News posts from jmccharen's Archive


The Truth Behind Three Common Marijuana Myths

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Happy 4/20! To help you celebrate responsibly, here are three common marijuana myths, debunked by the authors of Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?

Marijuana is Safer was Scribd’s most-read book of the year in 2010, when we offered it for a free download. Since then, the nation has seen expansive marijuana laws go into effect, especially in Colorado. The argument in Marijuana is Safer — that the public health outcomes of pot legalization make it a policy no-brainer — were what won the day in Colorado. As the fight for reasonable marijuana regulation continues the book will continue to be important for activists and politicians.

Have you heard these myths repeated in the media? Don’t be fooled — learn the facts behind the humble cannabis plant and its much-maligned psychoactive properties…

This is an excerpt from Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? It has been adapted for the web.

The origins of cannabis prohibition are steeped in prejudice, misinformation, and fear mongering. Inflammatory accusations against marijuana and marijuana consumers are typically unsubstantiated, while evidence refuting these claims often goes ignored.

Today, the U.S. government and many law enforcement officials continue to justify the need for cannabis prohibition by promoting alarmist myths that distort the truth about marijuana. Some of these distortions, such as the claim that pot smoking is linked to violent and psychotic behavior, date back to the “Reefer Madness” era of the 1930s. Other myths, like the claim that today’s cannabis is highly addictive, are more recent yet equally specious. Nonetheless, this propaganda serves as the basis for the criminal prohibition of marijuana today.

Therefore, we want to dispel some of the more prominent myths about cannabis by providing sound scientific, health, criminal justice, and economic data. We hope that you will keep these facts in mind the next time you hear government officials spreading lies about cannabis.

  • MYTH: Using marijuana will inevitably lead to the use of “harder” drugs like cocaine and heroin.
  • FACT: The overwhelming majority of marijuana users never try another illicit substance.

Although pot is consistently referred to as a “gateway drug,” the authorities neglect to mention that virtually everyone who has ever used cannabis tried tobacco and alcohol first. Yet it is hard to imagine that even the most ardent prohibitionist would argue that this sequential correlation would justify criminally prohibiting the use of booze or tobacco by adults.

It should come as no surprise that the majority of people who use highly dangerous drugs like heroin or crack cocaine have previously used the far more popular and safer drug marijuana. But despite pot’s popularity, Americans’ use of other illicit substances remains comparatively low. Data provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that only 3.5 percent of U.S. citizens have ever tried crack, and fewer than 2 percent of Americans have ever tried heroin. As for cocaine, the next most commonly used illicit drug in America after cannabis, fewer than 15 percent of Americans have tried it.

But what about those minority of cannabis users who do go on to use other illicit drugs? Isn’t the pot to blame? Not at all. In fact, experts generally identify “environmental circumstances,” not the prior use of a drug, as the primary reason why a handful of people transition from the use of marijuana to harder drugs.

If U.S. policymakers legalized marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol—thereby allowing its sale to be regulated by licensed, state-authorized distributors rather than by criminal entrepreneurs and pushers of various other, hard drugs—the likelihood is that fewer, not more, marijuana smokers would ever go on to try any another illicit substance. In short, it is marijuana prohibition, not the use of marijuana itself, that functions as a gateway to the potential use of harder drugs.

  • MYTH: Marijuana is highly addictive. Millions of Americans seek treatment every year because they become dependent upon marijuana.
  • FACT: Marijuana lacks the physical and psychological dependence liability associated with other intoxicants—including tobacco and alcohol. Very few cannabis users voluntarily seek drug treatment for pot “addiction.” The majority of marijuana smokers in drug treatment were arrested for pot possession and ordered into treatment as a condition of their probation.

Is cannabis addictive? Let’s look at what the science tells us. Numerous reports, including one by the prestigious British medical journal the Lancet and another cited in the New York Times, have found cannabis’s risk of physical or psychological dependence to be mild compared to most other drugs, including alcohol and tobacco. In fact, two experts in the field—Drs. Jack E. Henningfield of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and Neal L. Benowitz of the University of California at San Francisco—reported to the New York Times that pot’s addiction potential is no greater than caffeine’s.

