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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.
  • « April 2009 | Main | June 2009 »

    May 31, 2009

    ZipCar Comes to the Rescue (and Saves Me a Lot of Money)!

    2002 Prius1 My 2002 Prius can't be beat for everyday driving. I regularly get 40-45 mpg, saving me hundreds of dollars every year on gas. It's got a lot of pep, so highway driving is a snap. And its terrific turning radius and compact size make it a dream to park, whether at the mall or on a city street.

    But given its compact size (it seats four comfortably, five only if the person in the middle back seat has short legs), it's not the vehicle you'd willingly use to pick up your daughter -- and all her stuff -- from college, the challenge I faced recently.

    Zipcar_header Fortunately, I'm a member of ZipCar, the car company that lets you rent vehicles by the hour or the day. ZipCar, whose motto is "Wheels When You Want Them," is gaining in popularity because it makes using a car so cheap compared to owning one.  According to the company's calculations, owning a car like a Ford Fusion can cost you almost $800 a month, once you figure in parking, insurance, vehicle registration, gas, maintenance, new tires, and other related expenses. Even if you drive a lot (though not every single day), you could be paying as little as $322 a month using a Zip Car. You can join for $50 a year

    Element Using my zippy membership, I was able to rent a Honda Element for the 7 hours I needed to retrieve my daughter from school.  I simply reserved my car a day in advance, walked two blocks in my neighborhood, and found the car clean and ready to go. I swiped my membership card over a scanner embedded into the windshield. The car doors unlocked, and I found the key in the ignition. Off I went, easy as pie, for a little more than $11/hr.

    I chose the Honda Element over a wide range of other options because it offered the most room for the greatest amount of gas mileage. I drove 242 miles on about a tank of gas, for an average fuel economy of around 22 mpg - not quite as good as the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV (which wasn't an option, either at ZipCar or at any of the conventional car rental companies I checked), but better than most conventional SUVs. I filled the gas tank up using the gas card in the glove compartment, so it didn't cost me anything.

    Interested? If you live here or go to school here, you can rent a ZipCar. If your city's not on the list, send the company an e-mail and let them know you'd like to Zip. They're opening new locations all the time - maybe you can get them to consider your neighborhood. You can also search "car share" on the Internet to see similar options other companies may be offering in your community.

    Thumb_green Thumbs up, ZipCar!




    By the way, don't miss these Big Green Purse tips on saving gas and choosing fuel-efficient vehicles.

    May 29, 2009

    Green and Clean Mom is Sexy, Sassy and Fun!

    Sommer-headshot-280x300 This month's Big Green Purse Ad Buddy is Sommer Poquette, founder of GreenandCleanMom.org, a wonderful site whose motto is "How being 'green' can be sexy, sassy and fun!"

    I met Sommer when we both became co-founders of the Green Moms Carnival. She's become a great source of information on many green issues that relate to kids - and if you're looking for a bargain, chances are, she's got one via the many great contests she promotes on her site.

    Recently, I interviewed Sommer to find out what motivates her to be so green. Here's what she had to say:

    Why are you writing this blog or spear-heading your site instead of, oh I don't know, learning how to play the piano?  

    I started Green and Clean Mom as a way to reach other moms like myself. Two years ago, in my small town, when I started talking BPA, non-toxic cleaners and organic food I had a third eye. I wanted to feel encouraged, motivated and inspired and give back to others. Green and Clean Mom really is like learning how to play the piano or sing – it takes time, practice, self reflection, an audience and self motivation.

    What makes your site different from the thousands of other blogs/sites out there?

    When I started Green and Clean Mom I really wasn’t trying to be different or set myself apart from other bloggers. As my site grew and then turned into a business I’ve had to learn some marketing technique, social media strategy and be competitive but I don’t really like to say my voice is “better” than any other blogger out there. The site as a whole offers a lot of variety, product reviews, giveaways, perspectives and unique content as well as a very large community of moms. Again, I really hope to encourage and support rather than judge at Green and Clean Mom. The idea of being some shade of green really applies at Green and Clean Mom.

    Who are you trying to reach, and why?

    Green and Clean Mom seems to focus on moms but the audience is vast and varied. Anyone going green can read the site and gain something. Parents, grandparents, teachers and companies are my main focus.

