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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.
  • « December 2012 | Main | February 2013 »

    January 29, 2013

    Looking for New, Non-toxic Lotions, Cremes & Cleansers? Try the January EcoCentric Mom Box.

    IMG_2365 This month's EcoCentric Mom box is chock full of exactly what I need in dry winter months: soothing organic skin lotions and cremes to moisturize my hands and face, gentle soaps, and cleansers and laundry "berry drops" that put the "clean" back in cleaning.

    But first, the food.

    I've said before that, as much as I enjoy the new non-toxic products from EcoCentric Mom that I get to try every month, I particularly like sampling the different taste treats that come in each box. This month, those treats included:

    Simply 7 Snacks Lentil Chips - These flavorful snacks are made with gluten-free, non-GMO ingredients, have no preservatives, and contain nothing artificial.

    Pure Matters Pea Protein Powder, in Chocolate and Vanilla - The vegan, non-GMO, plant based protein powder can be mixed with water or milk for a shake, or added to yogurt or fruit to make a smoothie.

    PROBAR Meal Bar - A lot of energy bars disappoint - they seem too sweet, too airy, and way too full of processed ingredients. The PROBAR Meal Bar was surprisingly the opposite: very dense and chewy, tasty without being cloying, and so "natural" you could see some of the raw ingredients with every bite. I've got to say, I really liked it.

    For my dry skin...

    Continue reading "Looking for New, Non-toxic Lotions, Cremes & Cleansers? Try the January EcoCentric Mom Box." »

    January 25, 2013

    Green Consumer Clout Motivates Tide to Clean Up Its Act

    Think you can't tell a Fortune 500 company what to do?

    Think again.

    Tide When Women's Voices for the Earth released a report noting that Tide detergent contained chemicals that could actually be harmful to kids, millions of consumers were outraged. They were buying the Procter & Gamble (P&G) product to keep their children clean and safe. Yet according to the report, Tide actually contained the cancer-causing chemicals 1,4- dioxane at levels safety experts considered threatening.

    Mom blogger and consumer activist Lori Alper sprang into action by launching a petition drive on Change.org.  urging the company to ditch the dangerous compounds. 

    Today - 78,000 signatures later - Tide capitulated. In response to consumer demand and a lawsuit filed in California by As You Sow, P&G agreed to phase out the carcinogens by September 2013.

    Alper-462-200x300 “When I started my petition on Change.org, I knew that Procter & Gamble listened to consumer feedback, and I was hopeful we could get this dangerous chemical out of our laundry,” said Alper. “I can’t wait to see what we can do next.”


    January 20, 2013

    At 2013 Green Ball, Send Pres. Obama Your #GreenWish for the Next 4 Years

    What do you hope President Obama will do to protect you, your family and the environment during his second term?

    Green Wish At tonight's Green Inaugural Ball, environmentalists, celebrities, elected officials and "green" citizens will make their wishes known as they celebrate not only Barack Obama's re-election but their hopes for the planet during his next four years.

    To be held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., the Ball will offer a perfect example of how to throw an eco-friendly party. Guests -- who are being encouraged to arrive via mass transportation, of course -- will dine on organic, locally grown food, including vegetable sushi rolls, butternut squash shooters, and a variety of other vegan and vegetarian offerings. Personally, I'm looking forward to sipping the "OM-bama" cocktail that's been created for the evening (the OM stands for Organic Mixology -- whatever that is.). There'll be plenty of entertainment, too, from the likes of Grammy award winners will.i.am and Paul Winter, New Orleans master trombonist Trombone Shorty, Rock & Roll cover band Camp Freddy, and many more.

    Wish you could be at the ball but can't? You can follow it all on Twitter, at #GreenBall2013. And don't forget to tweet your wish, using #greenwish. National Wildlife Federation, whose guest I will be at the ball, will be showcasing the green wishes all around the Newseum. Make one wish, or a dozen. There's no limit on what you can wish for!

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    January 18, 2013

    Shopping for a New Car? There are Plenty of Gas Sippers to Choose From.

    What kind of car do you need? Coupe? Sedan? Sports car? Mini van? Something you can zip the kids to school in before you head to work? A small truck to help you cart around your merchandise when you make a sales call or delivery? Whatever your needs, you can probably find what you're looking for not just in style, but in gas-sipping substance, too.

    CMAX SE That's the good news at the North American International Auto Show, currently under way in Detroit and soon to be visiting a city perhaps near you. Almost every car manufacturer seems to have gotten energy-saving religion. Big or small, snazzy or sedate, if you're buying a new car, you will have lots of gas-sippers to choose from.

