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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.
  • February 12, 2013

    U.S. - China Greener Consumption Forum to Focus on Consumer "Super Powers" and Strategies to Use Consumer Clout to Protect the Environment

    Forum Header

     The U.S. – China Greener Consumption Forum will mark the first-ever gathering of women leaders from the world's two "consumer super powers" to meet and address the environmental challenges their countries face due to consumption. The Forum, to be held March 22, 2013 at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., will convene leading consumer advocates, green entrepreneurs, scientists and public policy specialists to explore ways to marshal the "power of the purse" to protect the planet.

    Continue reading "U.S. - China Greener Consumption Forum to Focus on Consumer "Super Powers" and Strategies to Use Consumer Clout to Protect the Environment" »

    January 25, 2013

    Green Consumer Clout Motivates Tide to Clean Up Its Act

    Think you can't tell a Fortune 500 company what to do?

    Think again.

    Tide When Women's Voices for the Earth released a report noting that Tide detergent contained chemicals that could actually be harmful to kids, millions of consumers were outraged. They were buying the Procter & Gamble (P&G) product to keep their children clean and safe. Yet according to the report, Tide actually contained the cancer-causing chemicals 1,4- dioxane at levels safety experts considered threatening.

    Mom blogger and consumer activist Lori Alper sprang into action by launching a petition drive on  urging the company to ditch the dangerous compounds. 

    Today - 78,000 signatures later - Tide capitulated. In response to consumer demand and a lawsuit filed in California by As You Sow, P&G agreed to phase out the carcinogens by September 2013.

    Alper-462-200x300 “When I started my petition on, I knew that Procter & Gamble listened to consumer feedback, and I was hopeful we could get this dangerous chemical out of our laundry,” said Alper. “I can’t wait to see what we can do next.”

    May 16, 2012

    Here's a Fun and Easy Way to Find Out About New Green Products

    Here at Big Green Purse, we believe that women can help create a healthier, safer world by shifting spending to greener products and services. But finding out what those products and services are can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Our website gives you the low-down on what's available, but sometimes it makes a difference if you can actually see your green options and give them a try yourself.

    EcoMom---300-x-250-Rectangle-32Thankfully, EcoCentric Mom has come to the rescue!  This new monthly product delivery service focuses specifically on finding healthy, natural and organic products for babies, moms, and moms-to-be. I'm delighted to report that I've signed on to be one of their two "Green Living Experts!"

    Here's how it works: Once you sign up, every month you will receive a box full of new products to try. You can choose from three box options:

    The Mom Discovery Box is for any mom, from the first timer to someone whose kids may have already left the nest. Each month your box will contain products that range from skin care; make-up; healthy home; organic non GMO foods, snacks and treats; fair trade; nutritional and wellness products; spa/pampering.

    The Mom-to-Be Discovery Box products will range from skin care, make-up, organic whole food and prenatal vitamins to non-GMO foods and treats andproducts specifically developed for mom-to-be. Once your baby has arrived, you can move to the Ecocentric Mom Discovery Box and continue to pamper the new eco mom you've become.

    The Baby Discovery Box is for newborns to 18 months. Each month you'll be introduced to items ranging from diapers and wipes, skin creams and washes, and non-toxic BPA-free toys to feeding products, organic 1st foods and organic cotton clothes.

    You can get more information and sign up here!

    Says Rebecca Attanasio, EcoCentric Mom's founder, "If anyone can make a difference, we believe a mom can.  Let's face it...moms are an unstoppable driving force and when it comes to the well-being of our children...we're a power to be reckoned with.  Make your voice heard by only purchasing food and Thumb_greenproducts from clean, natural and safe brands."

    That's the Big Green Purse message in a nutshell! Thumbs up, Ecocentric Mom!!


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    March 04, 2011

    How to Shop for Eco-Friendly Clothes - Part 2: Try TENCEL or Lyocell

    Tencel_the_new_age_fiber If we were to separate clothing into categories, somewhere in between natural fibers like cotton or hemp and man-made petroleum fibers like polyester, we'd find Lyocell, "a natural cellulose" product. Lyocell  is made by processing wood pulp into fiber so it can be woven into fabric and sewn into socks, underwear, pants, and blouses, among many other fashion options.

    Lyocell, which is also sold under the trade name TENCEL® or Lenzing Lyocell, offers several advantages over conventional cotton and even rayon, another fiber made from cellulose. The trees Lyocell is made from are grown without pesticides, often in sustainably managed forests on land that's not suitable for other crops. Though harsh chemicals are needed to soften the wood pulp so it can be converted into fiber, the chemicals are captured in a "closed loop" processing system so they can be reused rather than discharged into local water supplies. (NOTE: The Organic Clothing blog cautions people who are highly chemically sensitive to be alert to possible allergic reactions to TENCEL.)

