2009 (

9. Ray Anderson, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2009), pp. 64–65.

10. “Non-Hazardous Waste,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

11. Joel Makower, “Calculating the Gross National Trash,” March 17, 2009 (

12. Makower, “Industrial Strength Solution.”

13. Ibid.

14. “A Natural Step Network Case Study: Interface, Atlanta, Georgia,” The Natural Step (

15. Ray Anderson, “The business logic of sustainability,” TED talk filmed February 2009, posted May 2009 (
logic_of_sustain ability.html).

16. Ibid.

17. Ibid.

18. Charles Fishman, “Sustainable Growth—Interface, Inc.” Fast Company, December 18, 2007 (

19. Kate Fletcher, Sustainable Fashion and Textiles (London: Earthscan, 2008), p. 158.

20. Personal correspondence with Ray Anderson, August 2009.

21. Personal communication with Dan Knapp, August 2009.

22. Municipal Solid Waste in the United States 2007 Facts and Figures, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, November 2008, p. 3 (

23. Ibid.

24. Research by Renee Shade based on data from Statistics Canada (, the United Nations Statistics Division (, Index Mundi (, and the U.S. Passport Service Guide figures on China’s population (

25. The figure that “75% of municipal solid waste is products” is calculated by weight. This comes from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data series going back to 1960, called Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste (

26. Helen Spiegelman and Bill Sheehan, Unintended Consequences: Municipal Solid Waste Management and the Throwaway Society, Product Policy Institute, 2005, p. 8.

27. Julie Scelfo, “Appliance Anxiety: Replace It or Fix It?” The New York Times, May 27, 2009 (

28. “Industry Statistics for 2008,” PSA Update, newsletter of the Professional Service Association newsletter, April 2009 (

29. Shoe Service Institute of America website:

30. Gena Terlizzi, “Shoe Repair Shops Boom During Tough Economic Times,” KTKA, February 16, 2009 (

31. Vance Packard, The Waste Makers (New York: David McKay, 1960), p. 119.

32. John Roach, “Plastic-Bag Bans Gaining Momentum Around the World,” National Geographic News, April 4, 2008 (

33. “Irish Bag Tax Hailed as Success,” BBC News, August 20, 2002 (

34. Daniel Imhoff, Paper or Plastic (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2005), p. 139.

35. “The Decline of Refillable Beverage Bottles in the U.S.,” Container Recycling Institute (

36. Beverage Containers: US Industry Forecasts for 2012 and 2017, summary, Freedonia Group, November 2008 (

37. “Bottle Bill Resource Guide,” Container Recycling Institute (

38. “H.R. 2046—Bottle Recycling Climate Protection Act of 2009,” OpenCongress (

39. “Bottle Bill Opponents,” Container Recycling Institute (

40. “Bottle Bill Toolkit,” Container Recycling Institute (

41. “Keep America Beautiful: A History,” Container Recycling Institute (toolkit.bottle

42. Chadd De Las Casas, “Playing Indian: The Iron Eyes Cody Story,” Associated Content, October 15, 2007 (

43. Ted Williams, “The Metamorphosis of Keep America Beautiful,” Audubon, March 1990.

44. “Key Vote for National Recycling Coalition,” BioCycle, vol. 50, no. 7, July 2009, p. 6.

45. Bette K. Fishbein, Germany, Garbage and the Green Dot: Challenging a Throwaway Society (Philadelphia: Diane Publishing, 1996), p. 46.

46. Ibid., p. 36.

47. Extended Producer Responsibility, Clean Production Action, 2003, p. 28 (

48. Deanne Toto, “Green with Envy: Germany’s Green Dot program continues generating good collection numbers,” Recycling Today, October 2004 (’s+Green+Dot+program+continues+generating...-a0123753975).

49. “Summary of Germany’s packaging take-back law,” Clean Production Action, September 2003, p. 3 (
SystemDeutsch _REVISEDoverview.pdf).

