Shop Informed – Purposeful Living Idea 12 of 52

We want to share a tool we use all the time to inform our purchasing decisions.  It’s called Free 2 Work and it’s a website ( and a smart phone app (Free2Work).

Free2Work provides consumers with information on how products relate to modern-day slavery. Through the site you can learn how your favorite brands are working to address forced and child labor.  You can additionally access in-depth information about industry issues through our industry pages and news feeds, and you can learn more about trafficking and supply chains through our blog posts.
Here are 2 practical things to try:
  1. Think of your favorite brand (clothing, chocolate, electronics, etc.).  Then go to Free 2 Work and learn how the brand relates to trafficking and other labor abuses.  Depending on what you’ve learn, shop with a smile or contact your brand and let them know you’re thinking twice their status as your favorite brand.
  2. The next time you’re at the shoe store or in the candy aisle or planning a weekend of shopping, check out Free 2 Work.  Look at the various brands you’re thinking of purchasing and how they stack up against each other.  Make your informed choices accordingly.
Happy learning and shopping!  Comment and share your results.  What's your favorite brand and how did they stack up?  How has your shopping changed since encountering this tool?

Informed shopping --> improved consumer satisfaction and positive world change.

Pay Cash at Local Businesses - Purposeful Living Idea 11 of 52

Many people use debit/credit cards for very good reasons.  Credit cards are convenient and good ones give you cash back.  If you lose your cash or your cash gets stolen, you’re out of luck.

What many people don’t realize is that it’s common practice for companies to add enough into the sticker price of the items they sell to cover the costs of their customers using debit/credit cards.  This means that even customers who pay cash pay more for their items.  You, as the customer, pay the higher price.

This means that you can make a difference for your favorite small, local businesses by paying cash when you visit them.  You’ll save the merchant credit card processing fees and that can help make their business flourish.  It could even help them keep their prices down so that their able to better compete with large corporations.

Of course, as a small, local business owner, I’m biased.  But I can vouch for the fact that our business would fail if every customer paid via credit card.  I’m not exaggerating.

Pay cash.  Keep your favorite local shop in business.  Change the world.

Recreate! – Purposeful Living Idea 10 of 52

It’s summer so what better topic than recreation?  Perhaps I can help you see the idea of recreation in a fresh way as I recently have myself.

I recently came across the fact that the word “recreate” literally is a combination of “re” and “create.”  This got me to thinking and I’ve come to the realization that true recreation is going to be something that gives me new life, energy, and encouragement.  Recreation should refresh, enliven and re-create me into a better version of myself.   These qualities are what make recreation different from entertainment or socializing (at least for introverts like me).  There’s even this idea of working from rest rather than resting from work… holy Toledo!

For me, what this means practically is that 
  1. Recreation is something I need to help me keep positive and sane.
  2. Recreation could very well look like taking a nap if that’s what I need.
  3. There’s much more for a recovering workaholic like me to learn if I’m going to take care of myself to keep at this world change thing for years to come.

My baby step and one I’d invite you to take as well:  Find 3 times this week to recreate.  Whether it be for 1 hour each or 3 hours each.  Let’s get out and enjoy the summer in Chicago or take a nap, whichever we need most.

Re-create yourself.  Change the world.

June 2013 at Overflow

Tuesday, June 25 at 7:00pm - Moriyah - A Life Journey Film Screening in partnership with Maren Wickwire the filmmaker.

Moriyah’s life has changed a lot: After being the regional manager of 32 Tommy Hilfiger stores in Texas, she is now a mother living in the desert who does not only fight the sand but also the feeling of not being able to live up to everybody’s expectations. This conflict becomes clear especially in the mother’s high demands regarding her daughter’s standard of living and Moriyah’s real life circumstances in the desert with no amenities. “When you are content with what you have, you are rich!” -Rabbinic saying

The filmmaker Maren Wickwire will be present for the screening and post-screening discussion.  Maren founded manifest media in 2007 while studying communication design and documentary film at the Folkwang University of Arts in Germany. She is a filmmaker and designer by heart and searches for meaning and depth in all of her work. Maren Wickwire's documentaries and media work for nonprofits reflect her desire to see social change and justice. Her social and cultural studies brought her to work with Holocaust survivors as well as Arab Christians in the Westbank, underserved women in Tajikistan and ex-guerrilla fighters in Huanuco, Peru. She uses documentary film as a tool to raise awareness, bring hope and give a voice to the untold stories of injustice.

2013 Membership is back and half priced!  For $25.00, you can become an Overflow member and save 10% on all your purchases for the rest of 2013.  Hurry because the memberships will only be available through June 30 and then they're gone for good.

If you spend $10 a week or more on average at Overflow, this card will pay for itself and then some.  $10 is the equivalent of a small coffee each day Monday through Friday or a sandwich and latte on the weekend.  It's also great for purchasing coffee to brew at home!

Other events hosted in our building:

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