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77 Editors' Choice Stories

1813: How to make a solar water heater from plastic bottles
Jose Alano, a retired mechanic in Brazil, invented a simple, cheap, energy saving rooftop solar water heater which is benefiting thousands of people.

The idea came from the lack of recycling collection services in his small home town. Refusing to throw plastic bottles, cartons and other recyclable waste into the landfill, José invented a way to use them to make the water heater. ... 
905: A Colombian Village to Reinvent the World
Paolo Lugari, fresh out of university in the 1960's, was invited on a flight across the Andes. He looked down and saw the Savannahs for the first time, an area four times the size of the Netherlands. He saw empty, barren, rain-leached land and had a vision. He knew that his country, like so many countries, was going to increase in population and that people were either going to tear down forests or... 
875: Safe drinking water for pennies a month
A cheap way to produce drinkable water involves a special 20 liter plastic container with a narrow mouth and a spigot, and sodium hypochlorite bleach. In Kenya, pottery collectives started producing narrow mouthed pottery storage vessels.

"More than 1 billion people still lack access to safe water, despite billions of dollars spent on water infrastructure in the developing world," said Dr. ... 
858: Wonder product cleans up polluted water
A a product designed to clean up the world has been named the most innovative product in the world. Supazorb, invented in South Africa, can clean up polluted water and even deal with oil spills.