50. Garth T. Hickle, “The Producer Is Responsible for Packaging in the European Union,” Package Design Magazine, 2006 (

51. Spiegelman and Sheehan, Unintended Consequences, p. 5.

52. “History of Waste,” Product Policy Institute (

53. Spiegelman and Sheehan, Unintended Consequences, p. 2.

54. “Fees,” Product Policy Institute (

55. Construction Materials Recycling Association website:

56. “Mission Statement,” Rebuilders Source (

57. Personal correspondence with Glenn McRae, May 2009.

58. “Waste Minimization, Segregation, and Recycling in Hospitals,” Healthcare Without Harm, October 2001 ( _Hosp.pdf).

59. “Waste Management,” Healthcare Without Harm ( and Paul Connett, “Medical Waste Incineration: A mismatch between problem and solution,” The Ecologist Asia, vol. 5, no. 2, March/April 1997 (

60. “Electronics,” Clean Production Action (

61. “Problem: Electronics Become Obsolete Quickly,” Electronics TakeBack Coalition (

62. “Poison PCs and Toxic TVs,” Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, p. 9. Based on data from Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation’s Electronics Industry Environmental Roadmap, 1996.

63. E-Waste: The Exploding Global Electronic Waste Crisis, Electronics TakeBack Coalition, p. 8 (

64. “Problem: Electronics Become Obsolete Quickly.”

65. “Facts and Figures on E-Waste Recycling,” Electronics TakeBack Coalition (

66. Ibid.

67. Brandon Sample, “Prisoners Exposed to Toxic Dust at UNICOR Recycling Factories,” Prison Legal News, July 15, 2009 (

68. Elena H. Page and David Sylvain of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health report on the health and safety investigation of the Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR) electronics recycling program at Federal Bureau of Prisons institutions in Ohio, Texas, and California in a July 16, 2008, letter to Randall Humm, investigative counsel, U.S. Department of Justice ( elkton_prison_niosh_report.pdf).

69. Sample, “Prisoners Exposed to Toxic Dust at UNICOR Recycling Factories.”

70. Michelle Chen, “E-waste: America’s Electronics Feed the Global Digital Dump,” The Women’s International Perspective, April 26, 2009 (

71. Personal correspondence with Jim Puckett, February 2009.

72. “Environmentalists and Consumer Groups Applaud Dell’s Policy on E-Waste Export,” Electronics TakeBack Coalition, May 12, 2009 (

73. “States Are Passing E-Waste Legislation,” Electronics TakeBack Coalition (

74. “The e-Steward Solution,” e-Stewards (

75. “The State of Garbage in America 2008,” BioCycle, vol. 49, no. 12, December 2008, p. 22 (

76. Van Jones, The Green Collar Economy (San Francisco: Harper One, 2008), p. 7.

77. Landfill Operation Management Advisor website:

78. “Fresh Kills Park Project Introduction,” New York City Department of City Planning, 2007 (

79. Landfill Operation Management Advisor website:

80. Catherine Brahic, “Atlas of hidden water may avert future conflict,” New Scientist, October 24, 2008 (

81. In the Federal Register, February 5, 1981, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first stated its opinion that all landfills will eventually leak: “There is good theoretical and empirical evidence that the hazardous constituents that are placed in land disposal facilities very likely will migrate from the facility into the broader environment. This may occur several years, even many decades, after placement of the waste in the facility, but data and scientific prediction indicate that, in most cases, even with the application of best available land disposal technology, it will occur eventually.” More than a year later, on July 26, 1982, the EPA again put its opinions into the Federal Register, emphasizing that all landfills will inevitably leak: “A liner is a barrier technology that prevents or greatly restricts migration of liquids into the ground. No liner, however, can keep all liquids out of the ground for all time. Eventually liners will either degrade, tear, or crack and will allow liquids to migrate out of the unit,” vol. 46, no. 24, p. 32284.

