My Photo

Or receive updates by email:

Delivered by FeedBurner


FIND DIANE ON...



AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Get Our Newsletter:
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 30, 2012

    September's EcoCentric Mom Box Review

    This month's "Mom Box" from EcoCentric Mom contained a great assortment of cleaning products, personal care products, and even a few snacks.  


    IMG_2044  On the laundry front, the box included two sample pouches of Ecover Natural Laundry Powder ZERO, as in fragrance-free.  I'm partial to laundy powder as opposed to liquid in a plastic bottle, so I particularly like this sample. I should get four loads of laundry out of the pouches, given how little detergent my efficient, "high e" washing machine uses.

    The personal care products featured:

    Lotus Wei Joy Juice Mist, a combination of blood orange, Davana (strawberry-like) and Marigold essences, plus pink daisy. It comes in a glass bottle, with just a minimum plastic spray pump attached, which I appreciate, as I'm trying to keep my bathroom plastic-free.

    Beauty Without Cruelty Facial Cleanser. This is a lightly-foaming, soap-free cleanser, that is paraben free and has never been tested on animals. I like the slightly fruity scent. 

    Continue reading "September's EcoCentric Mom Box Review" »

    February 16, 2012

    Lead-Free Lipstick? Well...duh!

    LipsIsn't it common sense that we should NOT eat lead, even in minuscule amounts?

    We've gotten it out of paint and gasoline because of its links to birth defects and mental retardation. Says Health Canada, "Exposure to lead may have subtle effects on the intellectual development of infants and children. Infants and toddlers are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead because they are undergoing a period of rapid development; furthermore, their growing bodies absorb lead more easily and excrete lead less efficiently than adults. In addition, infants and young children are more likely to ingest lead because of their natural habit of putting objects into their mouths.

    "Once in the body, lead circulates in the blood and either builds up in bone or is eliminated from the body, mostly in urine. Lead can stay in the body for over 30 years following exposure."

    So the message should be: don't use lead, and especially don't eat it.

    Yet updated research from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found noticeable amounts of lead in over 400 brands of lipstick, including Revlon, Clinique, L'Oreal, Maybelline, Cover Girl, and Estee Lauder.  FDA says that it is not concerned because lipstick is a "topical" product that is not intended to be "ingested." In other words, the agency is acting as if lipstick stays on lips.

    But if you wear lipstick, you know that's not true. We lick our lips all day long, which means that we're eating lipstick all day long, and applying it all day long, too.

    Besides, says Mark Mitchell, M.D., MPH, the policy advisor of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice and co-chair of the Environmental Health Task Force for the National Medical Association, lead “builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels.”

    In January, reports Forbes, an advisory committee to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared there is no safe level of lead for children and stressed the importance of preventing lead exposure for kids and pregnant women. While lipstick is not sold to children, if you're a mother, aunt, grandmother, or babysitter, you know how hard it can be to keep kids away from make-up, especially lipstick.

    To be clear, the cosmetics companies are not intentionally adding lead to their product forumulations. But because lead is so prevalent in air, water, and minerals, it can appear as a trace contaminant in the raw ingredients companies use in manufacturing.

    Avon-CherryJubilee-Lpstck08-lgIf you want to buy lipstick, here are 11 brands that tested lead-free in 2007. Note that many are made by companies you'll recognize, like Avon, and are very affordable.

     

    November 08, 2011

    Use Black Friday Sales to Try New Green Products

    PurseIf the high price of some green goods has prevented you from buying them in the past, Black Friday - and Cyber Monday, the online shopping spree that happens four days after Thanksgiving - may offer the opportunity to finally give them a try. Retailers usually slash prices 30-50%, which helps make eco-friendly products more affordable. As we get closer to the big day - November 25 - I'll let you know about bargains I think are worthwhile, not because it's Black Friday particularly, but just because I think it's a smart way to use the power of your big green purse to send a message to manufacturers that green is the best "black" there is. For now, here are categories to consider if you want to make a shopping list.

    FOOD

    Organic food can cost as much as 30% more than food that's been conventionally grown using pesticides or under inhumane conditions for animals and people. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that staples like organic milk, meat, poultry and fresh vegetables will be on sale just because it's Black Friday. But specialty foods - like chocolate, tea and coffee, nuts, and dried fruits - are likely to have their prices slashed, particularly at more conventional grocery stores where they're seen as a premium item. I expect online retailers to offer bargains on gift packs of these items - but there's no reason why you can't buy them for yourself.