    What has been your favorite blogpost? 

    A favorite post – out of over 500 hundred that would be pretty hard to pick – like a paragraph out of a novel! This question has made me really think and scroll through my posts and out of all the posts I’ve enjoyed mostly writing about those that will help my audience and those that are a reflection of who I am, as a person. Here are two I particularly like:

    http://greenandcleanmom.org/feeding-your-family-organic-without-going-broke/

    http://greenandcleanmom.org/to-my-son-confessions-apologies-many-eco-friendly-wishes

    What do you hate writing about but you do it anyway? 

    I wouldn’t say I hate writing about anything but I’d rather not be pressured or under a deadline because the fun can be sucked right out of blogging when something has to get written. I like doing product reviews but they’re getting more difficult and it’s amazing to me how PR companies are really pushing bloggers. I hate getting emails from a PR company asking me to do a million things for a review, needing stats, comment numbers, asking if I posted, sending me reminders and just asking for lots but giving me nothing. This bothers me the most.

    What is the one green action you've taken that has turned out to be much easier than you thought it would be? 

    Ditching paper towels has been a breeze but something I hesitated doing. I thought it would be hard because we were so dependent on them. Once we started using the Skoy Cloth and old rags and wash clothes, it has been easy. A big money saver as well!

     What do you never want to do again? 

    Truthfully I can’t think of anything I’d never do again. Everything I’ve tried has been worthwhile and educational.

     Where do you want to make the biggest difference?

     I’d really like to help ordinary moms realize that if they start to switch out one cleaning product to a safer alternative it is healthier for their family and children. Starting in your home environment impacts the bigger environment but it can feel more possible than thinking about global warming, for example.

     As my son gets ready to enter Kindergarten, I hope to have an impact on Michigan’s public school system and the traditional childcare and preschool classrooms that are using bleach, toys that are made of PVC and sippy cups and dishware that are made of BPA. This really concerns me that schools are where are children spend so much time but they’re sprayed with pesticides, have toxic cleaners and many lunch programs are far from organic or healthy.

     What advice do you have for anyone who wants to go green?

     Start somewhere. It is not a race or competition and if you’re open minded to doing something it usually become contagious and you want to learn more and do more. I always advise people to not go off the deep end and do so much so soon that they drive themselves and their families nuts (I did this). I find people quit and give up on their effort when this happens.

    Thanks, Sommer!

    May 25, 2009

    Environmental In-Box: Seeds of Change Chocolate

    Today begins a new feature on Diane's Big Green Purse: the Environmental In-Box product review.

    Every Monday morning, I'll review at least one of the products I've been sent during the previous week. I'll award three green purses to products that merit your consideration, two purses that are almost there, one purse to a product that's on the right track but has a long way to go. Plus, I'll give a "thumbs down" to goods that don't live up to their own claims.

    If you're familiar with the product yourself, please leave a comment. If you want me to review your product, please send me an e-mail first - there's no sense mailing me something I might not be interested in. But a note of caution: There's no quid pro quo here. Just because you send a product to review does not mean I will feel obligated to make glowing comments. I particularly abhor unverified claims, even the hint of greenwashing, and superlatives like "best," "greenest," "healthiest," or "first." Let the product speak for itself. And if you can't back up your eco-claims, please go back to the drawing board - or at least check out these labeling standards for some additional guidance.

    Here's what's in my In-Box today:

    Seeds of change chocolate Seeds of Change Chocolate - Seeds of Change built its reputation by preserving heirloom and traditional seed varieties. The company also produces certified organic foods "inspired by cultures and flavors from around the globe." Now they've turned their talents to chocolate. That's a very smart move in my humble opinion, given the environmental impact producing chocolate has -- as well as the fact that, in my household, chocolate is considered its own food group.

    The Product: Seeds of Change certified organic chocolate comes in six flavors: organic milk chocolate; organic milk chocolate with puffed grains (like a crisp); organic dark chocolate; organic dark chocolate with cherries and vanilla; organic dark chocolate with coconut; and organic dark chocolate with mango & cashew.

    What I like: The plain dark chocolate, with 61% cacao, is scrumptious - a great melt-in-your-mouth texture and full bodied flavor that lasts a long time. The milk chocolate is rich, smooth and creamy.