The product is made from four plants and a blend of natural bacteria, which break down all types of hydrocarbons in any environment. Microorganisms literally eat up the pollutants using them as t... 
854: Four farmers unleash a major movement
130 years ago, around a kitchen table in Lampasas, Texas, four down-on-their-luck farmers got together to talk about their plight at the hands of rapacious railroads and greedy middlemen. Before the evening was over they had planted seeds that would blossom as the Populist movement. In a few years the movement had 10,000 organizers across the Midwest and South, talking to people about how things ne... 
771: Texas Shrimper-Woman Takes on Big Polluting Companies
A Texas Gulf Coast shrimper-woman turned into an environmental justice activist when she learned that her small county produced more toxic emissions than any place in the nation. She began thinking about the seven petrochemical plants that lit up the coastal prairie and filled the breeze with strange, sharp smells. When Formosa Plastics Corporation, USA, announced plans for a huge expansion, Wilson... 
767: Low Tech Refrigerating System Works!
Motivated by a concern for the rural poor and an interest in indigenous African technology, Nigerian teacher Mohammed Bah Abba sought a practical, local solution to the problems of perishable food storage. His extremely simple and inexpensive earthenware `Pot-in-Pot' cooling device is starting to revolutionize lives in this semi-desert area in a participatory and sustainable way.... 
766: Finnish Activists Stop Logging
Activists have saved an area of Finland's last old-growth forests - for now at least. The Finnish state-owned forestry enterprise Metsahallitus was planning to start logging the old-growth forests of Malahvia, an area situated in north-eastern Finland near the Russian border. Metsahallitus's activity would have involved clear-cutting and selective logging despite clear scientific evidence of the hi... 
765: Indigenous People in Chile Win Their Own Health Care Facility
At the tip of South America, the Mapuche are re-discovering their power to heal themselves and the Earth as they struggle with the effects of oil exploitation, repression, and illness. Established through the joint efforts of community members, a small government grant, and the cooperation of the local Anglican church, the intercultural health program and hospital facility blends traditional healt... 
762: Green Auto Club Offers Alternatives to Motorists
A new auto club says it wants to change the way people think about travel. Launched in June 2002, Better World Club provides 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year emergency roadside assistance comparable to the American Automobile Association (MA) and declares itself committed to improving the environment. The company will donate one percent of its annual revenues toward environmental clean-up efforts an... 
757: Native Plants Ecosystems Return to Woodland, California
By nurturing native plants in fields laid barren by monoculture farming, John Anderson brings back a whole host of life. Part of Anderson's campaign to restore native grasslands to the fields and foothills surrounding Hedgerow Farms, his 520-acre native seed farm in California's Sacramento Valley. The poppy and rye seed Anderson collects here will transform gravel pits, highway banks, and eroded s... 
753: Strong Men Don't Bully
In 2003, Gloucester, Massachusetts became the second city in the state to declare itself a Domestic Violence-Free Zone. To bring home the message, 550 Gloucester men "sent" the town's women a Valentine's Day card: a billboard bearing their names, saying "Strong Men Don't Bully" The public proclamation was a welcome sign of hope to the women, and the men feel encouraged to join the cross-section of ... 
749: Terrorism and the Practical Idealist
A contemporary Quaker reflects on Gandhi's political philosophy and strategies. He speculates on how we could lay aside our (USA) empire building ambitions and become peaceful and accountable leaders in today's post 9/11 world.... 
737: Strategies for Creating Win-win Power Structures
Power is a many-layered thing, exercised not just in who wins and loses, but in the rules of our games and the stories we tell about our losses and victories. What if we could find a new kind of power, one that changes the rules, gives us new stories, and allows everyone to win?... 
732: Nigerian Women Triumph Over Multinational Oil Facilities
In mid-July of 2002, approximately 1,500 local Ijaw tribal women peacefully took over and held for ten days Nigerian Delta oil facilities belonging to the multinational company ChevronTexaco. The women held between 700 and 1,000 Canadian, American, British, and Nigerian workers inside the oil facilities, but eventually released all of the hostages unharmed. Possibly based on a similar inland oc... 
730: Make Business, Not War
Daniel Lubetzky has his own take on the Israel-Palestine conflict - one you'll rarely see on the evening news. "The violence in the Middle East is perpetrated by a very small number of extremists on both sides," he says, and the media actually are empowering these minorities by focusing so heavily on them. "The vast majority of people there disapprove of violence and want to live in peace," says Lu... 
712: Applying spiritual teachings in social change work
It is a worthy goal to integrate spiritual principles and practices into social change leadership. Will Keepin is president of the non-profit Satyana Institute (formerly Shavano Institute) in Boulder, Colorado and his work involves doing just that. In this case history, he has outlined 12 Principles of Spiritual Leadership that we all can follow. They are:
1. Transform anger and despair into ... 
702: "Caped Crusaders" dedicate themselves to doing good in the World
Blazing Echidna (formerly known as Ethan Hughes of Gloucester, Massachusetts) saw needs in the world and set out to fill them. Using his creative love of costume and desire for joyful play and good fun, Echida formed a volunteer band of "superhero" helpers and hit the road to put their energy to good use. He invites anyone willing to don a homemade costume and serve others in need to join him. Ra... 
693: Urban Gardens Are Sprouting Worldwide
Urban area gardens are becoming popular all over the world, for a variety of reasons. In schools, gardens help teach math, science and language while encouraging alternatives to junk food and lack of exercise. Gardening is taking root as one of the newest forms of mental-health treatments, with "horticultural therapy" organizations being established in countries from the United Kingdom to Japan. ... 
691: New Tactics for More Earth-Friendly Packaging
Packaging serves as an easy symbol for a world bursting at the seams. About one-third of the gross weight and half of the volume of America's municipal solid waste stream is packaging material - at least 300 pounds per person per year. (This figure probably does not include the 400 million virgin wood transportation pallets that are used once or twice then sent to landfills-enough material to frame... 
682: Farming Solutions Emphasize Local Knowledge and Organics
Around the world farmers are using their own knowledge and resources to solve age-old problems. The full text (below) contains 11 examples from around the world of locally based projects that empower farmers/communities and utilize biodiversity and organic growing methods.... 
679: Evolving tactics of The Ruckus Society
Training camps sponsored by the Oakland California based Ruckus Society are evolving to better reflect contemporary realities of "The Movement." Although the RS continues to coach people in nonviolent and often provocative direct action as it has always done, new training camps and workshops reflect a new philosophy. This is to broaden activists' conception of the anti-corporate globalization mov... 
678: Tips for Taking on the Ku Klux Klan
Rallies are now an important recruitment tool for KKK/Nazi groups. KKK groups are strong in Alabama and Georgia. but established members travel to adjoining areas in the American South to recruit new members. In Tennessee, Katttah Earth First! (KEF!) and Kattah Anti Racist Action (KARA) attend rallies with the purpose of nonviolently disrupting the recruitment efforts and engaging the KKK/Nazi g... 
672: Britain's Fair Trade Movement is Expanding Rapidly
Fairtrade, backed by a vibrant social movement of people throughout the country, is giving thousands of producers in developing countries the chance to build a better future," says Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fair-trade Foundation. "The rapidly rising sales prove that consumers do care and are prepared to pay the true price for products they know they can trust, guaranteed by the Fairtr... 
668: 9/11 Widows Skillfully Applied the Power of a Question: Why?
As part of a core group of politically active relatives of September 11 victims , four women made widows by the 9/11 World Trade Center bombings have joined forces to become known as "The Jersey Girls." On Capitol Hill, these suburban women are gaining prominence as savvy World Trade Center widows who came to Washington and prodded Congress and a recalcitrant White House to create the panel that t... 
666: Building Bridges and Making Peace, One Life At a Time
The idea is simple: It's hard to hate someone who has become your friend.

