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Green Purse Alerts!

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.
  • September 28, 2009

    Coffee Mugs Matter

    Disposable cup

    In 2005, Americans used and discarded 14.4 billion disposable paper cups for hot beverages, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters of Vermont calculated. That’s so many cups that if put end to end they would circle the earth fifty-five times! Based on anticipated growth of specialty coffees, reports Green Mountain, that number will grow to 23 billion by 2010-enough to circle the globe eighty-eight times.

    It’s one thing to pay two or three or even four dollars for a cup of coffee. It’s another to throw cup after cup away. If we do it every day, it amounts to almost twenty-five pounds of waste every year. The petrochemicals consumed in making the cups just one coffee drinker tosses could heat 8,300 homes for one year. Carting them to a landfill burns additional energy, never mind the fact that each one takes about five hundred years to decompose.

    What good does it do if you buy the “right” coffee (i.e., organic, shade-grown, Fair Trade Certified) if you drink it out of a paper or Styrofoam cup you just toss in the garbage?

    Beat the disposable rap by using your own mug. Every coffee shop sells them. Some places even give you a little discount if you use your own cup instead of theirs- if they don’t, ask for one. They’ll get the message after a while.

    And if you forget your mug and need a take-out cup, ask the shop if they’re using the new ones made from recycled fibers that save trees. Do they make a difference? Starbucks’ recycled paper cup protects about 78,000 trees a year. Another option? Coffee cups you can compost.

    Wondering what kind of coffee to buy? We've already figured it out!

    And here are some suggestions if you're in the market for an eco-friendlier coffee pot.

    September 15, 2009

    How Eco Is Your Coffee Pot?

    Consumers buy more automatic-drip coffeemakers than any other small kitchen appliance, so it’s no wonder they use about $400 million worth of electricity just brewing coffee every year. To make an energy-efficient but still high-voltage cup of java, start with the pot:

    Bodum French pressBodum Chambord’s elegant but inexpensive model (pictured left) makes delicious coffee; the Columbia design contains the coffee in a thermal carafe to keep the beverage warm without the need for an electric hot plate.

    Chemex manual drip coffeepots. This hourglass-shaped flask can use recycled paper filters. Make as little as one cup of coffee, or as many as ten.

    Chef’s Choice electric French press plus. This environmentally-friendly technology combines the French press and an energy-saving electric kettle in one pot.

    One-cup coffeemakers. These efficient pots can brew coffee in less than a minute, eliminating the need to prepare a whole pot. Check the housewares section of Target, Wal-Mart, or your local department store.   

    When buying a new coffeemaker:

    Consider how much coffee you consume at any given time. If you drink only one cup of coffee in the morning, and maybe one again in the evening, don’t buy a machine that automatically brews eight or ten or twelve cups. You’ll be wasting energy, water, coffee-and ultimately, money.

    Get a carafe. Do you sip coffee sporadically through the morning or afternoon? Rather than keep a pot warm on an electric hot plate, buy a good insulated carafe to keep your "joe" hot through the end of the day.

    Looking for an electric-drip appliance? Choose one that shuts off automatically.

    And if you like to grind your own beans, try:

    HS4073SS Danesco manual coffee grinder. A stainless steel grinder with a clip canister, it lets you grind coffee beans fine or coarse using no kilowatts but your own. 

     Wondering what kind of coffee to buy? We've already figured it out!

    What about your mug? Look here.

    EcoCentric Mom
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