    ELECTRONICS and APPLIANCES

    I hate to encourage anyone to buy more electronics, given how much e-waste is piling up. However, if you're truly in need of a new phone, tablet, computer, or printer, Black Friday is the day to buy it. Do your research now so you can aim for the most energy-efficient, eco-friendly equipment; check this Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics to pick the most environmentally responsible company for the item you want. Plan now to recycle your old equipment when you replace it; stores like Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot accept almost any electronic device, regardless of the manufacturer. If you still don't have an energy-saving power strip, get one of those while you're at it. Appliances will include the federal government Energy Guide sticker to help you choose the refrigerator, freezer, washer or dryer that uses the least amount of energy.

    CLOTHING

    VestWhile you'll find fashion bargains galore on November 25, not many of them are likely to be green, especially at the mall. Sadly, stores like Macy's, Target, Ann Taylor, Chico's, Express, Coldwater Creek, and the Limited are embarrassingly limited when it comes to dresses, shirts, pants, and other couture made from organic or eco-friendly fibers. You might have some luck at H&M; the last time I was in there, I found skirts and blouses made from organic cotton, and some sweaters made from recycled polyester. If you're not looking for dressy work clothes, head over to Lands End, Northface, Patagonia, and REI. Patagonia has done a particularly good job of using recycled fibers to make its vests and jackets; plus, you can recycle old t-shirts and other clothes at Patagonia when you shop.

    JEWELRY

    More and more fine jewelry stores are offering bracelets, rings, necklaces and earrings made from recycled gold, reclaimed stones, and diamonds sourced from humane and fair trade mines. Before you buy, ask to see certification that shows where the jewels originally came from.

    TOWELS AND SHEETS

    Organic towels and sheets are a real luxury, and their usual high price shows it. But even their cost might come down on Black Friday; if it does, go for it! JC Penneys, Target, and Wal-Mart stock organic linens regularly; hopefully, they'll put them on sale November 25 along with the conventionally produced items. Check online or in the newspaper for "money off on anything" coupons.

    WINE, BEER, SPIRITS

    Most liquor stores sell organically produced wine, beer, vodka, gin, and possibly other spirits. Whether you're stocking up for the holidays or want to refill your fridge or wine cellar, take advantage of storewide discounts or sales on individual brands.

    SOAP, SHAMPOO, PERFUME, PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS

    Stores like Bath & Body Works, the Body Shop, and Origins increasingly sell soaps, shampoos, lotions, and cremes free of parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. Read labels carefully, and look for products packaged in paper, cardboard and glass rather than plastic.

    YOGURT AND BREAD MAKERS

    If you buy a lot of yogurt and bread, chances are you're throwing away a lot of plastic yogurt containers and paper bread wrappers. Pretty much every department store will have these two items on sale on Black Friday.

    WRAPPING PAPER AND HOLIDAY CARDS

    The "greenest" option is to use paper you saved from last year and to send e-cards. You can also wrap presents in fabrics, towels, or table cloths and napkins or bundle them into reusable shopping bags. But if it's paper you must have, look for 100% recycled paper or tree-free paper options in both wrapping and cards from Hallmark and Papyrus, among other shops.

    Don't forget your own shopping bag... your reusable one, of course!

    Related Posts:

    Recycling Your Computer Just Got Easier

    What if You Buy Nothing?

    How to Shop for Eco-friendly Clothing (Parts 1, 2, 3)

    Top Ten "Green" Thanksgiving Tips

    Give to Your Favorite Charity Whenever You Shop - At No Extra Cost to You

    For more ideas on how to be a green consumer this holiday season, check out the Green Moms Carnival this month, hosted by Betsy over at Eco-Novice.

     

    June 29, 2011

    Putting on Lipstick Shouldn't be so Risky. It Won't Be - if You Support the Safe Cosmetics Act

    Lips If you're anything like me, when you buy lipstick or eye make-up, it's because you want to look better, not feel worse. But many cosmetics contain questionnable ingredients that have been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and asthma and respiratory disease. I've switched to more eco-friendly, non-toxic personal care products, but shouldn't EVERY cosmetic be eco-friendly and non-toxic?

    With your participation and some determined work on Capitol Hill, it will be. Several members of Congress recently introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act, legislation that would phase out toxic ingredients in our make-up and other personal care products that have been linked to cancer, birth defects and developmental harm. The act would also create a health-based safety standard to protect not only us adults, but kids, the elderly, and people who work in salons and the cosmetics industries.