As they sat in a circle at a New Jersey estate this last summer, their faces a mixture of apprehension, fear, and hope, twenty-two Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls gazed at each other, seeing the enemy. But by the program's end two weeks later, the girls who once stared at each other with revulsion wept at the th... 
662: Arundhati Roy on "Confronting Empire"
"So how do we resist 'Empire?' The good news is that we're not doing too badly. There have been major victories." Arundhati Roy, Indian writer and activist, spoke these words at the closing rally of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on January 27, 2003.

"Still, many of us have dark moments of hopelessness and despair. We know that under the spreading canopy of the War Against ... 
660: Water Stewards Network Web Site Empowers Grassroots Communities to Become Stewards of Their Local Water Resources
The website based group Water Stewards Network raises awareness about global water issues and disseminates information about sustainable approaches to water management that empowers communities to become stewards of their local water resources. This is an important step in galvanizing the peoples' movement for water sovereignty and promoting a paradigm shift in society's approach to water managemen... 
659: Dalits (Hindu Untouchables) Use Traditional Music to Subvert The Caste System
Dalits (Untouchables in the Hindu caste system) in India are using traditional music to subvert the caste system. Born into marginal existences, they increasingly assert their human rights. They are by far the largest group amongst the fifth of India's population who live in extreme poverty and destitution. Condemned to laboring in the fields of high-caste families in return for a subsistence diet... 
658: Do It Yourself Media: Online Community Organizing Comes of Age
Across America during the pre-2004 election months, hundreds of people were planning for a December 7th house parties to screen simultaneous showings of veteran Hollywood filmmaker Robert Greenwald's compelling new documentary, "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War." Organized efficiently by MoveOn, the innovative online activist group, there were more than 2,700 parties scheduled across t... 
626: 'Dignity Village' establishes a new model for a homeless community
Sixteen years ago, Ibrahim Mubarek worked as a copy machine repairman and owned a big house and fancy car - the whole nine yards. Devastated by a divorce, he's been homeless off and on ever since. The idea for a community of homeless people began to crystallize in Mubarek's mind when he arrived in Portland a couple years ago, homeless. He stayed in shelters for a while but was lucky enough to fin... 
604: Letter Writing campaign helps halt oil exploration in Costa Rica
In conjunction with local organizations Accion de Lucha Antipetrolera (ADELA) and the Talamanca Dolphin Foundation, Global Response launched an international letter-writing campaign in March 2001 which helped convince the Costa Rican government to deny exploration rights to a US-based energy company.