According to a report by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, fewer than 10 percent of those who try cannabis ever meet the clinical criteria for a diagnosis of “drug dependence” (based on DSM-III-R criteria). By contrast, investigators reported that 32 percent of tobacco users, 23 percent of heroin users, 17 percent of cocaine users, and 15 percent of alcohol users meet the criteria for “drug dependence.”

  • MYTH: Smoking marijuana impairs driving in a manner that is worse than alcohol. Marijuana consumption is responsible for tens of thousands of traffic accidents every year.
  • FACT: Marijuana intoxication appears to play, at most, a minor role in traffic injuries.

While it is well established that alcohol consumption increases motor vehicle accident risk, evidence of marijuana’s culpability in on-road driving accidents and injury is nominal by comparison. That’s not to say that smoking marijuana won’t temporarily impair psychomotor skills. However, pot’s psychomotor impairment is seldom severe or long lasting, and variations in driving behavior after marijuana consumption are noticeably less pronounced than the impairments exhibited by drunk drivers.

Unlike motorists under the influence of alcohol, individuals who have recently smoked pot are aware of their impairment and try to compensate for it accordingly, either by driving more cautiously or by expressing an unwillingness to drive altogether. As reported in a 2008 Israeli study assessing the impact of marijuana and alcohol on driving performance, “[S]ubjects seemed to be aware of their impairment after THC intake and tried to compensate by driving slower; alcohol seemed to make them overly confident and caused them to drive faster than in control sessions.”

Of course, none of this information is meant to imply that smoking marijuana makes you a “safe” driver. In closed-course and driving-simulator studies, marijuana’s acute effects on driving include minor impairments in tracking (eye-movement control) and reaction time, as well as variation in lateral positioning, and speed.

To summarize, a motorist who has just smoked marijuana is a safer driver than one who has just consumed alcohol (even quantities of alcohol that are well within the legal limit for drinking and driving in most countries), but he or she is arguably not a “safe” driver. As with alcohol or most over-the-counter cold remedies, cannabis consumers are best advised to abstain from operating a motor vehicle for several hours after imbibing, and they should always designate at least one person to act as a sober designated driver.

How to Use Crowdfunding to Finance Your Sustainable Book Project

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

When Jacob Deva Racusin and Ace McArleton decided to write the essential book on natural building techniques, they knew who the publisher should be, and they knew the subject like the backs of their hands — but they were missing some key research that would help their book stand apart.

So, the two builders harnessed the power of the crowd, raised almost $3000, and the results of their research (how straw bale buildings perform energy-wise in cold climates) became a key component to the design and building processes detailed in The Natural Building Companion, published in 2012, and furthered the needed research into straw bale building designs in cold climates. They also identified where further testing and research should be directed.

Using Kickstarter to fund their research, “forced us to ingratiate ourselves to our community, which turned out to be great networking, and it was incredible to see how much people wanted to support our work,” said Racusin. “It compelled us to work on communicating about what we are doing and why. It required a lot of work, not an easy passive process, but was worth it at the end of the day.”

Racusin said the research itself was critical to the final book and “turned out to be one of the most legitimizing components to the book, and has opened many doors for us to present at conferences and engage in conversations with a much broader professional community.”

As evident with Racusin and McArleton, if harnessed properly, crowdfunding can be a powerful tool in the aspiring author’s kit. Reaching out to potential readers before the book is even underway allows you to begin the grassroots process of promotion—a step that often doesn’t occur until after a book is published. Crowdfunding also allows an author to activate that waiting audience, by keeping them apprised of the book as it’s being written, and possibly learn from readers about what the book should address. And because the crowdfunded book starts off as a community effort, it touches upon the notion of a gift economy, one based on relationships, place, and concern for the earth instead of mere profit margin.
Funders get gifts in return for their support, depending on how much they donate, but in many cases signing up as a funder isn’t any more complicated than pre-ordering a copy of the book.