    Lyocell also offers advantages over cotton when it comes to water. According to this excellent analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council, unless the cotton is only grown using rain water, Lyocell can end up using far less water to produce than either conventional or organic cotton. Sustainable textiles expert Coral Rose notes, "I strongly believe Lenzing’s products are a key component to any sustainable fiber strategy, when considering all the environmental impacts associated with fiber growing and production." 

    New Innovations in TENCEL® are giving way to several variations of the fabric. TENCEL® MICRO is a very smooth silky fiber, while TENCEL® with Multitouch can be used to make heavier fabrics like denim.
    Shopping for TENCEL®

    Forever 21 blazer TENCEL® products are widely available, some at very reasonable prices. Forever 21, for example, offers a severl TENCEL-based garments like this blazer.

    You can also find a huge selection of TENCEL® clothing at Tianello.

    To try out a TENCEL® sheet set, check out Downlite  or even your local Bed Bath and Beyond Store.


    Use Your Purse!

    The U.S. has an extremely high average fiber consumption per capita, approximately 41.8 kg per year compared to the international average of 10.5 kg per year. Clearly, how we choose to spend our money on clothing directly affects the environment. The next time you are faced with a choice between TENCEL® and cotton, choose the most eco-friendly option: TENCEL®.

    For More Information...

    Don't miss Part 1 of our series, "How to Shop for Eco-Friendly Clothing"

    You can learn more about Tencel if you read this interview with Coral Rose, who has been a featured speaker at events such as The ECO-SHOW, All Things Organic (ATO), and Texworld-New York, to name a few. In this article Coral points out how rare it is to find a company that answers the questions “what is the source of our raw materials? [and] Where were the materials harvested, processed, produced?” Her opinion on the environmental impact of fiber growing and production is that Lenzing Modal and Tencel come out on top.

     Modal, which is also manufactured by Lenzing, is made from beech trees. Modal is highly absorbent and, like Tencel, resists fading.  100% Modal  is most often made into towels or bedding, though it blends very well with cotton and is another great choice for clothing.

    February 22, 2011

    Big Green Purse receives "Image of the Future" Award at Davos Communication Forum

    Ist1_4051899-environmental-conservation The World Communication Forum recently recognized me and Big Green Purse with its global "Image of the Future" prize. The prize was awarded by a committee composed of 30 communications professionals from 20 countries in recognition of "the manager or designer who has created the best innovative brand and/or image," particularly when it comes to protecting the environment.

    "Thank you for your collaboration, for the wonderful work you're doing, [and] for your contribution to  communications and the eternal values you're successfully conveying to other people," said the Forum's Media Manager Helen Brandt . "We highly appreciate your work."

    (You can see more Big Green Purse honors here.)

    August 16, 2010

    It's Time for BlogHer to be Green - Inside and Out.

     BlogHer is the world's largest network of women bloggers. As such, it commands substantial financial sponsorships from multi-national conglomerates, many of whom jump at the chance to peddle their wares to the thousands of attendees who throng BlogHer's annual conferences. After all, these women are bloggers: their online presence functions like a Megaphone giant megaphone to the rest of the world. What company wouldn't want to promote its products to so many potential free advertisers?

    How "green" the BlogHer conferences are has become increasingly controversial over the past few years. Last year, an uproar ensued when the group's conference seemed to have been commandeered by Pepsi and other companies that for three days bombarded conference-goers with trashy swag. I was on BlogHer's "Green Team"; the victory we thought we'd won convincing Pepsi not to hand out bottled water was undercut by all the soda bottles and other junk companies peddled right and left throughout the event.

    This year, I did not attend the conference. But by all reports, the swag was much more restrained. Still, the confab was sponsored by a bevy of companies promoting the kind of throwaway "stuff" Annie Leonard shined such a bright spotlight on in her searing online documentary, The Story of Stuff. To wit, not only did the companies give away a lot of junk - they also sponsored a suite where conference goers could throw it away (or "recycle" it to places like homeless shelters, begging the question: if you don't want it, why do you think a homeless person does?).

    Continue reading "It's Time for BlogHer to be Green - Inside and Out." »

    June 03, 2010

    Florida Resident Shifts $1,137 to Organic Foods, Native Plants & Worm Poop

    Kimbutton2 Worm poop? It's not as crazy as it sounds (see post below). Worm castings (as they're more delicately called) make great organic fertilzer. They're also a terrific choice if you're looking for ways to shift your spending to greener products and services -- in this case, away from concentrated agricultural chemicals and towards all-natural soil amendments. That's just one of the choices Kimberly Button of Orlando made when she joined the Big Green Purse One in a Million campaign. What about others?

    Well, Kim also started buying more organic chocolates and tea (who can blaim her?), organic groceries,and organically-based personal care products like body lotions and shampoos. She printed her business cards on recycled paper and bought recycled envelopes, too. Plus, she bought a re-usable stainless steel lunch container so she could forego plastic bags or takeout boxes. All told, she shifted more than $1,000 in just a few months, qualifying her to become a One in a Million member.

