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At the same time, Leonard boosts practical projects that do sound promising. Chief among them is GoodGuide.com, a free, research-based website that rates consumer products according to their environmental, social, and health impacts. Equally important, consumers can click on the link "send a message to the manufacturer" that allows you to do just that, questioning, for instance, their use of toxic chemicals or criticizing their pollution record. Combine that with sending additional messages through your votes and political activism, and you might even begin to see some positive change.
But remember: reading a book (even if it's printed on recycled paper) isn't enough to keep more stuff from happening—which is why we have to get our own stuff together and figure out what to do.
Diane Cole is the author of the memoir After Great Pain: A New Life Emerges, and a contributing editor of U.S. News & World Report. Tell us what you think about this article by e-mail at letters@psychnetwork er.org, or at www.psychotherapynetwork er.org. Log in and you'll find the comment section on every page of the online Magazine section.