Want to take part in this bottom-up financing revolution? Right now two of our authors are seeking community-based funding for exciting and necessary book projects. Sign up to help today and take a look at what you’ll receive in exchange for your help!Farming the Woods is a forthcoming book on agroforestry — or building edible forest gardens. The authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel are more than half way to their fundraising goal of $8000. Help them out before May 6th and you’ll receive:

  • A signed copy of the book for a $50 donation;
  • Give $100 and get a signed copy of the book plus free admission to an upcoming mushroom inoculation workshop in New York state (includes a mushroom log to take home);
  • Give $1000 and get all the gifts offered to smaller contributors, plus a day-long workshop on your property (and the authors will leave you with tons of ideas plus 100 inoculated shiitake logs)!

For more information, and to donate, go here, and check out this video about the project:

Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot, Perennial Vegetables, and star of the Perennial Vegetables DVD, believes that tree crops are the key to fighting climate change, and he’s fundraising to write the book that proves it: Carbon Farming: A Global Toolkit for Stabilizing the Climate with Tree Crops and Regenerative Agricultural Practices

  • Give $50 and receive a signed copy of the book plus Toensmeier’s collected articles from 2010-13;
  • Give $150 and get a copy of the book plus a “perennial staple crop sampler” of at least three different perennial staple crops, with recipes or instructions for consumption;
  • Give $500 and get a 30-minute phone consult about the garden or farm of your choice and a customized list of fifty useful plant species suited to your site.

Find out more about this exciting book and how to donate, here, and watch Eric’s video about the project:

If you’ve got an important project that needs a boost to get off the ground, crowdfunding might be your ticket to success. Give it a try!

Our Best Chance at Saving the Planet is…Cows?

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

When Allan Savory was a young man, he killed 40,000 elephants in an effort to save the African landscape. Common wisdom, and even the best science at the time, suggested that overgrazing was the main cause of the desertification they were seeing. But Savory and his team of scientists were wrong.

Instead of seeing the desertified land rebound with plant life, the areas cleared of elephants only got worse.

“Loving elephants as I do, that was the saddest blunder of my life, and I will carry it to my grave,” Savory said in his recent TED talk. “But one good thing did come out of it. I have devoted my life to finding a solution.”

That solution focuses on an unlikely tool in the fight against climate change: the soil. And Savory’s innovative system of soil-care hinges on the work of a much-maligned partner: livestock.

Far from being the scourge of grasslands and mass emitters of methane that the environmental movement has made them out to be, sheep, goats, and cattle — properly managed — can do more to heal the planet than any other solution we’ve got. When livestock are managed to mimic nature, they improve the health of grasslands, encourage the building of topsoil, and create landscapes that can absorb and retain more water.

Grasslands evolved alongside massive herds of grazers, who had to bunch together to defend themselves from predators, and had to keep moving as they deposit manure on their food source. Their grazing, pooping, and trampling (as long as they keep moving in a bunch), knocks down mature grass to allow new growth to reach the sunlight. Roots grow more lushly as new shoots emerge, and more roots mean more water retention.

When soil retains enough moisture, it stores carbon as organic matter. Store enough organic matter in the soil and voila: you’ve fixed climate change! You can see the transformation Allan Savory’s methods have achieved in this before and after image:

This kind of regenerative healing is exactly the opposite of what agriculture is currently doing. Industrial farming contributes 7% percent of US carbon emissions, much of that from depleted soils giving off the carbon they ought to be storing. As climate change accelerates, extreme weather events are happening more and more frequently. Droughts last summer killed 500 million trees across the US and destroyed an estimated $11 billion worth of crops and livestock.

But desert prophets like Allan Savory are not without hope that we can change the game in favor of soil. In his soon-to-be-released book Growing Food in Hotter Drier Lands, Gary Paul Nabhan shares lessons from dry-climate farmers around the world who have found ways to steward marginal lands and reclaim them from desertification. And Judith Schwartz’s forthcoming book Cows Save the Planet explains how management methods like those pioneered by Savory are transforming our ideas of what livestock can do.