    Now, you might think it was a "no brainer" for Kim to put her money where her mouth is. After all, she is a green living consultant who has founded her own sustainable business and website. (Make sure you check out her work at GreenWell Consulting and GetGreenBeWell). But she still has to manage a budget, make choices when she shops, and evaluate trade-offs.

    So I asked her, "What inspired you to make the shifts to greener products and services?" "I started living greener because of health problems that weren't being adressed by modern medicine - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia," she said. "After quickly realizing the positive health benefits of living green, I really became more in tune with how my decisions directly or indirectly affect the health of the planet as a whole. It's a "Do unto others...." mentality that I have now.  What do my excessive spending habits do to the livelihoods of individuals less fortunate than us around the world?"  
    Then I wanted to know, "What was easy about the shifts? What was more challenging?"  "Buying organic and healthier foods was definitely easier. There's an instant benefit there.  And buying green cleaners is a no-brainer. Same cost, or less, for the same cleaning power. Paying much more for healthier personal care products can be challenging sometimes, since the cost is often SO much more than the cheap stuff, but these are products that are being absorbed by your skin, so the health benefits to me are more important. I just find ways to use less stuff, and the savings justify the costs!"
    Being intentional about how she's spending her money has also inspired Kim to plan for the future. "I hope to invest in larger, more expensive items such as rain barrels, a composter, a drip irrigation system and even a hydroponic garden system," she vows. "I know these are so important, but the initial expense can be quite expensive, especially when it also involves some modifications to your home."

    In the meantime, Kim will contine to make affordable shifts in her day-to-day purchases that benefit her as well as the environment.

    Kim's Shifts in 2010

    January Recycled Envelopes 6.50
    February Biodynamic Lotion (Clearance) 5.00
    February Organic Tea House 4.00
    February Organic Groceries 125.00
    February Non-Profit Org. Donation 25.00
    March Organic personal care products 54.00
    March Organic groceries 130.00
    March Seeds 10.00
    March strawberry & blueberry plants 12.00
    April Organic meats & produce 130.00
    March Organic Restaurant 8.00
    March Non-Profit Org. Donation 15.00
    April Green Business Cards 11.00
    April Stainless Steel Lunch Container 18.00
    April Organic Tea House 10.00
    April Eco Tour 80.00
    April Organic Chocolates 6.00
    April Organic Restaurant 54.00
    May Eco Friendly Pest Controls 4.50
    May Recyclable Pots 60.00
    May Compost/ Worm Castings/ Mulch 40.00
    May Organic Groceries 150.00
    May Green Web Site Hosting 40.00
    May Native Plants 30.00
    May Organic Groceries 109.00
    TOTAL $ 1,137

    One_in_a_million Feeling inspired? You can join the One in a Million campaign yourself. Here's how.

    And to read about more One in a Million members, click here.


    February 03, 2009

    Why I Believe in the Power of the Purse

    This month's Green Moms Carnival topic is "I believe..."

    Money in purse I am taking the opportunity to reiterate why I created Big Green Purse, a campaign to motivate women especially to channel their spending power into social and environmental change.

    It is 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.

    Women spend $.85 of every dollar in the marketplace. I believe we should tell manufacturers what to make; they should not be telling us what to buy.

    I believe we only have as much power as we exercise. I also believe exercising our power gives us more.

    I believe it is not too late ... but it will be soon.

    As the saying goes, if not us, who? If not now, when?

    I believe it is up to us, and we must act now.

    Greenmoms1 See what more green moms and friends believe on Monday, February, 9, when The Smart Mama hosts the next Green Moms Carnival.

    January 13, 2009

    When it comes to packaging, Trader Joe's can do better.

    As much as I love the product variety at Trader Joe's, I hate the packaging waste.

    Trader joes Everything - apart from a few bananas - comes wrapped in excessive plastic or paper. What gives? On a recent shopping trip there, all the fresh produce seemed to be hermetically sealed: one barrel was full of pairs of zucchini trapped on small polystyrene trays bundled in plastic. Another featured pairs of apples similarly presented. Elsewhere, the store was selling oversized boxes of organic tea bags - the tea bag was the same size, but it was encased in a large cellophane wrapper, then packed in a box that seemed to be 30% bigger than the standard size. Is that ok because the tea is organic?

    Trader Joe's offers a good selection of organic milk, eggs and butter. Its cleaning products minimize dangerous chemicals. And it sells many of these choices at reasonable prices. But the company does itself and its customers a disservice, especially in these lean and green times, by not reducing the packaging used to sell its products.

    Maybe next time I'm there, I'll just unwrap all the overpacked goods and leave the waste at the cash register.

    Thumb_brown.bmpThumbs down, Trader Joe's.  

    EcoCentric Mom
    Everbuying led light
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