    What could improve?  I wasn't as wild about the bars that had cherries or mangos in them - the fruit pieces are so tiny, they felt gritty between my teeth. Plus, the bits are too small to impart much flavor; I never could taste the mango or cherry, though the coconut flavor comes through just fine. Overall I would have preferred larger pieces of fruit that seemed intentional, rather than an afterthought - think Cadbury's Fruit and Nut bars, where you can taste everything individually, but the flavors then meld into total deliciousness (however, Cadbury's bars aren't organic, a definite negative).

    Continue reading "Environmental In-Box: Seeds of Change Chocolate" »

    May 17, 2009

    Don't Buy Plants. Swap! (I did, and saved $50.)

    One of the most economical gardening moves I ever made was to join my local horticulture club.

    For just $12 a year, I get access to great gardening advice, some lovely garden tours, and a list-serv of other gardeners who are not only willing but eager to swap plants with me so we can all save some money.

    I put that list-serv to good use this past weekend. After a harsh, dry winter, my yard needed a face lift. The sunny spot in front was completely overgrown with weeds. The mostly shady back yard had been overtaken by senecio daisies and creeping astilbe, let alone all manner of weeds. I wanted to restore the front with native plants that would thrive in hot afternoon sun, and add variety to the shade plants out back.

    A quick trip to the nursery made me realize that my ideas would cost me some serious cash - at least $50 just for the plants in front, even without adding an accent bush or two.

    Rudbeckia I bought a few tall zinnias to add some immediate color, but headed home to see if I could "shop" for free on the club list serv. I put out a call for plants like rudbeckia, also known as black eyed Susans, and native grasses. I described my growing conditions so folks could look at what they were cultivating under similar conditions and give me some transplants. I offered to share my plants with whomever dropped by. 

    Bingo! Within half an hour of offering to exchange some of my astilbe, daisies, and a few other wildly growing specimens (like hellebores and native phlox), the responses came pouring in. My fellow gardeners would be delighted to swap with me!

    I spent an hour digging up the plants I could trade, potting them in old planting containers I save for just this purpose. Then I puttered around in the garden and waited for the "booty" to arrive. Throughout the morning, people stopped by with a motherlode of perennials. I hauled in celandine poppies, three varieties of rudbeckia, a native columbine, goldenrod, mondo grass, echinacea (purple cone flower), and more.

    At this point, I've saved even more than $50 by exchanging plants rather than buying them.

    But as much as I love the bargain, I think I got more pleasure from the gardeners who dropped by with their own plants in tow. It was great fun to walk around, shovel and spade in hand, digging up plants I'd cultivated so my friends could enjoy them in their yard. By the same token, it was particularly satisfying to plant what my gardener pals had carefully dug up for me.

    I'll be savoring that camaraderie all summer long.

    May 13, 2009

    How do you "test drive" a dishwasher?

    I''m about to find out. Sometime later this month, Frigidaire is going to deliver one of its new energy-saving models to my home so I - and my dishes - can give it a whirl.

    Over the next few months, I'll be blogging about the Frigidaire Gallery Built-In Dishwasher (model number Test Drive Button FGHD2433KF) as I compare it to my ten-year-old Maytag. I'll be looking at factors like energy efficiency, water conservation, noise, capacity, time savings, ease of maintenance, and any other issues that come up.

    The Frigidaire dishwasher is supposed to use a lot less water and energy to wash a lot more dishes. I'll let you know how it performs. I'd also like to hear about the dishwasher you have - especially if you're buying a new one and are doing price and performance comparisons.

    May 11, 2009

    What's the best way to keep your hands clean?

       Note: I said "clean," not "disinfected."

    Hand washing What's the diff? The mechanical action of handwashing - rubbing your hands together with soap and water - is what's important because that's what breaks down the tiny bits of grease, fat and dirt on your hands that germs cling to. Soap doesn't actually kill the bad germs. It's the combination of soap, rubbing, rinsing and drying that helps these bugs slide off your hands.

    "Disinfected" implies you're going to try to kill germs outright to try to stay safe - a losing proposition since there are so many germs in so many places, you'll never be able to win out.

