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Over the past several decades, many environmental and social change efforts have come to reflect the centrality of shopping in our culture, suggesting change can be made—or is even best made—through alterations in our individual consumption patterns.

These efforts—buy Fair Trade or organic, use a reusable bag, screw in a CFL lightbulb—are a great place to start, but they are a terrible place to stop, ignoring the real source of our power: coming together as engaged citizens. In The Story of Change, released in July 2012, Annie Leonard argues that it’s not bad shoppers who are putting our future at risk; it’s bad policies and business practices. If we really want to change the world, we have to move beyond voting with our dollars and come together to demand rules that work.

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