82. “Waste Identification,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

83. Daniel Steinway, “Trashing Superfund: The Role of Municipal Solid Waste in CERCLA Cases,” The American Lawyer’s Corporate Counsel Magazine, November 1999 (

84. “Additive to reduce cows’ methane emissions on innovation shortlist,” The Low Carbon Economy (

85. “Landfills Are Dangerous,” Environmental Research Foundation ( This summary cites twenty-one different studies including: 1. State of New York Department of Health, Investigation of Cancer: Incidence and Residence Near 38 Landfills with Soil Gas Migration Conditions, New York State, 1980–1989 (Atlanta, Ga.: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, June 1998); 2. Lynton Baker, Renee Capouya, Carole Cenci, et al., The Landfill Testing Program: Data Analysis and Evaluation Guidelines (Sacramento, Calif.: California Air Resources Board, September 1990); 3. M. S. Goldberg et al., “Incidence of cancer among persons living near a municipal solid waste landfill site in Montreal, Quebec,” Archives of Environmental Health, vol. 50, no. 6 (November 1995); 4. L. D. Budnick et al., “Cancer and birth defects near the Drake Superfund site, Pennsylvania,” Archives of Environmental Health, vol. 39, no. 6 (November 1984); 5. K. Mallin, “Investigation of a bladder cancer cluster in northwestern Illinois,” American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 132, no. 1, supplement (July 1990); 6. J. Griffith et al., “Cancer mortality in U.S. counties with hazardous waste sites and ground water pollution,” Archives of Environmental Health, vol. 44, no. 2 (March 1989); and 7. Martine Vrijheid, Ben Armstrong, et al., Potential Human Health Effects of Landfill Sites; Report to the North West Region of the Environment Agency (London: Environmental Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, March 1998).

86. Daphne Wysham, “Good News, There’s a Climate Bill—Bad News, It Stinks,” originally published by (, and Kate Sheppard, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Waxman-Markey Energy/Climate Bill,” Grist, June 3, 2009 (–06–03-waxman-markey-bill-breakdown/).

87. “Organic Materials,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

88. “Zero Waste: Composting,” SFEnvironment (

89. Personal correspondence with Robin Plutchok, program manager at, August 2009.

90. “Managing MSW in Nova Scotia,” BioCycle, February 1999, vol. 40, no. 2, p. 31.

91. “The State of Garbage in America” BioCycle, vol. 47, no. 4, April 2006, p. 26 (

92. Peter Montague, “The Modern Solution to Pollution is Dilution,” Rachel’s Democracy and Health News, no. 996, January 29, 2009 (

93. Inventory of Sources and Environmental Releases of Dioxin-Like Compounds in the United States for the Years 1987, 1995, and 2000, final report, United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA/600/P-03/002f, November 2006. And Waste Incineration: A Dying Technology, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives/Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance, 2003 ( Additional information and sources can be found at “Dioxin Homepage,” (

94. Michelle Allsopp, Pat Costner, and Paul Johnston, Incineration and Human Health—State of Knowledge of the Impacts of Waste Incinerators on Human Health, Greenpeace Research Laboratories, University of Exeter, 2001; Jeremy Thompson and Honor Anthony, The Health Effects of Waste Incinerators: 4th Report, British Society for Ecological Medicine, 2006 (; M. Franchini, M. Rial, E. Buiatti, and F. Bianchi, “Health effects of exposure to waste incinerator emissions: A review of epidemiological studies,” Annali dell’Istituto Superiore di Sanità, vol. 40, no. 1, 2004, pp. 101–15; N. Floret, E. Lucot, P. M. Badot, et al., “A municipal solid waste incinerator as the single dominant point source of PCDD/Fs in an area of increased non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma incidence,” Chemosphere vol. 68, no. 8, 2007, pp.1419–26; T. Tango, T. Fujita, T. Tanihata, et al., “Risk of adverse reproductive outcomes associated with proximity to municipal solid waste incinerators with high dioxin emission levels in Japan,” Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 14, no. 3, 2004, pp. 83–93.

