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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.
  • December 20, 2013

    Planning a Trip to Europe? Ride a Bike When You Get There.

    According to, there are currently more than 760,000 commuters cycling to work regularly in the UK alone. This two-wheeled trend is happening all over Europe, with bike hire schemes becoming one of the most popular ways for vacationers and holiday makers to explore a city. 

    Because hiring or renting a bike is so flexible, travelers can design their own personal tour and see a city at their own pace. Because biking uses pedal power rather than fossil fuels, it's also a great way to see the sites without contributing to air pollution or climate change. Travel comparison site momondo, the sponsors of this post, have created this helpful round up of five top European cities and their top tips on how to make the most of their bike hire schemes.

    Bike-sharing-infographic-head (1)

    If you've rented a bike before while on vacation, or you regularly commute to work by bike, please share your experiences with us.

    NOTE: Sponsorships allow us to bring you excellent content and expertise at no cost to you. Our editorial opinions remain our own. Thanks.


    December 09, 2013

    With More Natural Disasters, Do You Need More -- or Different -- Insurance?

    Tornado shattered house Natural disasters aren’t going away any time soon. In fact, given the increasing effects that climate change is having on the weather, scientists expect the number of natural disasters globally to grow. You only need to review the skyrocketing frequency of hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, fires and floods that have destroyed homes and communities in the last couple of years to be clear on at least one thing: it’s better to protect yourself before you’re hit by a natural disaster than try to pick up the pieces afterwards.

    At a conference I recently attended on rebuilding sustainably after natural disasters strike, the audience of educators, first responders, disaster experts, scientists, elected officials, public interest advocates and business leaders all agreed: most people do not have enough insurance to protect themselves if a natural disaster hits. As the sponsor of this post, the Australian insurer HBF also points out that most travelers don’t carry adequate insurance in the event their holiday or business trip is disrupted by a natural disaster, either.


    Continue reading "With More Natural Disasters, Do You Need More -- or Different -- Insurance?" »

    February 05, 2008

    Oman Could Set an Example for the World

    The Environment Society of Oman faces some real challenges. It wants to educate people in this beautiful Arabian Gulf country about the need to protect the environment, but very few people are Oman_mountains interested in the message. It wants to encourage Omani consumers to use their marketplace clout to purchase products that have the least environmental impact, but very few products are available to buy. It wants to promote basic recycling – of plastic, paper, glass, and metal – but even if people participate, the amount of material they’d generate is almost too small to make the effort financially worthwhile. In short, it wants to create a viable environmental movement among citizens and companies alike. The question is, how?

    I attempted some answers -- as the keynote speaker at the Diane_3_3 Society’s recent conference, “Environmental Challenge Oman 2008,” in Muscat, the capital city. The conference drew almost a hundred representatives from the ruling royal family, government, industry, academia, and non-governmental organizations.

    The situation is pressing and time feels like it’s running out. Oman, a clean and peaceful nation that hugs the southeastern tip of the Arabian peninsula, is a naturalist’s dream. Its extraordinary coastline stretches over 1,700 kms, Oman_map from the Gulf of Oman and the petroleum-important Straits of Hormuz in the North to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean in the South. Flamingoes, sea turtles, spectacular coral reefs and hundreds of species of fish inhabit its waters. Stunning mountains 6,000 feet tall rim desert canyons and oases brimming with dozens of varieties of palm trees. Bedouin tribes still ride camels in the desert and weave rugs out of the hair sheared from the goats they also raise for their milk and meat. The capital city of Muscat Muscat (below) hosts a traditional souk filled with frankincense, silver and gold jewelry, and exotic fabrics even while modern business is carried on in the surrounding office buildings and cafes.

    But because Oman also has modest oil resources (the country could run out of oil in as little as 20 years, according to some estimates) land development is accelerating at a worrisome pace as businesses cultivate alternative industries, including "eco" tourism. Two major beach-front developments are underway, and more could follow. Citizens worry about gobbling up the coastline and destroying habitat for the wildlife that dwell there.

    Hh_tania_al_said In opening the conference, Her Highness Sayyida Tania Al Said (above, holding microphone), who co-founded the Environment Society of Oman, expressed her hope that more Omanis would gain an appreciation for their unique environment. It’s not just about recycling or saving energy, she noted, though both activities are extremely important to Oman. It’s also about the life and death consequences of our environmental behavior. Her Highness Tania Al Said reminded the audience about the devastation caused by 2007’s category 5 Cyclone Gonu. Gonu was the most powerful cyclone (another word for “hurricane” that’s more common in the Middle East) the country has experienced in over 60 years, with 40-foot waves destroying buildings and roads, uprooting trees, and in some cases, ending people’s lives. As with hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the U.S., many believe there’s a direct correlation between Gonu and human-induced climate change.

    Conference attendees discussed ways to educate more children about the environment while Dsc_0034 encouraging their parents to begin recycling, using reusable cloth bags instead of plastic, and installing compact fluorescent light bulbs. I encouraged participants to visit to calculate the "footprint" they leave on the planet. But clearly, as in any country, opportunites to do more abound. There's little mass transit in the cities, no official recycling, and minimal solar energy technology - even though the country basks in over 300 days of sunlight a year.

    People were too polite at the conference to suggest that His Highness Sultan Qaboos, who seems genuinely beloved by his people even after a reign that has lasted 35 years, issue a few royal edicts that would require people to trash less and conserve more. But in a nation that reveres the monarchy in general and its ruler in particular, a decree that citizens must replace plastic with cloth or install solar collectors on their very flat and exposed roofs seems like one of the most direct ways to jumpstart the burgeoning environmental movement in Oman. The United Nations has already declared Oman to be one of the cleanest and most peaceful countries in the world. Would that it would become one of the most environmentally progressive as well.

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