Ethical Consumerism

Ethical Consumerism Global Issues Guide

When we buy things, how can we do so in ways that do the most good and least harm? Use resources and articles/essays like these to help you think about what you buy and to find products and companies working to be a bit more ethical.

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Resources: Think Therefore I Act

I Think Therefore I Act

Based on the Privilege Walk, this activity encourages students/participants to develop an awareness of the kinds of choices we make every day that impact other people, nonhuman animals, and the environment. Recommended for grades 9 and up. Time: A few class periods

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Different kinds of Lego people lined up in rows on a grey surface

Where Are the People Like Me?

Students assess examples of  media (catalogs, magazines, books, etc.) to consider who is (and isn’t represented) and to explore the impact of lack of diversity in media and their own rich experiences with diversity. Recommended for grades 4-10. Time: 45-60 minutes

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display of magazines for sale

Magazine Scheme: Are We Here?

Students explore articles, images, and ads in magazines targeted to teen girls to explore messages about women and girls and the effect of those messages on young women and men. (The activity can also be modified to explore appropriate men’s magazines and messages about men and boys.) Recommended for grades 7-12. Time: 2 class periods…

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plastic trash washed up from the ocean

An Ocean of Plastic

Using the five gyres of plastic pollution as a springboard, this activity encourages participants to explore the issues surrounding trash in our oceans and to develop solutions. Recommended for grades 3-5 Time: 3 to 4 60-minute sessions  

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Reclaiming Billboards

We Have You Surrounded: Exploring Branding, Marketing & Globalization

We’re surrounded by marketing and advertising telling us what to buy, whom to be, what we need to be happy. Use this series of activities to help students explore issues of branding, marketing, and globalization. Recommended for grades 9 through 12. Time: Several weeks   Common Core Standards for this activity (pdf): Download Common Core…

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Resources: What is a humane life?

What is a Humane Life?

What’s a typical Saturday look like in the life of someone striving to live a more humane life? Participants follow a “humane presenter” or a “humane wannabe” through a reenactment of their day to learn about the whats and whys of making humane choices every day. Recommended for grades 5 and up. Time: 90-120 minutes…

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woman looking in mirror and brushing hair

What Price Beauty?

This activity encourages students to explore and think critically about the impacts of the ingredients in the personal care products that they use on themselves, other people, animals and the environment, as well as how branding and marketing play into our choices. Recommended for grades 8 and up. Time: A few days to several weeks…

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