On February 28, 2002, the Costa Rican government rejected the Environmental
Impact Stud... 
603: Sarvodaya Movement provides model for village development in Sri Lanka
The Sarvodaya Movement for Peace in Sri Lanka started in the 1950s when a young teacher, Ari Ariyaratne, moved into underprivileged villages and started working with the most downtrodden communities there, 'to dispel ignorance, inequality and powerlessness' through village development. 'From the beginning, I had faith in the common faith and small-scale activities,' Ariyaratne has said. His faith h... 
556: US Pentagon planned a media campaign of dis-information
Washington D.C.: The (US) Pentagon is developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations as part of a new effort to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries, military officials said. The plan envisions a broad mission ranging from "black" campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to "whi... 
555: Argentina's Rebellion in the Neighborhoods
In Argentina, neighborhood assemblies are springing up in cities throughout the country, particularly in the capital and surrounding areas, as a groundswell of people seek to change the political landscape amidst the country's social and economic collapse. Many assembly participants are young people who are fed up with the political parties they say have betrayed their ideals. But there are also ma... 
552: Municipal Level Participatory Budget Empowers Local Communities
Porto Alegre, the host city for the World Social Forum 2002, is part of a growing political movement in Brazil that is systematically delegating power back down to people at the municipal level rather than hoarding it at the national and international levels. The party that has been the architect of this decentralization in Brazil is the Workers Party (the PT), which is now in power in 200 municipa... 
546: Curbing Corporate Excess
"When people find out that corporations have the rights of citizens but not the obligations, they're outraged," says James Price, Southeast staff director for the Sierra Club. Yet, he says, environmentalists are learning many different ways to challenge corporate power: ?In some cases you can use the courts; in others, it takes direct action. The key is educating the public."

The citizens' a... 
544: Carnival Against Capital Brings Creativity to Protest Actions
In the US, The FBI has added `Carnival Against Capital' - the name given to many of the mass actions for international days of protest from London to Quebec - to its list of wanted terrorist groups. But `Carnival Against Capital' is not an organization. It is a rather a tactic and strategy of resistance, the incarnation of the spirit of contemporary resistance to global capitalism. Its creativity ... 
541: Danish Companies Recycle Industrial By-Products
For more than two decades, companies in the seaport town of Kalundborg, Denmark, (population 20,000) have been passing industrial by-products on to those who can make use of them. For example, Asnaes Power Station, Denmark's largest power producer, transfers the steam it generates to Kalundborg's heating system. As a result, the city has been able to get rid of 3,500 oil furnaces, which were a sign... 
540: Couple Designs House to Emit Less Carbon Dioxide
For Mike and Catherine Tidwell, January 2001 findings of the (US) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change first set them to plotting their home energy revolution. Most scientists believe the world's CO emissions must drop 80 per cent below current levels to stabilize the climate. So that became their goal: 80 per cent. They felt that it was the least they could do in a nation where the governmen... 
531: China Installs Rural Biogas Units
Throughout China, biogas is actively encouraged by the state. In the southern city of Yulin, Guangxi province, farming households are being equipped with biogas units. Each unit transforms human and pig waste into gas for cooking, lighting and heating water. Already 400,000 people use biogas in Guangxi province alone. Each household, along with their four pigs, produces enough biogas for all its co... 
515: Danish Green Tax Discourages Packaging
The Danish parliament has levied a "green tax" on product packaging to discourage waste, reports The New Rules (Spring 2001). The tax escalates according to the environmental impact of the packaging, so manufacturers have a strong incentive to use cardboard or refillable containers rather than polystyrene or aluminum cans.... 
511: Kenyan Activist Regenerates Forests and People
Planting trees is what Wangari Maathai does, and has been doing for a quarter of a century. Such a seemingly harmless and positive pastime has turned her into one of Kenya's most controversial citizens. As a member of the National Council of Women of Kenya, she rallied her colleagues into a project of replanting devastated forest areas and the Green Belt Movement was born. The movement has been res... 
508: London Squatters Create sustainable Communities
In London in early 1993, a group of unemployed and homeless squatters took over two abandoned buildings and came up with the DIO (Do It Ourselves) philosophy - now central to every project involved in the HAZ (Housing Action Zone) movement Thus, Manor and The Farm were established, providing homes for some of the group. The groups? horizons broadened to include other plans such as establishing a co... 
501: China Bans Styrofoam Take-Out Containers
Polystyrene foam containers are a common nuisance worldwide: they cause pollution in their production, they are a waste of resources since they are used only once, they don't biodegrade for hundreds of years, and they release toxic gases when burned. The styrene may even be a health concern as it can leach out of the packaging and into human fat tissue.

