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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.
  • September 18, 2013

    "Lean Into Green" Telesummit Features Great Advice From 21 Green Living Experts

    GreenFlyingWoman "Lean Into Green" is the brainchild of Genny LaMorgan, founder of GreenWomanStore.com. Green Woman Store bills itself as a great resource for "simple & sustainable living," and I have to agree. It provides an amazing portal to apparel and accessories, art and culture, books, and beauty and health products, all curated to meet three criteria:

    * Fair trade - ensuring fair payment to producers to iprove their economic, social and environmental well-being

    * Green - focusing on products made in an environmentally-friendly way

    Continue reading ""Lean Into Green" Telesummit Features Great Advice From 21 Green Living Experts" »

    May 09, 2011

    My County Finally Did It! What About Yours? Our New Plastic Bag "Tax."

    Last week, the County Council for Montgomery County, MD, where I live, finally voted to start charging consumers a nickel for each plastic or paper single-use bag they take at the check-out counter.

    Plastic bags The new environmental law, which goes into effect January 1, 2012, is designed to help get rid of the billions of horrible, nasty, throwaway bags that waste resources, clog waterways, and kill wildlife.

    Throwaway bags are one of those inventions that never should have seen the light of day. According to Pati Robinson from The Cleaner Earth Project, in 2010 consumers worldwide used over 1
    trillion throwaway plastic bags. Because the bags don’t biodegrade, they cause serious environmental problems. When they get loose, they end up polluting rivers, streams and oceans, where animals
    mistake them for food and die. In fact, scientists have found that fish living in the Pacific Ocean eat more plastic than plankton! Wildlife also die when they get tangled in plastic and can’t break free.

    Plus, plastic bags waste oil. An estimated 12 million barrels of oil are required to make the nearly 100 billion single use plastic bags used every year in the U.S. alone, says Cleaner Earth.

    Then there’s the fright factor. Plastic bags are downright ugly when they get caught in trees or blow along the highway like synthetic tumbleweed.

    For years, municipalities the world over mounted campaigns to educate people about the harm plastic bags cause while trying to motivate consumers to use reusable bags, to no avail. Then someone smart hit on the idea to charge shoppers for every plastic bag they used.

    Today, cities that require retailers to charge as little as a nickel for each bag a consumer takes are finding plastic bag use plummeting. In nearby Washington, D.C., disposable plastic bags used to make up 47% of the trash found in the Anacostia river basin. The Anacostia River feeds right into the Potomac, which feeds into the Chesapeake Bay, which feeds into the Atlantic Ocean. Conceivably, a bag thrown on the sidewalk in D.C. could end up in a sea gull’s belly in no time at all.

    In January 2010, a nickel fee was placed on single-use plastic bags. In just six months, bag use decreased by 65%, reducing the total number of bags per month to 3.3 million, down from 22.5 million per month prior to the fee, reported the Washington Post.

    Now, a nickel is not a lot of money. It’s just five pennies. Pretty much anyone who has bought enough stuff to need a bag can afford to pay for it.

    Yet human nature being what it is, people seem to hate paying “extra” for something they used to get for free. I’ve stood in line at a cash register in D.C. and watched people fill their arms to
    overflowing with their purchases rather then cough up a measly five cents to put it in a bag.

    Stupid?

    Continue reading "My County Finally Did It! What About Yours? Our New Plastic Bag "Tax."" »

    December 08, 2010

    One Way to Solve Climate Change: Cleaner Cookstoves

    Can a simple stove help solve something as complex as climate change?

    Children-with-clean-stove-Lisa-Feldman1 The United Nations Foundation and its partners at the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other institutions and organizations think so - at least, in part, which is why they've launched the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. This new partnership between government agencies, non-profit organizations, international aid groups and corporations aims to replace 100 million dirty stoves in developing countries with cleaner versions by 2020.

    How can a lowly cookstove play such an important role in the climate debate?

