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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.
  • « October 2007 | Main | December 2007 »

    November 29, 2007

    Not the Kind of Friends the Earth Needs

    When it comes to friends – of the Earth, anyway – Jennifer Anniston must count herself out. Jen_blog_11 Why else would she endorse bottled water, a product that’s been universally panned for wasting billions of gallons of oil, creating tons of trash, and contributing to climate change?

    Maybe it has something to do with the deal she got with Glaceau’s smartwater brand. According to a corporate statement, “Jennifer recently became an investor in the company and is even getting actively involved in the business.” She’s also lending her image, for the first time in the U.S., to full-page ads that are showing up in magazines aimed squarely at women. You don’t have to be a genius to get the campaign: “smart” women drink bottled water.

    Duhhh. Despite the name, there’s nothing “smart” about a product that industry-wide wastes 2 gallons of water for every 1 that’s bottled, that depends on nonrenewable resources for packaging and shipping, and that is barely recycled.

    Glaceau’s website proclaims, “Just so you know, our two favorite subjects in school were science and nature. ,,,we love to hydrate people (responsibly, of course), and we have a fresh new approach to water. Enjoy…one sip may result in a boycott of other beverages.”

    Hmmm. Give you any ideas?

    Rohan Oza, smartwater’s senior vice president of marketing, says “To us, Jennifer truly embodies what smartwater is all about as she combines substance and style like nobody else.”

    Too bad Jennifer Anniston doesn’t embody a friend of the earth.


    Be Jen’s Friend – Send her a reusable water bottle

    Maybe Jennifer Anniston would be more eco-friendly if she had a reusable water bottle. You can send her one, along with a note urging her to save her image for products that actually protect the planet, at:

    Jennifer Aniston

    Brillstein-Grey Entertainment 9150 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 350 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 USA

    November 19, 2007

    DON'T Use Your Purse November 23

    Big Green Purse is all about ways you can use your consumer clout to protect the environment. One way is to buy sustainable products that do better than their competitors at reducing climate change, cleaning up the air and water, and protecting wildlife. But another is to buy less in the first place. By keeping your money in your purse, you take a stand against unnecessary and excessive consumption and a lifestyle focused on shopping rather than living. In my neighborhood, I’m amazed at the number of stores that have posted signs on their doors saying they’ll be open on Thanksgiving. I expect it from 7-11 –- not from my food coop or the quaint boutiques.

    Bndred_23rd That’s why on the Friday after Thanksgiving – November 23 – I’ll be joining  thousands of environmentalists, social activists and concerned citizens in as many as 65 countries who will hit the streets for a 24-hour consumer fast in celebration of the 15th annual Buy Nothing Day, a global cultural phenomenon that has been gaining momentum as the climate crisis drives average people to seek out greener alternatives to unrestrained consumption.

    Says the nonprofit Adbusters, which launched the event, “Timed to coincide with one of the busiest shopping days on the US retail calendar, as well as the unofficial start of the international holiday shopping season, Buy Nothing Day has taken many shapes, from relaxed family outings, to free, non-commercial street parties, to politically charged public protests. Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending."

    In past years, notes Adbusters, street activists have proven particularly imaginative in their celebrations, bringing zombie marches, credit-card cut-ups, and shopaholic clinics to malls and public squares in an effort to expose the environmental and social consequences of First World over-consumption.

    Kalle Lasn, the co-founder of the Adbusters Media Foundation, explains that “while most participants used to see the day simply as an escape from the marketing mind games and frantic consumerism that have come to characterize modern life, the focus has since shifted in light of the new political mood surrounding climate change.

    “So much emphasis,” he notes, “has been placed on buying carbon offsets and compact fluorescent lightbulbs and hybrid cars that we are losing sight of the core cause of our environmental problems: we consume far too much.”

    “Buy Nothing Day isn't just about changing your routine for one day. It’s about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment. With over six billion people on the planet, it is the responsibility of the most affluent – the upper 20% that consumes 80% of the world’s resources – to set out on a new path.”

    So how about it? DON’T use your purse on November 23. And if you’re so inclined, write in and let us know what you didn’t buy.

    November 09, 2007

    Friday Feedback: Here's What YOU Have to Say

    So many of you are sending such thoughtful comments and questions, I want to share them with the rest of the Big Green Purse blog community. Keep the feedback coming – either here or to me personally at I’ll be posting regular roundup columns, and would love to highlight what you have to say.

    ** The blogs on lead-free toys generated a lot of queries.  Safe_toys_3

    Some readers wondered where to find home lead-test kits (try Joan, a Tupperware representative, wrote to say that Tupperware toys are lead free and suggested people check out Tuppertoys.

    **  My recommendations to switch to compact fluorescent lightbulbs also got your attention. Wrote Timothy Latz, editor of,  “While CFL's are an energy efficent way to reduce energy and lower the carbon footprint, more attention needs to be paid to developing recycling programs to keep them out of the landfills…While some cities offer this service, there are also web-based companies like that cost a bit of money to send back bulbs for recycling. IKEA is the only US retailer that currently will accept CFL bulbs for recycling, hopefully other bigger chains will follow..Great article on the subject. It's important to demand from retailers a little green accountability!” I agree, Tim. Thanks for the info.

    **  Jay Holgate of,  loves our One in a Million campaign to encourage people to shift money to eco-products. “Our Atlanta courier company (Green Express) switched to hybrids in January and we have already saved over $3000 in fuel cost. We have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 tons since January. We also have reduced our paper usage by 74% and we recycle almost everything.  Keep up the good work.” Thanks, Jay. You, too.

    **  Robin of Monterey Bay, CA, wrote to say “I love hearing the truth: "Just how does Crest slip a little Nature into its tubes? (I POSTED)  Mostly, by the power of suggestion." Thanks, Robin, and thanks to everyone else for sharing your ideas and input. Keep those e-mails coming!

    November 05, 2007

    GUEST POST: Another "One in a Million" Makes a Difference

    Mhunt_2 "Diane, Just writing to let you know that my morning routine now consists of Organic Raisin Bran, Free trade, organic, shade grown coffee and organic soy milk. The last time I tallied the cost over the course of a year's consumption, it was around $650 for this household. 

    I started my swap out with Kellogg Organic Raisin Bran, but my corner store no longer carries it. The local Trader Joe's picked up the slack with their Raisen Bran Clusters, which I actually like better than Kellogg’s (sorry Kellogg, you snoozed and lost). 

    This weekend I also found a GREAT coffee bean, also at Trade Joe's that doesn't need cream to soften it. It's their "Cafe Femenino," which I picked up because the label described it as "bright, nutty and sweet" (and it tiz). What I read on the back of the can later has sealed the deal for all future purchasing. "[Cafe Fermenino] produced by an all women organization in a effort to offer the women of Peru a better life."

    What a great way to start each day. I support fair world trade, help women in Peru have a better life, keep the birdies of Peru happy as well, not to mention lowering my cholesterol while increasing my protein intake. Not a bad swap out at all.  On top of it, that new little morning habit reminds me of other "green" habits I could be creating.

    I should probably write Trader Joe's and thank them, but first, thank YOU for putting the swap out idea out there. I'd like to read what others are doing, too."


    What a great example, Mary. Thanks for sharing - and for putting other inspiring suggestions on your own blog,

    Want to join Mary in switching to eco-friendly products? Get more information on the "One in a Million" campaign at

    EcoCentric Mom
    Everbuying led light
    Green by