The embarrassed Chinese officials deci... 
491: Finnish women protest with their wombs
You've heard of hunger strikes, but what about baby strikes? Hundreds of Finnish women have signed a petition declaring they will not bear children for the next four years unless the country's parliament scraps plans to build a fifth nuclear reactor in their homeland. In 1986, following the Chernobyl disaster, some 4,000 Finns signed a similar petition to block construction of a nuclear power pla... 
472: How one man turned the fierce Northern Afghanis into peaceful protesters
Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a proponent of nonviolence and social change, was affectionately known as the "Frontier Gandhi." his most astounding achievement was to convert the gun-toting, revenge seeking Pathans to his unique weapon - non-violence.

A devout practitioner of nonviolence and social reform, Khan worked to spread his ideals in the region. Eluding at least two assassination attempts... 
470: How to Start a War: The American Use of Deception to Gain Popular Approval

Finding or creating justifications for going to war is a major first step in constructing public support for such deadly ventures. Perhaps the most common pretext for war is an apparently unprovoked enemy attack. Such attacks, however, are often fabricated, incited or deliberately allowed to occur. They are then exploited to arouse widespread public sympathy for the victims, demonize the attacke... 

393: Students Address Local Environmental Problems
Earth Force After School is a new program that encourages students to identify environmental problems in their communities and develop subsequent, long-lasting solutions. Earth Force, along with Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GREEN), offers programs in eight municipal areas including Denver, Chicago and Philadelphia. For more information on the program,... 
390: 4th Assembly of the People's UN Builds a Culture of Peace
The 4th Assembly of the People's UN recently took place in Perugia, Italy. This extraordinary Assembly, organised by the Italian Peace Round Table and the National Federation of Local Municipalities for Peace, heard testimony from individuals from 100 different countries on the reality of war for the poor of the world and the reality of daily life in countries subjected to what was described as the... 
389: Woman Journalist Fights on the Media Frontiers of Uzbekistan
Natasha Shulepina was born with journalism in her blood. A dynamic, upbeat Russian, single and energetic, she is on almost all counts an anomaly in the highly traditional society of Uzbekistan - a society that is 80 per cent Uzbek and Muslim. She works for the paper Pravda Hostoka (Truth of the East), where her beat is economic, health, environmental and social matters. She is a thorn in the side o... 
388: Ecuador Community Women?s Movement Makes Changes
Margarita Males Guallosamin is National Coordinator of the Quito sector of the National Women's Movement of Popular Neighborhoods and a leading feminist in Ecuador's grassroots women's movement. With chapters in 8 of the country's 20 provinces, the movement brings together women from a variety of backgrounds - Afro-Ecuadorians, indigenous women, sex workers and other low income urban women. Togethe... 
385: Organic Bananas Thrive in the Dominican Republic
In 1992, in the Dominican Republic mountains near the border with Haiti, there were 250 families living in a state of virtual destitution. They began to burn down the forest in which they lived, to make charcoal for sale. `We didn't really want to do it,' says Angel Custodio. The forest is a living thing, and we were killing it. We knew it couldn't last long. But we had no choice, no other way of m... 
378: Landless Rural Workers Coalition Successfully Challenges Brazilian Government
The Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) was created in 1984 by a coalition of Catholic liberation theologians, land-reform groups and rural workers' unions. Twelve years later it is active in 24 of the 28 Brazilian states and has become an immovable object in the path of the free-market economic policies of the Brazilian Government. It has challenged the face of political power in Brazil by pl... 
361: Compassionate Listening Helps to Heal a Community
In Port Angeles, Washington, the Makah tribe's resumption of whaling had aroused intense racism, opposition to whaling, and challenges to "outdated hundred-year-old treaties." Port Angeles, the largest town near the Makah Reservation, found itself struggling to deal constructively with the intense feelings generated by the tribe's decision. The local American Friend's Service Committee?s Indian Pr... 
355: Environmental Activist Uses Hunger Strike to Win Legal Victory
Elizabeth May sat on the steps of Ottawa's Parliament Hill every day for two weeks, ingesting only water and Gatorade. She lost 15 pounds and was too weak to get around without a wheelchair. Still she talked ceaselessly to government officials about the children whose pictures she had brought with her, many of whom were born with birth defects and whose lives revolve around allergies, migraines, an... 
349: Bolivian Water Utilities Returned to the People
In the poorest neighborhoods of Cochabamba, Bolivia, there is no indoor plumbing. Residents draw from communally owned wells, while their rural counterparts save rainwater in tanks for the dry months. Two years ago, gathering water in these traditional ways became illegal without a permit. Under pressure from the World Bank, the Bolivian government privatized the water system of Cochabamba, a city ... 
347: Italian Programs Aid Trafficked Women
Each year, thousands of women are trafficked from impoverished countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa and forced to work as prostitutes in richer countries. In 1997, Italy established the New Wings center, a place where trafficked women have a chance to begin rebuilding their lives.