    REDUCE BLACK CARBON: The traditional cookstoves used in Asia, Africa and parts of Latin America rely on "biomass" like wood, cow dung, and coal. When any of these fuels is burned, they produce soot, also known as "black carbon." Biomass cooking accounts for 20 percent of the world’s emissions of black carbon, which some scientists believe is the second largest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide.

    Black carbon is so powerful because it is extremely effective at absorbing sunlight -- 1 million times more effective than carbon dioxide (CO2), in fact. Black carbon warms the atmosphere and creates a "greenhouse effect" by absorbing thermal infrared radiation from the ground and within clouds. Plus, because it directly heats surfaces on which it falls and reduces the amount of sunlight surfaces reflect back into the atmosphere, black carbon accelerates the melting of Arctic sea and land ice, glaciers, and seasonal snow cover.

    Continue reading "One Way to Solve Climate Change: Cleaner Cookstoves" »

    December 08, 2009

    Why Climate Change Matters to Women

    Solutions to climate change are usually discussed in terms of what's best for business or politics. But what about what's best for those who have the most to lose as climate change worsens: namely, women, especially those living in the poorest regions of the world?

    Climateconnections_graphic A new report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) says that "women are disproportionately vulnerable to environmental changes." The statistics speak for themselves:

    * Women and children are 14 times more likely to die than men during natural disasters (like heat waves, droughts, and hurricanes -- all of which are direct consequences of climate change).

    * Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans in 2005, predominantly affected African-American women, who were already the region's poorest, most disadvantaged community.

    *  An estimated 87% of unmarried women and almost 100% of married women lost their livelihoods when a cyclone hit the Ayeyerwaddy Delta in Myanmar in 2008.

    But notable "natural" disasters like these aren't the only ways climate change takes its toll on women's livesl. 

    * Lifestyle: In areas of spreading drought, women must spend more time looking for firewood and trying to coax reluctant crops out of the ground - reducing the amount of time they can spend getting an education or taking care of their kids, and perhaps leading them to turn to early and undesirable marriages as a survival strategy.

    * Health: Pregnant and lactating women are more vulnerable to diseases like malaria and dengue fever, both of which are extending their reach into new regions of the world as temperatures rise.

    * Children: Kids are spending more time in medical clinics and hospitals as they suffer more cases of climate change-related asthma and poison ivy.

    Woman in flood * Economics: Women find it harder to make ends meet as food prices rise to compensate for agricultural shortages due to drought or natural disaster. In developing countries, women may be forced to migrate if their lands become uninhabitable. Yet moving off their land to relocation camps or crowded urban areas makes many women homeless and unable to support themselves and their children.

    * Security: While men are more likely to be killed or injured in fighting, women suffer greatly from other consequences of climate change-related conflict, including rape, beating, anxiety and depression

    UNFPA's companion report, State of World Population 2009, warns, "Unless climate policies take people into account, they will fail to mitigate climate change or to shield vulnerable populations from the potentially disastrous impacts." The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concurs. The agency issued a report the same day the Copenhagen climate talks began, saying a "thorough examination of the scientific evidence" led it to conclude that "greenhouse gases threaten the health and welfare of the American people," and, presumably, people of other nations as well.

    Clearly, women must play a key role in identifying strategies that will help them adapt to the changing climate while very much focusing on solutions to bring climate change under control. Historically, women have not had a 'seat at the table' when such discussions have transpired. Hopefully, that changes this year. Not only is the president of the Copenhagen climate talks a woman - but the U.S. Delegation is populated with high ranking women from the Obama Administration, including Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, Energy "Czar" Carol Browner, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.  I hope they will act together to keep women's interests front and center; by doing so, they'll keep all people front and center, as well. 

    Meanwhile, don't wait for the climate talks to conclude to take action on your own.

    * At home, do what you can to save energy and reduce greenhouse gases.  Here's how.

    Greenmoms1 * Get more inspiration from the.blogs posted about climate change for this month's Green Moms Carnival (coming December 9).

    * And if you need any more arguments as to why you should care about climate change, here are ten.

    EcoCentric Mom
    Everbuying led light
    Green by Answers.com
    GSHNetworkMember125

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