Many companies have long made the commitment to be ethically responsible to their consumers, which in part explains their financial success. Some companies, like Aveda, and, are taking it one step further by pledging to be responsible to the environment as well as society by educating consumers and aiding them in making socially- and environmentally- responsible purchases. As part of its 2007 holiday collection, Aveda is introducing makeup gift sets in boxes wrapped in lokta paper. This type of paper is specially crafted for Aveda through its partnership with Nepalese women whose communities and families benefit from the income generated from the sustainable business.

Like Aveda, believes in holding ourselves responsible to more than just our direct customers.  we are responsible for trying to better their communities too. has just teamed up with Better World Books to aid in promoting literacy worldwide through the use of used books and textbooks. Now, when a seller looks up their book on and sees an unsatisfactory buyback price for his/her used textbook, he/she can donate it to Better World Books, which will either give the book directly to the communities that need it, or sell it to fund literacy programs and initiatives locally, nationally and worldwide. Donating books benefits communities in two ways: 1) books are given directly to communities who need them, and 2) unwanted books are recycled instead of being tossed away and ending up in a landfill. The only conditions for books to be accepted for donation are that they are in good enough shape to be used again and that they have a publishing date after 2001. and Better World Books will even pay for users to ship their books for donation, so donors don’t have to pay any money out-of-pocket! For more information on how to donate, please go to

Contributors to a new Web site called Connexions are leveling the academic playing field for people around the world. Connexions allows teachers and professors to write and upload chunks of information called “modules”[1] to the Web site so that potential students around the world can access them–all for free. The modules can then be pieced together in any combination to create a whole textbook that can be modified to suit each classroom or individual’s needs. If a student wants to print the final ‘textbook’, they can do it through a third-party printing Web site like Qoop for about $24, which is considerably less than the average $50-$90 textbook price tag.

Web sites like Connexions are making it easy for academics to indulge in their passion for teaching and sharing their knowledge without all the hassle of going through publishers. Even when authors get their textbooks published, it takes a long time to make changes necessary to keep the textbooks up-to-date with current developments.

“For example, to get Pluto out of all of our nation’s textbooks will take a decade,” said Connexions founder professor Richard Baraniuk, of Rice University. “By then, Pluto will be reinstated as a planet, so we’ll have to put it back in.”

An academic database like Connexions keeps textbooks fresh and current, without passing the price of revisions onto students. Just like, Connexions is another way for students to get an education without paying the high prices.

Students can use in conjunction with Connexions to buy books that may be discussed in the module lectures. For example, a student who is using an Introduction to American Literature module can compare prices for the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on and end up paying less than they would pay at the college bookstore.



1. Rawlinson , Linnie. ” Throw away your school books: here comes textbook 2.0.” 08 NOV 2007 09 NOV 2007. <>