Throughout Italy, 48 various programs assist female victims of traffickers. Italian law gives participan... 
346: Latina activist grows along with her neighborhood organization
Virginia Ramirez's frustration at the needless death of an elderly neighbor moved her life in a new direction. Twenty years later, Ramirez and her neighbors have transformed a neglected barrio into a place of promise. Ramirez has spent almost twenty years volunteering with COPS (Communities Organized for Public Services), a grassroots group that has literally transformed the streets - along with s... 
344: Small family owned grocery continues to thrive
Independent grocery stores in the United States have been failing at a rate of two per week. They're being replaced by big chain stores, whose low prices reflect the purchasing power of a national, or multinational corporation. However, with their attention fixed on moving big volume, they lose sight of individual shoppers.

In Damariscott, Maine, Jeff Pierce's response is to hold to a course... 
325: Ancient Romans Sometimes Refused to Fight
Early examples of nonviolent action are usually broad in nature with a few specific examples. However, historians recorded some early non-war scenarios and examples go back at least to ancient Rome. In 494 B.C. the plebeians of Rome, rather than murder the consuls in an attempt to correct grievances, withdrew from the city to a hill, later called "the Sacred Mount." They remained there for severa... 
324: Local Activists Block Big Oil's Drilling Plans

The battle against offshore drilling in North Carolina began in 1988 when a consortium of oil companies led by Mobil applied for permits to sink an exploratory well about 40 miles off Cape Hatteras, site of a national seashore. In response, a dozen local activists formed LegaSea, and incorporated as a nonprofit organization.

LegaSea originally intended to portray itself as a watchdog... 

322: Denmark Installs World?s Largest Offshore Wind Farm
Denmark has opened the world's biggest offshore wind farm on the Oresund, the stretch of water across which Copenhagen faces Sweden. The 20 turbines have a combined capacity of 40 megawatts, enough electricity to supply about 30,000 homes, and are funded through a combination of public and private ownership; 10 are public, and the other 10 owned by several thousand shareholders, who can view their... 
321: UK Launches ?Healthy Homes? Campaign
Air freshener comprised of baking soda, white vinegar and water; and potted basil and mint window sill insect repellent are two of the tips given by the local council in Middlesborough, in the northeast of England, in a 10 page booklet of home cleaning hints. The leaflet is being distributed as part of a two year `healthy homes' campaign, aiming to reduce lung cancer and respiratory disease levels.... 
320: Diverse Groups Join Together to Form The Global Safe Food Alliance
A dozen groups in the US have come together to form a coalition with the mission to 'mobilize a large, broad based grassroots movement to advocate a food supply that is safe, wholesome and humanely produced in a sustainable manner that benefits consumers, workers, farmers, animals and the environment.' This new Global Safe Food Alliance brings together Family Farm Defenders, the Cancer Prevention ... 
314: Never Too Young to Recycle!
Devon Green is a ten year old girl with a normal life of someone her age. But as founder and CEO of Devon's Heal the World Recycling, she's probably the country's only fifth grader who uses words like "networking" and "cold calling" with professional polish, and like many a savvy businesswoman today, she has global ambitions.

