Posts Tagged ‘Settlements’

Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I’ve had my SodaStream Penguin since the company sent me one to try out in 2009 and, as reported on this site, I love making seltzer at home. Or at least, I used to love it. A couple of years ago, a politically active friend told me that the company operates in a West Bank settlement, a fact I found alarming and upsetting. It was also a fact I had trouble verifying in a cursory Google search. Since then my roommate and I, who both love bubbly water, have done a fair amount of research online and through conversations with friends working in the field of human rights. Verdict: SodaStream does operate in illegally occupied land in the West Bank and therefore will receive no more money from our housefold.

My first romp with the Penguin

My first romp with the Penguin

To meet our cravings for bubbles, we decided to find alternatives to purchasing SodaStream CO2 cartridge refills (SodaStream seltzer makers use proprietary cartridges, which theoretically require paying them and only them for more gas when the bubbles run flat). We haven’t quite figured out a way around this, though according to the internet, it’s possible to buy cartridges from other companies that fit the Penguin. In the meantime, we haven’t used the device.

Also in the meantime, Scarlett Johansson‘s decision to serve as a spokesperson for the company — and to defend its business operations — has brought a lot of attention to the topics of homemade seltzer, celebrity endorsements, human rights violations and peace in the Middle East. I have to say, on a personal note, I find her stance surprising. Before this move, I have admired her progressive politics and outspoken support for reelecting the President, defending women’s health and rights in the U.S. and reducing poverty around the world.

For more background on this brouhaha, here are some handy links:

Miss Addams, garbage inspector

Monday, July 20, 2009

Last night, while waiting out service changes and delays on a very muggy Subway platform, my friend Linda and I got to talking about historical muckrackers, specifically, Jane Addams.

Jane Addams

Jane Addams

It turns out Addams, in addition to Nobel-prize winning social justice work (including founding the Settlement House movement), was so concerned with the unsanitary conditions of trash piling up on the streets of Chicago’s 19th Ward that she applied to be a garbage collector. The mayor turned her down, but after pestering appointed her to the role of neighborhood garbage inspector overseeing trash collection. Details of this feminist trash story and many other anecdotes from Addams’ life can be found between the covers of Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy by Judith Bloom Fradin.

Thanks for the book rec, Linda!

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