    Besides, "Germs are essential for human life. Bacteria in our mouths and intestines help us to digest the food we eat and bacteria on our skin protect us from invading viruses and bad bacteria," explains Dr. Edith Blondel-Hill, and an infectious diseases specialist at British Columbia Children's Hospital.

    What about bacteria and viruses, like the one that is causing swine flu? It turns out that bacteria and viruses are examples of two different types of germs. Bacteria exist virtually everywhere in our environment and make up 60 per cent of the living matter on earth. Of the billions of types of bacteria, only about 50 are known to cause infection.

    Viruses cause far more illnesses than bad bacteria because they spread more easily. If more than one person in your family has the same sickness, says the Health Agency, odds are it is a viral infection. 

    Especially in response to concerns like the swine flu epidemic, consumers have a tendency to rush to buy antibacterial soaps and cleaning products. Yet there is no medical research to prove that antibacterial soaps offer any benefit over regular soaps in preventing common illnesses. In fact, many doctors worry that the widespread use of antibacterials is causing antibiotic resistance. In other words, the more antibacterial products you use, the more susceptible to disease you may become.

    Plus, antibacterials like triclosan are believed to be causing deformities in frogs and other wildlife, since they get washed down the drain and out into rivers, lakes and streams where they impact the animals living there.

    In a March 2004 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers studied 238 households in New York City. Half were given regular hand soap and cleaners and half were given antibacterial soaps and cleaning products. At the end of 48 weeks, there was essentially no difference between the two groups in reported infectious disease symptoms, including runny nose, cough, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea.

    Make no mistake: if you want to stay healthy, you must wash your hands. Just skip the "disinfecting" products. Here are the Health Agency of Canada's recommendations for effective washing.

    1) Remove all rings and wet your hands with warm running water.

    2) Put a small amount of liquid soap in the palm of one hand. Bar soaps are not as hygienic as liquid soaps because they stay moist and attract germs. If a bar soap is the only option it should be stored on a rack so that the bar doesn't sit in water.

    3) Rub your hands together for 20 seconds so you produce lather. Make sure you scrub between your fingers, under your fingernails and the backs of your hands.

    4) Rinse your hands well with clean running water for at least 10 seconds. Try not to handle the faucets once your hands are clean. Use a clean towel to turn off the water.

    5) Dry your hands with a clean towel. During cold and flu season you may want to give each family member his or her own hand towel.

    6) Use hand lotion to put moisture back into your skin if your hands are dry.

    7) Model good handwashing technique to your children. Have them sing a song like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" while rubbing their hands together to teach them the amount of time it takes to clean their hands properly.

    8) Wash your hands regularly.

    9) Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth if you haven't washed them recently.

    10) At work, when shopping or in transit, use alcohol-based wipes rather than antibacterial wipes if you don't have access to water. But use sparingly, since alcohol kills good and bad germs.

    May 10, 2009

    The Green Moms Carnival Knows How to Celebrate Mother's Day

    Momdaughter Mother's Day is the perfect day for the Green Moms Carnival to share our eco living tips and tricks. And that's just what we did.

    For example, noted Lisa from Condo Blues "As much as I am all over power tools and DIY projects I really am a girly girl at heart. I like pamper myself now and again and using a sugar body scrub is an excellent way to do it. Sugar is as a natural exfoliate but is still gentle enough to be used on skin. The oil in the sugar scrub can protect your skin against moisture loss. Add a few natural essential oils and you have a wonderful way to make an expensive professional spa treatment from ingredients you may already have in your kitchen!" Lisa offers four sweet recipes for DIY sugard scrubs. You gotta admit, that sounds pretty sweet!

    Lynn at Organic Mania put together a great "Top Ten Gifts" list for Moms that includes my personal favorite, the gift of time. Says Lynn, "Give her some time off. Tell her to take the afternoon off. Go for a walk. See a movie. Lie in bed. Whatever. She can pretend there are no responsibilities on her plate, no to-do lists." Sure hope that's what YOU got, Lynn!

    Karen at Best of Mother Earth reminded us all that "Moms Know Best" because we have a "gut instinct that rules the universe." Our "inner mama drive has un know when to hug, when to yell, when to scream and when to say exactly the right thing at the right time." Ain't that the truth?!

