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Close to home with Mary Beth Breckenridge

Slavery Footprint calculator eye-opening

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: November 11, 2011

I have 50 slaves working for me.

That's the disturbing revelation I got after taking a quiz at Slavery Footprint, an online calculator and app that showed how much of my life depends on forced labor.

The quiz asked a lot about how I live -- the number and types of rooms in my house, the foods I eat, even the toiletries and sporting equipment I use. I had to take my best guess on a lot of the answers, and I tried to err on the side of overestimating.

I was staggered by the result. I expected an item like my diamond engagement ring to up my score (although, in fairness, it was purchased decades before I'd ever heard the term blood diamond). But who knew my pillows and athletic shoes would be among my worst offenders?

I wish the site had more information to help consumers make better choices, but I'm inspired to seek out more -- and to redouble my efforts to buy American.

 

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