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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.
  • « June 2011 | Main | August 2011 »

    July 27, 2011

    To Beat Mosquitos - Don't Zap 'Em, Trap 'Em

    Don't waste your money buying electric bug zappers or battery-powered insect traps. They don't actually prevent mosquitos from breeding, and they're pretty intrusive - who wants to sit on the porch on a nice summer night and hear "zzzz" every time a bug gets electrocuted?

    Mosquito trap This simple mosquito trap is a more environmentally friendly option. Just put a few cups of rain, ditch or pond water in the jar and add the powdered bait that comes with the trap. The mosquitoes will lay their eggs in the water; once they go in the jar, they don't come out.

    For best results, position a trap every 10 feet or so around the perimeter of your porch or patio, using at least two traps. Don't put the traps near where you usually sit or picnic, as the jars do lure mosquitos in before they trap them!

    What else can you do to reduce mosquitos in an eco-friendly way?

    Continue reading "To Beat Mosquitos - Don't Zap 'Em, Trap 'Em" »

    July 25, 2011

    Have you taken the "Buy Local" challenge?

    Buy local challenge Want to show your support for environmentally friendly, locally grown food?

    Yes, you can eat it!

    You can also take the "Buy Local" challenge, a campaign to get shoppers to eat locally grown food every day from July 23-31.

    Here are a few reasons why buying and eating locally grown food is so important.

    Here's where you can find organic, locally grown food in your community.

    Here are a week's worth of menus for meals made with locally grown ingredients. Or get an entire cookbook of delicious recipes inspired by locally raised fruits and vegetables.

    And here's where you can take the challenge.

     

    Continue reading "Have you taken the "Buy Local" challenge?" »

    July 22, 2011

    Does it cost you more to cool your home than to heat it? Why energy conservation makes sense in the summer.

    Most of us have a tendency to focus on home energy saving during cold weather months, when heating bills rise and you can actually feel chilly drafts coming through leaky windows and poorly insulated attics and crawl spaces.

      Energywasting home But your home can lose just as much if not more energy during the hot summer, when those same windows and attics are leaking air - but in the reverse. (red, pink and yellow spaces in infrared photo of house at left show where energy is leaking). Take a look at the numbers from my latest electricity bill, below (I live just outside Washington, DC). I used twice as much electricity in June this year than I did in November last year, and more in July than I did in December or January.

     

     

    DIANE'S ELECTRICITY USAGE ...

    Continue reading "Does it cost you more to cool your home than to heat it? Why energy conservation makes sense in the summer. " »

    July 18, 2011

    Make Your Own Delicious, Organic Tomato Sauce. Here's How.

      Tomato2 This post is for you if you: love the taste of vine-ripened locally grown tomatoes; worry about "store bought" tomatoes containing too much sugar, salt or other additives; want to avoid canned tomatoes or tomato sauce because the can linings might contain BPA; or just like the idea of making your own food.

    This recipe is also for you if you don't want to bother with canning. I'm a fan of freezing tomatoes because it's just so easy to do.

    What you'll need

     Tomatoes - I prefer to use mostly Roma, with a few beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes thrown in. I buy organic pretty much exclusively, though have also made sauce from tomatoes my neighbors give me when their gardens overflow (I don't have enough sun to grow my own.).

    Cutting board and sharp knife - You'll need to quarter the tomatoes and remove the pulpy seeds before you throw them into the food processor. Avoid using a wooden board, since all the tomato juice will soak into the wood and make it hard to clean. A serrated knife works well to slice through tomato skin and all the way through the tomato.

    Food processor -The food processor can chop the tomatoes into such small pieces that you won't need to remove the skins, which saves a lot of time and also ensures that you keep all the vitamins, nutrients and fiber that are in tomato skin.

    Colander and bowl - You'll need a colander to drain the tomatoes after you wash them, and then again to capture the tomato juice when you're seeding the tomatoes.

    Large stock pot - Use the pot to simmer the liquid out of the tomatoes before you freeze them.

    Spoons, Ladles - A long, stainless steel slotted spoon is best for stirring the tomatoes when they're in the pot so they don't burn. Use the ladle, a large serving spoon, or a stainless steel, long-handled measuring cup to transfer the simmered tomatoes to the freezer jars.