    JessTrev of The Green Phone Booth reflected on the hands that nourished her as she grew. In a lovely "thank you" note to her mom, Jess wrote, "I love that you are trying not to lose your travel coffee mug just to please me. I love that when you got reusable bags a couple years ago, you went and found stunningly beautiful red and olive ones instead of the practical black nylon ones I'd been toting. I love that you tell my children that they are so good for eating up their ice cream and getting all that calcium! I love that you thought about what was going into our bodies when we were little, and that even though you were on a budget, you made sure we were exposed to mouthwatering fare: jalapeno jack cheese on a cracker with a pepperoncini on top, drippy, tomatoey antipasto with olives and tuna, sourdough bread with thick-sliced salame, and stuffed peppers with ping (spinach, parmesan, egg and stale bread). I love that you proudly declared, "Everything is better if you make it yourself!"

    Sommer at Green and Clean Mom suggested more ways to say "thank you," - like by cooking Mom her favorite meal or dessert. Organic, of course!

    Jenn at The Green Parent recommended giving a global gift card so Mom can choose a gift that means the most to her. Options include providing baby supplies to new moms in the Bronx and supporting the use of solare energy in Kenya.

    Katy at NonToxic Kids liked the idea of giving to Mom by giving to others, too, and recommended we consult a website called Changing the Present for inspiring ideas. Katy's favorites include support for training midwives. It seems like a bargain at $25.

    I recalled at Diane's Big Green Purse how drinking a simple glass of milk - one that happened to be laden with fire retardants - imbued in me a sense of concern about the environment and the impact toxic chemicals could have on babies and children long before I had any of my own.

    Greenmoms1 For more thoughtful posts from green moms, check out any member of the Green Moms Carnival, Mother's Day or any day.

    What's in YOUR body, Mom?

    In 1974, an environmental scandal rocked my world. I and millions of other people living in the state of Michigan were informed that the milk we’d been drinking had come from cows that had accidentally been fed fire retardant instead of cow feed.

    I don’t remember how much milk we’d all drunk before the mistake was discovered. I do remember watching the television news reports of the incident. Over 500 contaminated Michigan farms were quarantined. Approximately 30,000 cattle, 4,500 swine, 1,500 sheep, and 1.5 million chickens were destroyed, along with over 800 tons of animal feed, 18,000 pounds of cheese, 2,500 pounds of butter, 5 million eggs, and 34,000 pounds of dried milk products.

    I’ll never forget the feeling I had watching millions of gallons of milk being destroyed. But what I also came to realize was that it was far easier to get rid of that tainted milk than it was to eliminate the fire retardants that had accumulated in my body as a result of drinking it. Fire retardants – also known as PBBs – cause cancer in lab animals and are thought to be endocrine disruptors – chemicals that interfere with hormones.

    How many of you are mothers? How many people have or had a mother? That’s where so many environmental concerns begin, don’t they? After all, a mother's body is the first environment any of us experience. I remember thinking back in 1974, even though I wouldn’t have children for another 14 years, that perhaps my ability to have healthy babies had been compromised by drinking the most harmless thing in the world, a glass of milk.

    Family in San Francisco 2 Between then and now, I've had two children. I never had my breast milk tested for fire retardants. I never subjected my hair to analysis for heavy metals. I have not had my blood and urine examined to determine how many unnatural chemicals they contain.

    But if I did, in all likelihood I'd discover a toxic soup of contaminants that I've been unwillingly exposed to and that now wait to surface in some kind of disease or cancer. Even worse, I would probably also discover a whole host of toxins - my personal "body burden" - that I have unwittingly passed on to my kids.

    I started Big Green Purse as a way to protect ourselves from exposure to the toxins that cause our kids harm.  Given the enormity of the challenges facing government, it may be years or decades before we significantly reign in the pollution that makes us sick. We must continue to press for stronger environmental health and safety laws and regulations. But let us not forget: The way we spend our money is our first line of defense. 

    As we observe this Mother's Day, let's renew our commitment to shifting our spending to products and services that offer the greatest health and safety benefits, not just for the planet, but for us and our children as well.

    May 08, 2009

    Here's How You Can Afford to Spend 30% More on Organic Food

    Clean out your fridge.