95. Paul Connett, from his white paper “Waste Management as if the Future Mattered,” 1990.

96. Personal correspondence with Paul Connett, June 2008.

97. Personal correspondence with Mike Ewall, May 2009.

98. Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives/Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance website:

99. “Incinerators in Disguise,” Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives/Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance (

100. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eGRID 2000 database, cited in Zero Waste for Zero Warming: GAIA’s Statement of Concern on Waste and Climate Change, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives/Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance, December 2008 (

101. Sherry Greenfield, “Trip to PA convinces Jenkins that Frederick should build incinerator,”, May 20, 2009 (

102. Brenda Platt, Resources up in Flames, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives/Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance, April 2004, p. 12 ( up in Flames.pdf).

103. Wasting and Recycling in the United States, Grass Roots Recycling Network, 2000 (

104. Information packet from a visit to the Davis Street Transfer Center in May 2009, compared to the data provided in Greenfield, “Trip to PA convinces Jenkins that Frederick should build incinerator.”

105. Platt, Resources up in Flames, p. 14.

106. T. Rand, J. Haukohl, and U. Marxen, Municipal Solid Waste Incineration: Requirements for a Successful Project, World Bank technical paper no. 462, The World Bank, June 2000, p. 25.

107. Personal correspondence with Paul Connett, June 2008.

108. “What is TURA,” Toxics Use Reduction Institute (

109. Jay Pateakos, “‘Green’ Light: City company recognized for helping environment,” The Herald News, June 8, 2009 (

110. Ken Geiser and Joel Tickner, “When haste makes toxic waste,” The Boston Globe, July 14, 2009 (

111. “A Basic Guide to Exporting—International Legal Considerations,” Unz and Co. (

112. Halina Ward, “Corporate accountability in search of a treaty?” briefing paper, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, May 2002 (

113. “Thor Chemicals and Mercury Exposure in Cato-Ridge, South Africa” (, using data from the series of articles by Bill Lambrecht for the St. Louis Post-Dispatchbetween 1989 and 1994.

114. Ibid.

115. Ibid.

116. “A Thor Chronology,” groundWork, vol. 9, no. 3, September 2007 (

117. “South Africa: Chemical cleanup begins,” Pambazuka News, iss. 168, August 5, 2004 (

118. Tony Carnie, “Poison concerns for Inanda Dam,” The Mercury [South Africa], October 15, 2008.

119. Advising and Monitoring the Clean Up and Disposal of Mercury Waste in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa: The Case of Thor Chemicals, groundWork, May 2005 (

120. James Ridgeway with Gaelle Drevet, “How Thousands of Tons of Philadelphia’s Toxic Waste Ended Up on a Haitian Beach and What the City of New York Is Doing About It,” The Village Voice, January 13, 1998 (

121. Personal correspondence with Senior Litigation Counsel Howard Stewart, of the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section, June 1989.

122. Website of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal:

123. “Milestones in the Convention’s History,” Basel Convention (

124. Heather Rogers, Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage (New York: New Press, 2005), p. 170.

125. Neil Seldman, “The New Recycling Movement, Part 1: Recycling Changes to Meet New Challenges,” Institute for Local Self-Reliance, October 2003 (

126. Municipal Solid Waste in the United States 2007 Facts and Figures, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, p. 1.

127. Ibid., p. 16.

128. “Recycling Means Business,” Institute for Local Self-Reliance (

129. “Mobil Chemical Corporation,” abstract, World Resources Institute Sustainable Enterprise Program, 1992 (–56973–155–1_abstract_version_english.pdf). Another Mobil spokesperson said, “[Degradable bags] are not an answer to landfill crowding or littering... Degradability is just a marketing tool... We’re talking out of both sides of our mouths because we want to sell bags. I don’t think the average consumer even knows what degradability means. Customers don’t care if it solves the solid-waste problem. It makes them feel good.” Quoted in Carl Deal, The Greenpeace Guide to Anti-Environmental Organizations (Berkeley: Odonian Press, 1993), p. 9.