Are You Part of the Next American Revolution?

Monday, April 8th, 2013

In 1886 Leo Tolstoy wrote a slim pamphlet entitled What Then Must We Do? about the abject state of the peasants in his country. He wrote, “I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means—except by getting off his back.”

Gar Alperovitz has taken Tolstoy’s mysterious title for his own new book, What Then Must We Do? After all, with an economy as systemically unequal as ours, the question is still painfully relevant. Capitalism seems to have failed us, but for decades we have believed in the Thatcher-era dictum, “There Is No Alternative.” The mere mention of socialism sends politicians running for the hills, and Tea Partiers scrambling to scribble protest signs.

Alperovitz’s new book explains that, in fact, there is an alternative to corporate capitalism, one that is working to democratize the ownership of wealth, and is already taking root in some of the communities hardest hit in the recent economic crisis. This “next American revolution” is an economy based on empowered worker-owners, green jobs, and communities that can take care of themselves. In the excerpt below, Alperovitz tells the curious story of Youngstown, Ohio, a town that lost its steel mill and launched a quiet economic revolution in response.

Booklist says, “Alperovitz’s deliberately informal, conversational style makes normally rarefied economic concepts accessible to a wide audience, enhancing his inspiring message that, with the right strategies, a wholesale economic revolution is not only possible but achievable by well-organized, average citizens.”

Get the book for 35% off this week.

An Initial Way to Think About System Change: An Excerpt from What Then Must We Do? by Chelsea Green Publishing

We Need Slow Money…Fast. Come to the National Gathering!

Monday, April 1st, 2013

It’s clear: we need a new economy, one where wealth is based on the health of the soil, and the true well-being of people. Ever since the publication of Woody Tasch’s book Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money, Chelsea Green has been a prominent supporter of projects that push for a more-just way of doing business — and last year we even made the shift to employee ownership, ensuring our own legacy of financial independence and economic justice.

At the forefront of the movement to make a better economy a reality is Woody Tasch’s organization Slow Money, and later this month you can join the excitement at Slow Money’s 4th National Gathering in Boulder, Colorado, on April 29-30.

Looking for a new kind of social investing for the 21st century? If so, plan to join Slow Money’s emerging network of thought leaders, investors, donors, farmers, social entrepreneurs and everyday folks for two days of conversations, network building and action planning in a food-loving town. What could be better?

The event’s complete list of speakers is phenomenal, and includes several Chelsea Green authors, such as:

There will also be investment presentations from two dozen small food enterprises and break out sessions on topics ranging from New Visions of Corporate Philanthropy to Exploring Seeds and Biodiversity to Impact Investing, plus the opportunity to collaborate with folks from around the country who are finding new ways to connect money, culture and the soil—including members of the 16 chapters channeling millions of dollars into local small food enterprises.

The Slow Money National Gathering brings together people who are rebuilding local food systems across the U.S. and around the world. More than 2,000 people attended the first three national gatherings—with more than $22 million now invested in more than 185 small food enterprises!

Join this forward thinking group now. For details and to register, click here.

Chelsea Green will have a table set up, so stop by and say hello!

And stay tuned for our next great book on building a Slow economy, Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business. The author, Elizabeth Ü, will be at the Slow Money National Gathering as well. Here’s a preview of what the book’s about, in her own words:

A Chilling List of Nuclear Meltdown Near Misses

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Three Mile Island, the nuclear plant in Pennsylvania that melted down on this day in 1979, is synonymous with nuclear disaster. The meltdown was stopped before any serious damage occurred, but 34 years after this near miss at Three Mile Island, how safe are we from this kind of catastrophe?