    Freezer jars - You can buy glass canning and freezer jars, or use glass jars you've saved from other foods and sauces. I prefer glass over plastic because chemicals from the plastic might seep into the food if it's hot when you put it in the jar. If you do use plastic, make sure your sauce is totally cool before you put it in the container. Leave 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of space between the food and the jar lid so the food has room to expand when it freezes.

    Get Started ...

    Continue reading "Make Your Own Delicious, Organic Tomato Sauce. Here's How." »

    July 11, 2011

    It's World Population Day. Or is that, "Over" Population Day?

    This year, the number of people living on the earth will amount to 7,000,000,000. That's seven billion, more than at any other time in the history of human kind.

      Peachtreeroadrace To say that we're taking an environmental toll would be an understatement. Natural resources have never seemed so scarce. Every time anyone anywhere in the world burns fossil fuel like coal or oil, it makes climate change a bit worse. Our oceans are running out of fish, our forests are giving up too many trees. We seem to be drinking up every last drop of water.

    These trends have been building for the last couple of hundred years. But now - this year - as we reach, and then exceed seven billion -    I can't help but wonder, how much worse are things going to get? And would the environment catch a break if we could somehow reverse population growth, rather than sit by and watch helplessly as it escalates?

    Should there be fewer people?

    Continue reading "It's World Population Day. Or is that, "Over" Population Day?" »

    Meatless Monday: Gazpacho

    Dicey_gazpacho_m Salads and cold soups offer a delicious eco-friendly and healthy alternative to meat. Here's my favorite recipe for gazpacho, a refreshing tomato-based soup made from ingredients you can easily find locally grown at the farmer's market or your grocery store. Serve cold or at room temperature with a simple salad of mixed greens and a sprinkling of grated carrots, plus a crunchy crusty bread to sop up the soup when you get to the bottom of the bowl. For a little protein on the side, hard boil some eggs or grill several slices of marinated tofu. Another option? Drizzle olive oil on a mound of fresh goat cheese, dust with freshly cracked salt and pepper, and spread on the bread. Good for "meatless Monday" or any day of the week.

    Gazpacho (serves 8 people as an appetizer or 6 for a meal) ...

    Continue reading "Meatless Monday: Gazpacho" »

    July 08, 2011

    France BANS Fracking. But New York is about to allow it. Huh?

    Thumb_green The French Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to ban fracking, a toxic way to extract natural gas from rock thousands of feet below ground and pollutes groundwater and sickens people and animals in the process.

    The state of New Jersey is the only  state to ban fracking in the U.S., though the process is underway in 36 states.

    Public opposition to fracking is growing as more people become aware of the environmental and human health problems it cause. That's one of many reasons why it doesn't make sense that New York state is set to make it easier to frack there, even though the state currently has some of the safest, cleanest drinking water in America.

    Find out what fracking is doing to your state here.

    On Capitol Hill, the FRAC Act would force natural gas fracking operations to at least comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act, which they're under no obligation to do now. You can sign a petition here to ask your Senators to support the FRAC Act.

     

    July 07, 2011

    Fracking: A Clear and Present Danger

    Gas mask I don't like to exaggerate the impacts of the many environmental issues we face. But  it's impossible to overstate how dangerous fracking is. Fracking stands for "hydraulic fracturing," a highly polluting process for tapping underground pools of natural gas. It involves drilling a hole a mile deep and thousands of feet long, then pumping down millions of gallons of water laced with sand, salt and chemicals to crack rock shale that contains the gas. Wherever it happens, it pollutes drinking water, makes people and animals sick, and ruins property values. This special Green Moms Carnival raises several red flags about fracking. Read them all to understand why fracking matters to you - and why you must help stop it.

    Lori of Groovy Green Livin' asks "What the heck is fracking?" You won't like her answer anymore than she did. It's like a "mini-bomb or earthquake exploding underneath the ground" that leaves behind extremely toxic waste water. "The quantities of fracking fluids used in a single well contain so much benzene and other toxic chemicals that they could potentially contaminate more than the amount of water New York State consumes in a day.  Water is so contaminated with methane and other chemicals from fracking that it can become discolored, bubble and could actually catch on fire at the kitchen tap....The chemicals from fracking can cause chronic illness, loss of sense of smell and taste, animals hair to fall out, severe headaches and cancer."

    Continue reading "Fracking: A Clear and Present Danger" »

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