"My overall goal," she says, "is to have a branch of Devon's Heal ... 
311: Porous Sod Pavements
Large paved areas such as parking lots present problems that are not only aesthetic but environmental as well. For instance, during a hard rain, oil, antifreeze, and other automotive offal rush into the sewer system, often ending up in groundwater. Bill Bohnhoff, founder of Aurora, Colorado-based Invisible Structures is the owner of one of six major U.S. companies championing an environmental solu... 
305: Microfinance Program Aids Devastated El Salvador
Operating with the philosophy of "small solutions multiplied a million times," FINCA (Foundation for International Community Assistance) provides small, life changing loans to poor entrepreneurial women. FINCA has been extremely successful in Latin America, especially in El Salvador. Reaching more than 21,400 borrowers in over 1,0229 village banks, the program has given families throughout the ent... 
303: Nicarguan Cooperatives: An alternative to Free Trade Zones
Free Trade Zone operators in Nicaragua enjoy laws that provide them with maximum freedom and benefits. To the average multinational manufacturer for instance, Nicaragua's Las Mercedes Free Trade Zone must seem like heaven on Earth. "When I visited it early one morning in February it looked more like hell, as an amorphous mass of over 20,000 souls (mostly young women) poured into its featureless, pr... 
301: Using Organisms to Clean up Contaminated Soil and Groundwater
An article in The New York Times tells how plants can be used to treat metal and organic contaminants, radioactive elements, and sewage. The article notes: "In the United States alone, the cost of decontaminating tens of thousands of toxic sites on factory grounds, farms, and military installations is expected to eventually surpass $700 billion. The main approach so far is costly and disruptive, of... 
132: Italy's thriving unofficial social/political culture
In Italy, many abandoned buildings warehouses, factories, military forts, schools - have been occupied by squatters and transformed into cultural and political hubs, explicitly free from both the market and state control. By some estimates there are 150 social centers in Italy.

The largest and oldest - Leoncavallo in Milan - has been shut down by the police and reopened many times. To... 
113: Successful actions on public health in the US
The article points up the victories of the past few decades in public health, to show how research, advocacy, public discussion, and policy fit together in successful campaigns for change. It summarizes how public pressure exerted over time has made significant changes in the US. Three examples are given: lead in our environment, flouride, auto safety, and tobacco.

LEAD: Children in ... 
101: Restoring land in Western India
The Western Ghats, in Western India, is more desolate than a desert, for even a desert bears abundant life. Yet this dead, treeless landscape was once as lush and heavily forested as pre-Columbian North America.

The story begins with Anna (Elder Brother) Hazare. Throughout his home region, deforestation and rapid population growth had created a 20th-century ecological disaster. By the end... 
99: Defending Women's Rights in Pakistan
Lawyer-activist Hina Jilani has spent a majority of her life witnessing injustice and fighting against it. The product of a political family (her father served as an opposition member of Parliament), Jilani studied law at Punjab University in Lahore. In 1980, with her sister and two other attorneys, she founded the first women's law firm in Pakistan - an organization that helped win a number of c... 
97: Bioneers share Environmental solutions
Since 1990, Bioneers - or Biological Pioneers - have been coming together annually in San Rafael, California, to share ideas about restorative solutions to environmental problems. Founded by Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, the Bioneers network has turned into an intricately connected and growing web of visionaries who use nature as their model. They're not just activists and scientists. They're sp... 
85: Preserving Downtown Pittsburgh
Prolonged community protest in Pittsburg halted the construction of a five-acre mall. The plan died when Nordstrom, the critical retail anchor, pulled out, declining a $28 million subsidy from the city. Pittsurgh's 1950s-style urban renewal plan called for demolition of sixty-two buildings of varying age, size and architectural style, disclocation of 120 businesses, lost tax revenue on top of eno... 
81: Merging Business with Activism
Philadelphia's White Dog cafe began with the idea that "you can, in fact, use the market as a vehicle for serving humanity." In the 18 years since its opening, the White Dog has become a Philadelphia institution, locally and nationally known and valued for owner Judy Wicks' leadership in right relationship with employees, social and environmental activism, and just plain good cooking. Through her r... 

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