Ask the residents of San Clemente, California, who live in the shadow of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The plant has been offline for months since an “unusual” leak was found to be releasing radioactive steam into the environment. Or ask the folks of Burlington, Kansas where the Wolf Creek Generating Station suddenly lost power last winter after faulty wiring tripped a breaker and blew a transformer.  These are just two of the dozen nuclear plants that had close calls last year. From equipment failures to bumbling workers, and vulnerabilities to extreme weather and earthquakes, nuclear plants are ticking time bombs.

In the excerpt below, Gar Smith, author of Nuclear Roulette, reminds us that while we imagine nuclear technology to be as advanced as what we see on Star Trek, in reality the first reactors began construction in the US actually predate NASA — and the control rooms that manage these relics aren’t even as advanced as Homer Simpson’s — they still use out-dated analog dials and alarms. Not exactly the kind of thing you’d want to be all done up in retro style, right?

But that’s okay, because surely the industry watchdog tasked with keeping us safe from the hazards of nuclear radiation is doing its best to monitor safety violations and respond to lackadaisical plant managers with harsh fines and penalties. Well no. In fact the Nuclear Regulatory Commission more often than not fails to enforce its own regulations, seriously undermining the safety net between us and the inherent dangers posed by nuclear power.

A recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists takes the NRC to task for these failures, pointing out how the even culture within the Commission itself encourages a lack of oversight. For example, NRC managers don’t listen to their employees, and actually chastise them for pointing out safety violations at inspected plants! The UCS report goes on to outline the year’s most serious malfunctions at nuclear reactors across the country: 14 worrisome mishaps at 12 reactors.

Do you live near one of the faulty reactors? Read the full report, and all the scary mishaps that occurred last year on the UCS website. And then stock up on potassium iodide and haz-mat suits.

If you still feel good about nuclear energy, the excerpt below from Chapter 19 of Nuclear Roulette, should fix that. It covers a morbidly fascinating list of worker errors, stories of the NRC ignoring serious violations, and even more plants that have come awfully close to blowing their radioactive tops. And last but not least, check out Mat Stein’s article about the risks posed by that other nuclear energy source we love so much, the sun. With a big enough solar flare we could be facing “400 Chernobyls.”

Near Misses and Unbelievable Mishaps: From Nuclear Roulette by Chelsea Green Publishing

Spring Has Sprung! Is your Garden Growing Yet?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Congratulations, you survived another long winter! Now, it’s time to get your garden started.

Let us help you on your way with some of our key gardening books (and new DVDs!). Learn tried and true techniques from our expert gardening authors so you can reap a plentiful harvest this fall.

Essential Gardening Books — 35% Off!

Many of our gardening books have been the classic go-to standards for organic and permaculture gardeners for years. Whether you’re looking for new techniques to boost flavors and variety, grow vegetables year-round, save heirloom seeds, or grow food in small spaces—we have a book for you.

Happy planting from the folks at Chelsea Green!

The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener

New Organic Grower Cover
Retail: $24.95
Discount: $16.22

The New Organic Grower has become a modern classic and continues to be the go-to standard on organic gardening. Master grower Eliot Coleman presents the simplest and most sustainable ways of growing top-quality organic vegetables.

Make sure to look at two other go-to standard titles by Eliot Coleman: Four-Season Harvest and The Winter Harvest Handbook, both included in The Eliot Coleman Set. Or learn from the man himself in his extensive workshop DVD.

.

.

Hot Beds: How to Grow Early Crops Using an Age-Old Technique

Hot Beds Cover
Retail: $18.95
Discount: $12.32

With Hot Beds, the simple method of using the heat from compost to warm up a basic coldframe, you could be harvesting radishes and salad greens by now, and potatoes as early as April.

Hot Beds shows you how to build these compost-heated coldframes and grow a variety of crops, producing healthy plants that are ready at least two months earlier.  HOW TO: Simple Tips for an Early Harvest

.

.

Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

Gaia's Garden Cover
Retail: $29.95
Discount: $19.47

Nautilus Award Winner!

Gaia’s Garden is the awarding winning classic on applying basic permaculture principles to make your garden more diverse, more natural, more productive, and more beautiful.

