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Green Purse Alerts!

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.
  • « November 2012 | Main | January 2013 »

    December 07, 2012

    Holiday Gift Bags Make Wrapping a Snap - and Reduce Use of Plastic Bags, Too.

    Why do I love reusable holiday gift bags? Let me count the ways:

    EnvirosaxOne, they save me a lot of time. It could take five minutes to wrap a gift the "normal" way: cutting paper to fit, folding and taping it, then swirling some ribbon around it to make it look extra pretty. With a gift bag, I just open the bag, put a little tisue paper in, plop in the present, and put a little more tissue paper on top. Ta-da!! It's wrapped.

    Two, they save me money. How? Because I re-use bags I've gotten in the past. I have always been one of those annoying people who tries to save and re-use wrapping paper. But let's be honest - reused wrapping paper tends to be wrinkled and a bit torn. While it CAN be re-used, it's not the prettiest way to wrap. On the other hand, most gift bags are pretty durable, whether they're made of cloth, thicker paper or cardboard, or recycled plastic. I never throw away a good bag. Plus, most places where I shop credit me a nickel for every reusable bag I use in place of one of the store's plastic bags. It's not a lot of money, but still, it makes me feel good!

    Three, reusable bags save trees, in the form of paper. Sandra Ann Harris of EcoLunchBox reports that, "When it comes to paper waste over the holidays, keep in mind that a whopping half of the paper consumed in the U.S. annually is used to wrap and decorate consumer products." Whew! When you think of all the natural resources that went in to growing the trees, turning them into pulp, printing the paper, and shipping it all over the country, doesn't it seem a little ridiculous to waste all that on wrapping that will be ripped up and thrown away?

    Fourth, because they can be used over and over again, reusable bags can take the place of lots of plastic bags. I have a tendency to wrap gifts in bags that can actually be used for shopping regardless of the season. And that's a great gift in and of itself. Take a look at this graphic, produced by reusable bag manufacturer Factory Direct.  It shows just how many states have banned plastic bags. Even if you live in a community that hasn't yet banned plastic bags, it's probably only a matter of time before they do. Here's more info on why plastic bags are a big environmental non-no.

    HOLIDAY GIFT BAG OPTIONS

    Continue reading "Holiday Gift Bags Make Wrapping a Snap - and Reduce Use of Plastic Bags, Too." »

    December 06, 2012

    Ford Fusion Named 2013 "Green Car of the Year"

    As auto show season starts to ramp up, plan on taking a look at Ford Motor Co.'s 2013 Fusion when you tour the showroom floor. The Fusion has just been named "Green Car of the Year" by Green Car Journal 2013_Green_Car_Of_The_Year_764849317thanks  to its 47 mpg fuel efficiency and the reduced amount of climate-changing carbon dioxide it emits compared to many other cars. Plus, it's an affordable option for shoppers in the market for a new car who want more responsible environmental performance, too.

    I drove one of the very first Ford Fusion hybrids a few years ago - and loved it. And that was before the car came in three different models. One option today is the "standard" Fusion. This model gets around 28 mpg overall, and costs around $21,000. Nice, but not enough to be considered "my" green car of the year.

    However, the next two options are what make a difference. The Fusion Hybrid achieves 47 mpg, which is terrific compared to most cars on the market. And get this: the Energi model, a plug-in hybrid, is aiming to deliver an estimated 100 mpg. Plus the Energi is still available for a federal tax rebate.

    Here's how the Energi works, according to the Ford website. "The new Fusion Energi ...combines a high-voltage battery and electric motor with a gasoline engine. The high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack provides enough power to operate in all-electric mode for short commutes. Thanks to plug-in capability, you can charge the battery using a 120-volt outlet. Or you can use a 240-volt outlet, upgraded with electric vehicle supply equipment. To lessen any concern you may have about driving range, when the battery is depleted or more power is required, the vehicle functions as a traditional gas-electric hybrid. The Fusion Energi also features a Regenerative Braking System, allowing it to capture kinetic braking energy and store it for later use."

    Continue reading "Ford Fusion Named 2013 "Green Car of the Year"" »

    Quick, Homemade Jams and Applesauce in Beautiful Jars Make Special Holiday Gifts

    Want to make your own food gifts for the holidays? Here are two recipes - one for homemade cranberry jam courtesy of Whole Foods, one for homemade applesauce courtesy of me - that are simple, delicious, and guaranteed to inspire anyone who receives them to lick her lips!

