A classroom of students and their teacher

Defining Your Purpose as a Teacher

by Zoe Weil At the beginning of the teachers’ workshops I lead, I often facilitate an activity that invites participants to reflect upon their true mission as educators. Their personal missions always differ from the US Department of Education’s, which is “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and…

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9 Strategies for Cultivating Empathy and Compassion in Your Classroom

by Marsha Rakestraw To create a just, compassionate, sustainable world for all – and to help our students become solutionaries — it’s vital that we help them (and ourselves) build empathy and compassion for people, animals, and the earth. We humans are wired to care about those with whom we have close relationships (our family,…

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10 Tools to Help You Find More Ethical Products

by Marsha Rakestraw From the time we arise in the morning until we fall asleep, we participate in a continuous cycle of using stuff that affects ourselves, other people, animals, and the planet. And during holidays our consumption of stuff tends to jump. We do what we can to buy products that do more good…

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Tips to Simplify Your Holidays for a More Memorable, Meaningful Season

by Marsha Rakestraw It’s the holiday season. Which of these better describes your state of mind: Joyous, meaningful, balanced? Or, exhausted, stressed, conflicted? The winter holidays have gained a reputation for reaching the epitome of the “overs”: overspending, overbooking, overstressing, overconsuming. And more people are expressing a desire to simplify their holidays and bring more…

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How Do Your Electronic Gadgets Rate on Their Environmental Impact?

by Marsha Rakestraw A friend of mine is a technology early adopter. He wants the latest version of his favorite gadgets, and sometimes he’ll buy two. He tries to resell or give away the older (or extra) models, but that’s still a lot of electronics to dispose of. And while more people are deciding to…

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4 Resources for Finding (Somewhat) Ethical Halloween Treats

by Marsha Rakestraw This year people in the U.S. plan to spend about $2.7 billion just on Halloween candy. And that’s a whole lot of opportunity to buy chocolate and other goodies that reflect our values of doing the most good and least harm for all. Unfortunately there’s no one-stop resource for finding Halloween candy…

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10 Tips for Helping End Child Labor

by Marsha Rakestraw Last updated January 31, 2019. “The change starts within each one of us, and ends only when all children are free to be children.” – Craig Kielburger Have you recently purchased a soccer ball? Something embroidered? Something made from cotton? Chocolate? Clothes? Produce? If so, there’s a good chance you’ve purchased something…

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21 Children’s Picture Books for Exploring Eco-Friendly Actions

by Marsha Rakestraw Earth Day may be every day, but our relationship to the natural world often gets a little extra attention in April. Children are hungry to connect with their world and learn what they can do to make a positive difference. Check out these 21 children’s books that help inspire a desire to…

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