This extensively revised and expanded second edition brings the permaculture approach for home-scale and backyard growers. HOW-TO: Build an Apple-Centered Guild.

.

.

The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times

Resilient Gardener Cover Image
Retail: $29.95
Discount: $19.47

The Resilient Gardener is packed with expert advice on plant varieties and discusses the best way to grow, prepare, and store the five “key crops” you need to survive —potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.

Beginner and the most expert gardeners will find this an invaluable resource, with new information, recipes, and simple tips for self-sufficiency they won’t find elsewhere. 

Plan your garden: Tips from Carol Deppe on whether to plant in beds or rows.

.

Desert or Paradise: Restoring Endangered Landscapes Using Water Management, Including Lake and Pond Construction

Desert or Paradise Cover
Retail: $29.95
Discount: $19.47

Desert or Paradise examines Sepp Holzer’s core philosophy for increasing food production, earth health, and reconnecting mankind with nature, applied to reforestation and water conservation across the world.

Holzer outlines his ten points of sustainable self-reliance and how these methods can help feed the world.

Rebel Farmer Sepp Holzer’s 10-Step Plan to Combat World Hunger.

.

.

The Grafter’s Handbook

Grafter's Handbook Cover
Retail: $40.00
Discount: $26.00

R.J. Garner’s The Grafter’s Handbook is the classic reference book and revered encyclopedia (and the only one of its kind) on plant propagation by grafting. 

Everything the dedicated amateur, student, and professional horticulturalist wants to know about grafting is here, clearly written in a concise and straightforward style, the distillation of a lifetime’s careful study and research.

LEARN: Five methods for grafting established trees.

.

.

 

 

More New and Noteworthy Titles On Sale

 

Paradise Lot Cover

Retail Price: $19.95

Sale Price: $12.97 

Read More PL


 
New Horse Powered Farm Cover

Retail Price: $39.95

Sale Price: $25.97 

Read More NHPF

 
Grow Your Food For Free Cover

Retail Price: $24.95

Sale Price: $16.22 

Read More HtGFFF

 
Slow Gardening Cover

Retail Price: $29.95

Sale Price: $19.47 

Read More SG

Sepp Holzer's Permaculture Cover

Retail Price: $29.95

Sale Price: $19.47 

Read More SHP


 
Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm Cover

Retail Price: $34.95

Sale Price: $22.72 

Read More CMHF

 
Holy Shit Cover

Retail Price: $17.50

Sale Price: $11.38 

Read More HS

 
Small Scale Poultry Flock Cover

Retail Price: $39.95

Sale Price: $25.97 

Read More SSPF

Four Season Harvest Cover

Retail Price: $24.95

Sale Price: $16.22 

Read More FSH


 
The Winter Harvest Handbook Cover

Retail Price: $29.95

Sale Price: $19.47 

Read More WHH

 
The Eliot Coleman Set Cover

 

Retail Price: $79.95

Sale Price: $51.97 

Read More ECset

 
Year Round Vegetable DVD

Retail Price: $80.00

Sale Price: $52.00 

Read More YRVdvd

The Seed Underground Cover

Retail Price: $17.95

Sale Price: $11.67 

Read More tSU


 
The Organic Seed Grower Cover

Retail Price: $49.95

Sale Price: $32.47 

Read More OSG

 
Seed to Seed Cover

Retail Price: $24.95

Sale Price: $16.22 

Read More StS

 
Edible Forest Gardens Set Cover

Retail Price: $150.00

Sale Price: $97.50 

Read More EFGs

Perennial Vegetable DVD Cover

Retail Price: $29.95

Sale Price: $19.47

Read More PVdvd


 
Holistic Orchard DVD Cover

Retail Price: $49.95

Sale Price: $32.47

Read More HOdvd

 
Top Bar Beekeeping DVD Cover

Retail Price: $14.95

Sale Price: $9.72 

Read More TBdvd

 
Natural Beekeeping DVD Cover

Retail Price: $24.95

Sale Price: $16.22 

Read More NBdvd

Snapshots from the New Economy

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

The top 400 wealthiest people in America own more riches than the bottom 180 million. The system is broken. But we don’t need to look far to find a better one.

