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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.
  • August 06, 2012

    7 Reasons Why You Should Get a Tree Survey

    A much-loved part of our natural scenery, trees bring harmony, tranquility, health and environmental well-being to a community. They add beauty to our yards and streets. They provide welcome shade on hot days. Tree2They act as a natural windbreak, muffle street sounds and other noise, and provide important habitat for wildlife. They help filter the air, keeping it cleaner and safer to breathe. Trees are also a great investment. A home with trees is consistently worth more than a home with no trees at all. 

    In Nature, trees thrive "on their own," adapting to the climate where they grow and the elements that shape them. But in our communities, trees can become an awkward obstacle instead of a valuable asset if they're not taken care of. Weather conditions or disease can make them dangerously unstable. Branches and roots may cause extensive damage to homes and buildings. Overgrown foliage can block light. 

    You might occasionally "eyeball" your tree to see if it's healthy. But especially if you have mature trees on your property, it's worth investing in a professional tree survey to make sure your trees are in good shape. Arbtech, the UK's leading provider of tree surveys and the sponsor of this post, says there are five specific reasons why it's a good idea to have an arborist survey your trees. 

    1) Keep trees healthy. Most of the plants in our landscape need to be fed, watered, and pruned to stay healthy and beautiful. But we have a tendency to ignore trees because they're so big! An arborist can examine your tree and recommend simple steps you can take to protect the investment you've already made in planting and maintaining the tree. This survey can become a valuable management tool for your property. 

    Continue reading "7 Reasons Why You Should Get a Tree Survey" »

    April 29, 2011

    It's Arbor Day. Can't you plant just one tree?

    Sure you can.

    PlantingTrees Here's how:

    1) Scope out possible planting locations. Trees need room for both branches and roots to spread out, so adequate space is key. So is good soil. Is yours loose and loamy, or dense and full of clay? And what about water? Is your spot high and dry or low and prone to flooding? The place you pick determines what tree will do best in your yard.

    2) Choose your tree. Consider how big the tree will get and how fast it will grow, as well as its sun, soil and water requirements. Arbor Day's ‘right tree in the right place’ guide will help you find options that work for your "micro" climate. Consider species native to your area to help promote biodiversity.

    If you live in a zone that is prone to drought, one of these trees could do well:

    Silver maple
    Chinese elm
    Red oak
    Purpleleaf plum

    If your region gets a lot of moisture, one of these trees would be better:

    River birch
    Weeping willow
    Austrian pine
    3) Put your tree in the ground. How you plant a tree will depend on whether the roots are bare, wrapped in burlap, or potted in a container. Regardless, you'll need to dig a hole that's deeper and wider than the roots and add aged compost. After your tree is in the ground, clear grass at least three feet away from the trunk in every direction and mulch with wood chips or shredded bark to help the roots retain moisture and act as a buffer against temperature extremes. Water deeply upon planting, then regularly until the tree roots get established.

    If you like to do things from scratch, you can plant a seed. Again, consider seeds that are native to your location. You might want to start the seed in a container so you can nurture it along over the couple of years it will take to grow into a seedling you can transplant. Fill a one- or -two gallon container with dirt that contains some rich organic matter, then make a hole about 1 inch deep, pop in the seed and cover with soil. It doesn’t get easier than that. 

     Once you plant a tree, keep it healthy so you can enjoy all the benefits it offers. It will attract birds and other wildlife, and provide shade to keep you cooler in summer. The leaves will help filter soot and dust, clearing the air, and convert carbon dioxide back into oxygen, reducing global warming and climate change. Plus research shoes that trees and the sound of their leaves tend to make people feel more relaxed. In fact, hospital patients recover more quickly when their room offers a view of trees! Having some trees to look out on from your porch or patio could have an equally calming effect on you.


    If you don't have enough space in your own yard to accommodate a tree, plant one in your community. Work with your local public works department to choose a species or location.

    Or support global tree planting campaigns, like the one Avon is running through its Hello Green Tomorrow program.

    Some cities, like Pittsburgh, require residents to obtain a tree planting permit. You may want to check to see if this is the case where you live. 

    For more information on tree planting and organizing community planting in your area visit American Forests  or  Sustainable Horticulture.

    For gardening supplies, visit our store.


    (Disclosure: I provide green living tips to Hello Green Tomorrow.)

    (Thanks to research assistant Tracy Gaudet of Inspire Planning for research help.)

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