Hot Tagua! Coffee is not the only great thing to come from Colombia

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  Tagua, pronounced Taw-GWAH (rhymes with agua), is one of the hottest trends in eco-friendly jewelry and accessories. It is native to the Amazon region of the world, mostly harvested in the lush tropical forests of Colombia and Ecuador. Tagua nuts come from a palm tree that thrives naturally in the tropical Amazon basin. Local communities harvest the tagua nuts from pods that fall to the rainforest floor. The nuts, which are about the size and shape of an avocado seed, can be sliced or carved to make beautiful beads, buttons, figurines or jewelry accessories. The inside of the nut...

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Some Leather is More Ethical Than Others

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I like leather. I buy it, I wear it and it is natural material that has been one of the most useful materials throughout history. After all, what could be more natural than leather, right? The problem is that modern massive scale leather production too often has widespread negative impacts to animals, people and the earth in a way that it didn't used to.  Big Livestock Production is Inhumane and Pollutant: Massive factory livestock yards and slaughter operations have gotten pretty nasty. Cruel treatment of animals is rampant in this industry and has proven difficult to reign in. Furthermore, it's...

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Discussing Business Ethics in Colombia

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One of the highlights of my trip to Bogota, Colombia this week was being invited to speak to a Business Ethics class at a renowned business university to a group of about 30 students and faculty. My friend and host this trip happens to be an adjunct faculty and teaches the course (fortunately for me, in English). The subject could not have been more perfect for me, so I was thrilled to be invited to talk about the ethics of the production of products we buy as well as my own experience as an American social entrepreneur. My host cued...

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International Field Trip! Alone! Am I crazy?!?!

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Catastrophic thinking aside, what often causes me the most anxiety about solo travel is filling the hours with myself. I’m an extrovert and of course I prefer to travel with good company. Being with people offers me a feeling of protection and validation that others want to hang with me (totally needy I know).

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From A Social Media Convert

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    So I’m a late-comer to social media. I’m the very tail end of Gen-X/ or very beginning of Millennial, which means most of my friends and peers roll their eyes at Instagram. They may spend a few minutes on Pinterest for gluten free recipes, but for the most part they socialize on Facebook. As I have recently started an online retail business for ethically traded products, all the best advice out there said to get active on social media (not just Facebook). I read that Instagram and Pinterest are especially hot for growing retail business. So, like any...

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