Do you shop at a food co-op? Then you’re supporting a democratically-owned corporation that works to serve its members instead of distant shareholders focused merely on quarterly profits.

Do you bank at a credit union instead of a multinational corporate behemoth like Bank of America or Wells Fargo? Then you’re contributing your savings toward loans that go to help businesses, home owners, and people like you right in your community.

When you turn on the lights, does your power come from a municipally owned utility? If you live in Jacksonville, Florida, or Seattle, Washington it does. Now, what if you and your neighbors got together to demand your utility generate renewable energy? They’d have to listen, because you are their primary stakeholders.

Do you buy King Arthur Flour, rent cars from Avis, or buy books from Chelsea Green? If you do, you’re supporting companies that are owned by their employees, which means that the profits go to the workers — in other words to the people who make them possible.

Do you own a house through a community land trust — which made that house affordable, and will make sure it stays affordable when you decide to sell it. Or do you participate in a CSA or herd share that allows you to support a local farmer while making sure you get the fresh food you want? Or maybe when a restaurant or bookstore in your town threatened to go out of business you pitched in with some cash in return for discounts on your future purchases (the Slow Money model).

In Ohio, a state ravaged by the exodus of manufacturing, yet another example of a new-economy business model is starting up. The largest worker-owned greenhouse in the state is being financed by Evergreen Cooperatives, a unique partnership between public institutions, city government, and private nonprofits. The greenhouse will sell fresh produce to the hospitals and universities in the area, cutting the carbon footprint of those goods, and bringing good, green jobs to a neighborhood that needs them.

Gar Alperovitz is the founder of the Democracy Collaborative, a key partner in the project, and Gar has long been one of the leading champions of the worker-owned shift the economy so desperately needs. Next month his book What Then Must We Do? will explain how we must democratize wealth and build a community-sustaining economy from the ground up. Sustainable businesses are already changing lives and making money flow where it’s needed most. All we need is more of them.

These businesses define success as something deeper than profit. In doing so they’re living examples of what the new economy looks like. It’s not so complicated, it’s just what happens when business comes back down to earth.

(Illustration by Adrian J. Wallace)

Good Morning, Beautiful Business! The Memoir of a Social Entrepreneur

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

When Judy Wicks opened a restaurant in her Philadelphia home, she didn’t set out to change the world. But over the years she became not only a successful business woman but a game-changing activist, who, according to Inc. magazine enacted “more progressive business practices per square foot than any other entrepreneur.”

From pioneering the focus on local and humane foods in the White Dog Cafe, to laying down in front of a bulldozer to stop her block from being demolished by developers, Wicks let her heart lead her to find new ways of doing business. She went on to become a leader in the Social Venture Network, and from there spawned the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies when she realized that even “sustainable” business was following the old model of infinite growth. Organizations like Slow Money, Net Impact, Businesses for Social Responsibility, RSF Social Finance and more all grew out of the momentum Wicks helped sustain.

Now, in her memoir Good Morning, Beautiful Business, Judy Wicks shares lessons and insights from a life spent proving that business is the ideal driver for social change, and that community must be at the heart of local living economies. Judy says it best herself in the Preface, “Business, I learned, is about relationships. Money is simply a tool. What matters most are the relationships with everyone we buy from, sell to, and work with-and our relationships with Earth itself. My business was the way I expressed my love of life, and that’s made it a thing of beauty.” Continue reading the Preface below.

Good Morning, Beautiful Business is available now in both hardcover and paperback, and is 35% off this week.

“Once we say no to an immoral system, our next step is to build an alternative.” In this video, Judy describes how her mission developed, and how she became a food-economy pioneer.

Ben Cohen, cofounder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and an early inspiration to Judy, says of the book, “Judy Wicks is one of the most amazing women I have ever met.  She continues to blaze new paths on the road to a truly sustainable people-centered economy. This is a must-read book.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer agrees. The paper just published this profile of Wicks, as well as a review of the book.