    Plus, the legislation would require companies to fully disclose all the ingredients their products contain so we consumers can read the labels and decide what we want to be exposed to. Finally, the new law would boost funding for the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Cosmetics and Colors so it can effectively oversee the cosmetics industry and better protect consumers.

    Continue reading "Putting on Lipstick Shouldn't be so Risky. It Won't Be - if You Support the Safe Cosmetics Act" »

    July 26, 2010

    Beauty...or the Beast? Depends on the Safe Chemicals Act.

    Lips Cosmetics and personal care products literally touch every part of our bodies. We've been convinced that they'll make us beautiful. They often make us feel better. But evidence is emerging that the cumulative use of these products may be contributing to asthma, the onset of puberty in girls as young as three years old, and even the feminization of baby boys. Because cosmetics, soaps and shampoos are washed down the drain, they get into our water system, where they're wreaking havoc on wildlife. And what about their relationship to breast cancer?

    While there's no specific link between any one product and breast cancer, scientific evidence is growing that women face some risk of contracting the disease due to their cumulative exposure to the chemicals in cosmetics and personal-care products.

    "Is there a direct connection we can make between the use of these products and breast cancer?" asks Dr. Julia Smith, the director of breast cancer screening and prevention at the Lynne Cohen Breast Cancer Preventive Care Program at the NYU Cancer Institute and Bellevue Medical Center, in New York City.  "No. But there are strong scientific suspicions that some of the chemicals found in the environment, including those used in cosmetics and other personal-care items, might increase the risk, especially if there is heavy exposure before the age of twenty-five." 

    That's because these are the years when breast tissue is developing and most susceptible to outside influences. It is possible that multiple exposures to common cosmetics could create a cumulative or "domino effect" that could ultimately result in the disease.

    Why aren't we safe?

    Eye makeup Despite these concerns, lipstick, eye liner, nail polish, shampoo, perfume, deodorant and the other concoctions we liberally apply to our faces, lips, eyes, noses, nails, heads, necks, legs, armpits and vaginas are among the least-regulated substances in the marketplace.

    It's true. The makers of cosmetics and personal-care products are not required to meet specific federal standards that guarantee our personal health and safety. The fedral Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufacturers to put a warning statement on the front of products that have not been tested that reads, "WARNING -- The safety of this product has not been determined." But not many of them follow the rules.

    Continue reading "Beauty...or the Beast? Depends on the Safe Chemicals Act." »

    July 20, 2009

    Environmental In-Box: Softlips Pure Organic Lip Conditioner

    Lips Are you paying attention to your lips?

    Considering how many times you lick them each day, maybe you should. Many conventional lip products are made from ingredients you'd never DREAM of wiping your tongue on, like pesticides, dyes, and parabens. Lipstick may even contain lead. Ewww!

    Good news: Conventional cosmetic companies like Softlips are extending their product lines to include pure organic lip conditioners in a variety of flavors.

    About the Product: Pure Softlips is USDA Organic Certified. It's made of 100% natural ingredients, 95% of which are organic. You can get it in five different flavors, including Acai Berry, Honeydew, Papaya, Pomegranate, and Peppermint.

    Softlips What We Like: In addition to the fact that Softlips uses certified ingredients, its price is comparable to conventional products (see below) and it's easy to buy in many retail outlets. Pure Softlips is cruelty free (animal testing is not conducted). In addition, the balm is sold in recyclable materials that include a minimum of plastic and are printed with vegetable-based ink. It's not too greasy but still leaves lips feeling soothed. The flavors are pleasant, and the fragrance is not overwhelming.

    There are no dyes or tints in Softlips, so don't expect it to impart anything more than a subtle shine - which is just fine if you're planning to pucker up and don't want to leave any evidence behind.

    Are you are allergic to gluten? Softlips pure organic lip conditioner is gluten-free (other lip glosses may list wheat as an ingredient). 

    What We Don’t Like: Softlips' entire product line needs the same make-over it's given to its "Pure" brand. The company's standard products contain nasty compounds like petroleum, toluene and parabens. That's a no-no for Big Green Purse fans. We hope the company will raise its entire product line to "Pure" standards.

    Plus, five of us in the office tried different Pure Softlips flavors. We all liked the tastes - but we found the applicator tube itself way too small...and not because we have big lips! Softlips could double the size of the applicator, make the product last twice as long, and reduce packaging that comes from having to buy two applicators rather than one.


    Product Comparison:

    Continue reading "Environmental In-Box: Softlips Pure Organic Lip Conditioner" »

    EcoCentric Mom
    Everbuying led light
    Green by Answers.com
    GSHNetworkMember125

    Categories