    Globe money But before you toss all the expired or rotted food you find into the trash can, put it on your counter. Now do a rough calculation of how much that 'trash' cost you. Don't be surprised if it amounts to as much as 30% of your weekly household budget. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consumers on average throw away $30 of every $100 they spend - simply by forgetting to eat what they buy. In this economy, that's a lot of money for anyone. But it's especially painful for people who want to buy organic food and feel like they can't afford to pay the premium it costs. 

    They can. Here's how.

    *  Shop from a list you make in advance. Generate your shopping list from recipes you're likely to cook during the week. You'll buy fewer ingredients overall, but have the ingredients you need, and cook what you buy so you waste less.

    * Avoid impulse buys. That fancy mustard on those cute crackers they're handing out as you shop? If you're like me, you'll get the mustard home, slide it on a shelf, and forget about it until you rediscover it months (years?) from now, looking and tasting far less delectable than when you saw it in the store.

    * Keep track of what's in your refrigerator. One easy way: put your shopping list (or a list of the week's recipes) on the front of the refrigerator when you get home. It will remind you what you've bought and what's available inside to cook.

    * Make a budget.  Before you go shopping, figure out how much money you want to spend, and what "extras" you can afford. Note that, in addition to spending the money you've "saved" by throwing away less food, you can shift spending from items like bottled water to organic milk, or throwaway paper towels to a reusable sponge.

    Take leftovers for lunch. Invest in a set of reusable containers you can pack with leftovers for work or school. 

    * Schedule leftovers for the same night every week. In my house, that night is usually Friday night, since I go grocery shopping Saturday morning. There's always enough food left over from previous meals to pull together a small feast. And the empty refrigerator that results not only inspires me to think ahead to next week's meals. It's much easier to clean!

    * Make stock; freeze vegetables and meat. If you're unlikely to eat leftovers in the same week you cook them, freeze them in lunch-size portions for future consumption. Toss vegetables that are still good but just past their prime into a stock pot to make a rich base for future soups and stews.



    May 02, 2009

    Are there any "good" paper towels?

    Making paper is one of the most polluting industries on the planet. It uses huge amounts of water and energy. It may use chlorine to bleach the paper white, and that chlorine may create dioxin, one of the deadliest toxins on earth. Some paper manufacturers discharge dirty water, often laden with dangerous chemicals, back into rivers and lakes. Never mind how many trees are cut down to make paper, how much paper is used to package other paper, or how much air pollution is generated transporting paper from the manufacturer to the retailer.

    Needless to say, given these impacts, I'm not a big fan of paper that's produced just to be used once and thrown away. What's in that category? Paper towels. Paper napkins. Paper face tissue. Disposable wipes made from paper. Toilet paper (well, okay, I tolerate toilet paper). 

    Why not use cloth? In every category except toilet paper, cloth offers a cheaper and more eco-friendly option. Cloth towels and napkins can easily replace their paper counterparts and save consumers hundreds of dollars a year. When they wear out, they can be used as rags and wipe-up cloths. A cloth towel or napkin has a useful life of years, compared to the seconds a paper towel has value.

    Marcal tissue Why the rant? Because I just received an e-mail from the Marcal paper company extolling the virtues of their "Small Steps Save-a-Tree" Paper Towel Design Contest. The contest is urging "artists and tree lovers of all ages" to submit original drawings that show their love for trees. The winner of the contest will be flown to California to "hug a giant tree." The winning drawings will be used to promote Marcal products - throwaway paper products.

    Now, Marcal is more virtuous than many other paper companies. It makes all of its paper products from recycled paper as opposed to pulp from virgin forests. It does not use chlorine to bleach its paper, and it adds no dyes or fragrances.

    The problem is, it still makes paper designed to be used once and thrown away. Which begs the question: apart from toilet paper, should Marcal (or any company, for that matter), be in the throwaway paper business at all?

    Campaigns like the Small Steps Save-a-Tree Design Contest make consumers feel good about using throwaway products. That's wrong. Marcal and other companies would do the planet a world of good if they encouraged consumers to use cloth instead of throwaway paper.

    By the way, what do you think the carbon footprint will be of the person they fly to California to hug that tree?

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