Good Morning, Beautiful Business: Preface by Chelsea Green Publishing

Women are Changing the World, One Book at a Time

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

It’s a simple fact: Women change the world.

100 years ago suffragists marched on Washington to demand their right to vote. Today fierce women are still fighting to build a better world. In honor of Women’s History Month we’re celebrating the accomplishments of the visionary women whose work we publish: activists, farmers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and more.

Want to make a difference? Take a page from Good Morning, Beautiful BusinessJudy Wicks tells how she evolved from a successful businesswoman to a passionate social entrepreneur, dedicated to the idea that a profitable business can be the perfect vehicle for creating a better world. You won’t learn this in business school!

We’re proud to publish the groundbreaking work of these bold women, from Rebecca Thistlethwaite’s lessons from successful farms across the country in Farms with a Future, to Lynn Margulis’ legacy of revolutionary biology, to Gianaclis Caldwell’s expert advice on cheesemaking, and Janisse Ray’s celebration of seed saving. We’ve collected a handful of our favorite titles by inspirational women — all 35% off this month.

Happy Reading from the folks at Chelsea Green Publishing!

Judy Wicks

Good Morning, Beautiful Business Cover

Retail Price: $27.95

Sale Price: $18.17

Read More GMBB

Rebecca Thistlethwaite

Farms With a Future Cover

Retail Price: $29.95

Sale Price: $19.47

Read More FwaF

Carol Deppe

Resilient Gardener Cover Image

Retail Price: $29.95

Sale Price: $19.47  

Suzanne Ashworth
Seed to Seed Cover

Retail Price: $24.95

Sale Price: $16.22 

Read More StS

 Donella Meadows
Thinking in Systems Cover

Retail Price: $19.95

Sale Price: $12.97 

Read More TiS

Lynn Margulis
Lynn Margulis Cover

Retail Price: $27.95

Sale Price: $18.17 

Read More LM


Janisse Ray
The Seed Underground Cover

Retail Price: $17.95

Sale Price: $11.67 

Read More tSU

Gianaclis Caldwell
Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking Cover

Retail Price: $40.00

Sale Price: $26.00 

Read More MAC

Didi Emmons
Wild Flavors Cover

Retail Price: $34.95

Sale Price: $22.72 

Hanne Risgaard
Home Baked Cover

Retail Price: $39.95

Sale Price: $25.97 

Read More HB


Peg Schafer
Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm Cover

Retail Price: $34.95

Sale Price: $22.72 

Read More CMHF

Diane Ott Whealy
Gathering Cover

Retail Price: $25.00

Sale Price: $16.25 

Read More G

Joan Gussow
Growing Older Cover

Retail Price: $17.95

Sale Price: $11.67 

Read More GO

Susan Clark &

Wooden Teachout

Slow Democracy Cover

Retail Price: $19.95

Sale Price: $12.97 

Read More SD


Anya Kamenetz


DIY U Cover

Retail Price: $14.95

Sale Price: $9.72 

Read More DIYU

Shannon Hayes


Radical Homemakers Cover

Retail Price: $23.95

Sale Price: $15.57 

Read More RH

Madeleine Kunin


New Feminist Agenda Cover

Retail Price: $26.95

Sale Price: $17.52 

Read More NFA

Naomi Wolf
The End of America Cover

Retail Price: $13.95

Sale Price: $9.07 

Read More tEoA

Shannon Hayes
Long Way on a Little Cover

Retail Price: $34.95

Sale Price: $22.72 

Read More LWoaL

Diane Wilson
Diary of an Eco-Outlaw Cover

Retail Price: $17.95

Sale Price: $11.67 

Read More DoaEO

Riki Ott
Not One Drop Cover

Retail Price: $21.95

Sale Price: $14.27 

Read More NOD

Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale for example.

Free shipping for orders $100 or more is applied after the discount is applied.


Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com