130. “Mobil, FTC to settle ‘environmental’ claims for its Hefty trash bags,” Boston Globe, July 28, 1992. Also see Keith Schneider, “Guides on Environmental Ad Claims,” New York Times, July 29, 1992.

131. Rogers, Gone Tomorrow, p. 174.

132. Personal correspondence with Paul Connett, June 2008.

133. Anne Underwood, “10 Fixes for the Planet,” Newsweek, April 14, 2008 (

134. “What Is Zero Waste?” Grass Roots Recycling Network (

135. Personal correspondence with Monica Wilson, international co-coordinator for Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives/Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance, August 2009.

136. Brenda Platt, David Ciplet, Kate M. Bailey, and Eric Lombardi, Stop Trashing the Climate, Institute for Local-Self Reliance, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives/Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance, and Eco-Cycle, June 2008, p. 2 (

137. “Milestones on the Zero Waste Journey,” Zero Waste New Zealand Trust (,

138. John Coté, “S.F. OKs toughest recycling law in U.S.,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 10, 2009 (

139. Ibid.

140. Zero Waste Kovalam website:

141. From a speech by Jayakumar Chelaton at a meeting of international waste activists in Penang, Malaysia, in 2003.

Epilogue: Writing the New Story

1. Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000), p. 20.

2. Ibid., p. 21.

3. Colin Beavan, post from the No Impact Man blog on March 21, 2008 ( See his book for more: Colin Beavan, No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009).

4. Michael Maniates, “Going Green? Easy Doesn’t Do It,” The Washington Post, November 22, 2007 (

5. John Talberth, Clifford Cobb, and Noah Slattery, The Genuine Progress Indicator 2006,” Redefining Progress, p. 9 (

6. Personal correspondence with John Talberth, July 2009.

7. Associated Press, “Global Arms Spending Up, Study Shows,” The New York Times, June 9, 2009 (

8. National Priorities Project website:

9. The Happy Planet Index 2.0: Why good lives don’t have to cost the earth, The New Economics Foundation, 2009, p. 28.

10. National Priorities Project Cost of War counters:

11. Ibid.

12. Elisabeth Rosenthal, “Amazon Culture Withers as Food Dries Up,” The New York Times, July 24, 2009 (

13. Sarah van Gelder, “The Next Reformation,” an interview with Paul Hawken, In Context: A Quarterly of Humane Sustainable Culture, no. 41, Summer 1995 (

14. Lester Brown, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2008), p. 7.

15. Personal correspondence with Dave Batker, July 2009.

16. Juliet Schor, “Downshifting to a Carbon Friendly Economy,” in Less Is More: Embracing Simplicity for a Healthy Planet, a Caring Economy and Lasting Happiness (Canada: New Society Publishers, 2009), p. 231.

17. “Americans Eager to Take Back Their Time,” Take Back Your Time Poll highlights, Center for a New American Dream, August 2003 ( poll.php).

18. Schor, “Downshifting to a Carbon Friendly Economy,” p. 233.

19. David Wann, “Why Isn’t This Empire Sustainable?” in Less Is More: Embracing Simplicity for a Healthy Planet, a Caring Economy and Lasting Happiness (Canada: New Society Publishers, 2009), p. 217.

20. “More of What Matters Poll,” Center for a New American Dream, September 2004 (

21. Influenced especially by the work of Paul Hawken, the Global Scenario Group convened by the Stockholm Environment Institute, Tim Jackson of the Sustainable Development Commission, and ecological economist Hermann Daly.

22. Wann, “Why Isn’t this Empire Sustainable?” p. 217.

23. Penny Herscher, “Will the Rising Personal Savings Rate Boom the US Recovery?” The Huffington Post, January 13, 2009 (

24. “National Voter Turnout in Federal Elections 1960–2008,”, from the Federal Election Commission, based on data from Congressional Research Service reports, Election Data Services Inc., and state election offices (

25. Paul Hawken, “Commencement: Healing or Stealing?” 2009 commencement address at the University of Portland (