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Why My Purse is Green

Because I believe…

  • the fastest, most effective way to stop polluters is by pressuring them in the marketplace
  • women can be the world’s most powerful economic and environmental force if we intentionally shift our spending to the best green products and services
  • women have the power right now to solve many of our most serious environmental problems by using our green purses to make a difference
  • women must act – intentionally, collectively, and with the full force of our purse power behind us – if we hope to leave our children and grandchildren a better world.
  • « November 2013 | Main | January 2014 »

    December 08, 2013

    Planning a Renovation? Don't Forget to Get the Lead Out!

    Woman house paint Are you planning a home renovation for 2014? Have fun coming up with new interior designs and imaginative ways to use your space! But while you’re plotting for the new, make sure to take proper precautions as you get rid of the old. Why? Because the furnishings and construction materials found in many older homes actually contain dangerous chemicals and compounds that can cause serious health problems if they’re underestimated or ignored. This post, sponsored by Newcastle Permanent, highlights several problems home renovations could create.

    LEAD

     Renovation and remodeling have been proven to result in lead poisoning in children, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The lead primarily comes from old paint.  Power sanding and demolishing walls and ceilings can release toxic dust, which can poison kids and pregnant women in particular. Your contractor can do a test to detect the presence of lead in wall, ceiling, door and window trim paint.

    To be safe, if your house was built before 1978, assume the worst so you’ll take the best precautions. Work with a contractor who is certified in safe lead removal practices. Seal off the area that is being renovated with plastic sheeting and make sure the paint is being removed using a wet sand or wet scrape process, which reduces the presence of dust and fumes. Clean up thoroughly every day. And keep pregnant women, babies and children, and even pets far away from harmful dust and debris.

    Continue reading "Planning a Renovation? Don't Forget to Get the Lead Out!" »

    "Green" Holiday Rentals Powered by Solar Energy

    Green living doesn’t need to stop when you take a vacation. An increasing number of properties are available that offer close-to-nature lodgings that tread lightly on the earth. 

     

    Fern Our sponsors at Perfect Stays, a UK-based rental or “letting” agency specializing in unique homes for holidays, special occasions, and short breaks, has drawn our attention to the properties at The Emerald, a five-acre estate in England’s Cornwall district that has achieved the UK’s highest level of sustainability (code level 6).

     

    The properties include five different rental homes (including "Fern," pictured left) and several additional facilities (like an indoor swimming pool and a gym) powered by solar energy, to the point that the entire property is carbon neutral. Rainwater is captured from the roof, while grey water from the kitchen sink, bath, and shower is recycled to maximize water conservation and ensure water is abundantly available for Solar farmthe landscape as well as the house. Waste paper is recycled on the property. Lights are illuminated with energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs, though the properties are also designed to maximize use of sunlight indoors to minimize the need for electricity. Appliances are energy efficient and save water. Each house is cleaned with products free of toxic chemicals and compounds.  

     

    Kitchens in the houses can be stocked with locally-sourced food, including milk, eggs, bread, and cheese. If you want to venture into the beautiful Cornwall region rather than hit amusement parks or shopping malls, you can go kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and paddle boarding at one of the nearby beaches. Or if you prefer, bicycle along the coast. Fine dining is available at local pubs rather than chain restaurants. Enjoy the region’s history at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, or at Pendennis Castle.

    Continue reading ""Green" Holiday Rentals Powered by Solar Energy" »

    December 06, 2013

    Idling Engines Make Air Quality Worse, Especially in Winter

    No idling The colder it gets outside, the more people want to heat up their cars inside - even before they get in the car. Leaving an engine to idle -- in other words, turning the car on and leaving it on when it is parked for longer than about the wait at a stop light -- wreaks havoc on clean air. That's because when your vehicle burns gas, it emits dirty particles and toxic chemicals that combine in the atmosphere to produce acid rain and ground-level ozone or smog that can be very harmful to our lungs. Air pollution is particularly tough on kids, reports the terrific non-profit group Moms Clean Air Force, because they actually breathe faster than grown-ups and inhale more air per pound of body weight. Some communities, like this inspiring group in Nova Scotia, Canada, have banded together to put a stop to idling at schools, sporting events, and shopping malls.

    Continue reading "Idling Engines Make Air Quality Worse, Especially in Winter" »

    Use the 'So Kind' Registry to Simplify Your Holidays

    Sokind_logo If right about now you're really fretting about the commercialism of the holidays, take a deep breath, settle back, and click on the SoKind Registry. It's a one-stop way to give meaningful gifts without getting caught up in the expensive "more stuff" trap that often bogs down even the most conscientious among us.

    The registry is the brain child of the wonderful Center for a New American Dream, the same folks who have been inspiring people to simplify the holidays by focusing on what's meaningful, not only on what can be bought. The So Kind Registry works in two ways. One, it encourages people to create their own non- or not-too commercial wish lists for things like music lessons, homemade dinners, museum memberships, babysitting help, or their favorite charities. Two, it allows gift givers to skip the mall and a bunch of "stuff" in favor of making gifts of time or donations to people who would really enjoy and value them. Like the idea but don't know what to put on your registry? The website offers this handy list of gift ideas to get you thinking. 

    Continue reading "Use the 'So Kind' Registry to Simplify Your Holidays" »

    December 04, 2013

    Swap Houses for Holidays to Help You Stay Green

    If you love to travel but hate the impact that many hotels may have on the environment, consider house swapping. Never heard of it? House swapping, says LoveHomeSwap.com, our sponsors for this article, is the practice of literally exchanging a stay in your house with people living in a house in a place you want to visit.

     

    Home swap For example, I could swap a stay in my home, which is just outside Washington, D.C., with someone who lives in London (or with this gorgeous house in Bali). I would stay in their house, and they would stay in mine.  Usually, the stays last about the same amount of time, but they don’t have to occur simultaneously. I have friends who regularly swap houses with people all over the world. If their guests want to visit at a time when they’re not traveling, they decamp to their kids’ house or to a neighbor’s or friend’s. It has worked so well for them, they have managed it in Maryland, San Francisco, Seattle, Paris, the Dordogne region in France, Italy, Belgium…you get the picture.

    Continue reading "Swap Houses for Holidays to Help You Stay Green" »

    December 02, 2013

    How Sustainable is Your Diet? Why Not Add Bugs?

    When you think of a sustainable diet, do you think of bugs? Normally, we wouldn't. But this provocative post from our sponsors at Ecocleen did. It's so interesting, we wanted to share it with you.

    It's clear to many people that as the world's population rapidly grows (it's expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2060), many aspects of our current way of life simply aren't sustainable. Our meat-intensive diet is just one of those things.

      Cows trough Enviro Impact of a Meat-Based Diet

     Many people have become concerned about eating burgers, not only because they can be high in calories and saturated fat, but because producing meat takes a big toll on the environment. Let's start with 13 - that's the number of pounds of grain (5.9kg) needed to produce just one pound (450g) of meat. Meanwhile, it takes 11 times as much fossil fuel to make animal protein as the equivalent plant protein.

    While many vegetarians believe that killing animals for meat is morally wrong, many also give up meat because of these environmental concerns. But while it's clear that we need to find a greener way of feeding ourselves in the future, the answer to our grumbling stomachs doesn't necessarily need to exclude animal matter.

    Bugs for Dinner

    Continue reading "How Sustainable is Your Diet? Why Not Add Bugs?" »

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