    CRANBERRY JAM

    Cranberry jam This recipe cooks up in minutes. I made a version of it as a cranberry chutney for Thanksgiving, adding a sprinkle of ground ginger rather than nutmeg to give it a little zing.  Spoon it into clean glass jars, and wrap in a lovely tea towel - or just crisscross a ribbon around it and add your personalized gift tag.

    By the way, I make gift tags by recycling Christmas cards I received the previous year. If you cut out rectangles with pinking shears, they're quite cute!

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 (16 ounces) bag fresh cranberries
    • 2 apples (Fuji, Gala and/or Golden Delicious), peeled, cored and grated
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    HOW TO PREPARE

    Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently, until cranberries have popped open and mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Transfer to small jars, if desired. Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

    You can find more DIY food gift recipes from Whole Foods here.

     

    APPLESAUCE

    INGREDIENTS

    ApplesApples. That's it. I usually use a combination of Honey Crisp and Winesap, but you should use whatever you like to eat. If you're not sure, just go to your farmer's market - chances are they'll have lots of apples and will be happy to cut you some slices so you can choose one or a combination.

    HOW TO PREPARE

    Peel all the apples. Cut out the core, then slice into eighths. Put into your food processor and puree.

    That's it.

    I like applesauce made this way more than cooking down the apples and then pureeing them or mashing them up. They're more flavorful, and easier, too, as it saves me a lot of time not standing over a boiling pot of apples making sure they don't burn.

    One tip: Once I have a big pile of apple peels, I put them in a pot of water and add a couple of cinnamon sticks and some whole cloves. I turn the heat to low and just let the aroma from this apple "potpourri" fill the house. It's heavenly.

    December 03, 2012

    EcoCentric Mom Box Features Herbal Eye Pillow and Organic Earth Bar

    One thing that makes receiving my monthly EcoCentric Mom Box so much fun is that I never know what new, eco-friendly innovations it's going to contain. Pretty regularly, I find welcome non-toxic body lotions, face cleansers or cosmetics and organic taste treats inside. But there are always a few extra surprises included that introduce me to something I had no idea was available.

    IMG_2173  For example, this month's box contained:

    * Nardo's Natural Face Cleanser, Body Lotion and Lip Balm - What I particularly like about the lip balm is both the natural vanilla scent and the smooth way it glides on. It's not thick and sticky like some balms. In addition to the sample products, the Mom Box included an offer code to receive 20% off retail products and free shipping on orders over $75.

    * Eli's Organic Earth Bar - There's just one word for this: YUM! Eli's Earth Bars are organic and Fair Trade in addition to delicious. Plus, the company gives back 5% of every sale to a non-profit charity that benefits kids.

    Natural Newborn Vapor Rub - Congested? This rub has been formulated so it's safe enough for babies but works on us big babies, too. As you would expect, it's petroleum-free.

    Hero Nutritionals Yummi Bears DHA - These vitamins contain purified fish oil but you'd never know it, hidden as they are in a gummy bear that's naturally fruit flavored.

    Green Cupboards $10 Gift Card - Use this gift card to do your own shopping for health & beauty products, electronics, home and outdoor furnishins, and pet supplies.

    Lunapads - These washable cloth menstrual pads offer a sustainable alternative to disposable paper products. This month's Mom Box included a coupon to redeem for one free mini pantyliner.

    Herbal Eye Pillow Gift Card - These eye pillows are filled with organic flax seeds, lavender, and peppermint. They block out the light and send you off to sleep with a little aromatherapy, too. Use them at night, or at the end of any yoga class.

    Each of these products comes with a special offer coded that gives you some kind of discount, usually 20% off the purchase price. 

    For All Canada Moms...because Ecocentric Mom only ships within the US, they have teamed up with a brand new subscription box company based in Canada.  This new company only ships within Canada.  If you live in Canada and would like to receive monthly eco-friendly mom and baby boxes, please visit www.LittleEcoFootprint.com to sign-up and tell them Diane sent you.

     

    By the way, if you haven't subscribed to EcoCentric Mom boxes in the past, here's what you've missed!

    September's Mom Box Review

    Baby Box Helps New Moms Find Safer Lotions, Foods

    EcoCentric Mom Box Features Green Cleaners, Organic Body Treats

    EcoCentric Mom
    Everbuying led light
    Green by Answers.com
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