    I went to the show as a guest of the Ford Motor Company, but I spent as much time looking at everyone else's cars as I did at Ford's. Overall, I came away encouraged. If people are going to drive (and they are, an average of 14,000 miles per year), they may as well get as many miles to a gallon of gasoline as they can. I've written here, here and here about the impact burning gas has on the environment and human health. The less fuel we use to get where we're going, the better.

    Plus, increasing your miles-per-gallon average can save you a ton of money. In the ten years I've owned my Prius, a car that on a bad day averages 37 or 38 mpg and more frequently gets in the mid to high 40s, I calculated recently that I've saved over $6,000 on gasoline. Even after replacing the car's tires and batteries, I came out several thousand dollars ahead.

    Here are a few gas-sippers I saw at NAIAS that I particularly liked:

      Fusion hybrid Ford Fusion - In my book, the best vehicles achieve at least 40 mpg on average and are made with some percentage of recycled materials. I test drove the Fusion hybrid when it first entered the market; I updated the story recently with a report on the strides being made to maximize the use recycled materials in the car's body and replace the plastic stuffing in seat cusions with biodegradable soy material. The 2013 model keeps pushing the limits further, averaging 47 mpg in the city or on the highway. The car's Auto Start-Stop feature automatically powers down the car when you come to a stop, then gently starts it up again when you press on the gas. Regenerative braking means that every time you tap on the brakes, you're sending energy back to the battery to recharge it. On the plug-in model, you can travel up to 62 miles on the power of the electric battery alone, more than enough for most commutes. Not for nothing was this car named 2013 Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal.

    Ford C-MAX Hybrids - There are actually three models of the new C-Max to choose from. The standard C-MAX Hybrid, pictured above, is projected to operate electrically up to 62 mph, with the gasoline engine kicking in when extra power is needed. At maximum fuel efficiency, the car could attain an average of 47 mpg in the city or the highway, or over 570 miles per tank. The C-MAX  Energi is a plug-in  Cmx13_feat_green_smartguage hybrid, or what Ford calls a "hybrid plus."  The plug-in capability allows drivers to charge fully in less than three hours using a 240-volt charging station, or overnight using a standard 120-volt oulet. The driver can choose to drive electric only, gasoline only, or a combination of gas and electric. Both the Hybrid and the Energi come with a "Smart Gauge with EcoGuide" (pictured at right) to help drivers maximize fuel efficiency. Third C-MAX, the SE, is also for sale. You can compare features of all three here. Note that prices range from $25,200 for the SE to $32,950 for the Energi, though that doesn't include the $7,500 federal tax credit available when you purchase a hybrid or any related state tax credits.

    2012_toyota_prius_4dr-hatchback_five_fq_oem_3_500 Prius Hatchback -The Prius Hatchback, left, is a roomy hybrid option that is comparably priced to the Fusion or C-MAX. Like the Ford hybrid models it seats five; the hatchback gives it some nice storage space that could accommodate a family vacation, camping trip, or even the dog. Toyota claims the car will get as much as 53 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway, for a combined average fuel efficiency rating of 50 mpg. Toyota also offers a Prius Plug-in with an estimated 95 miles on a charge, plus hybrids in its other popular models, including Camrys, Avalons, the RAV4, and the Highlander SUV.

     

    2012-tesla-model-s-fd Tesla Electric Vehicle - I have to say, I suffered a bit of car envy over the beautiful Tesla S (right), an all electric vehicle that is this year's MotorTrend Car of the Year. The car can travel anywhere from 160 miles to 300 miles on electricity only, depending on the size of the battery that's been installed in the car.

    Tesla interior I loved the big, clear computer screen sitting right next to the steering wheel on the front dashboard, which would be great for looking at a map. And it seems particularly clean, given that the battery pack is under the floor and there's absolutely no engine front or back.

    At $50k+, the car is waaaayyy out of my price range. But a girl can dream, right?

    BOTTOM LINE: Almost any type of vehicle you'd need is now available in a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric option. Have fun the next time you go car shopping!

     

    January 04, 2013

    Candy I Don't Feel Guilty About, and a Whole Lot More in This Month's EcoCentric Mom Box

    Ecocentric Jan The December EcoCentric Mom box arrived right in the middle of the holiday season, so I decided to open it in the new year instead. What better way to start off 2013 than by sampling some new organic taste treats and healthy products for my skin and hair?

    Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews - There was lots of food in this month's box, but my favorite by far were these candy-like "energy chews."  Made with USDA certified organic ingredients that are gluten- and dairy-free, they're wonderfully flavorful but not too sweet. I had intended to eat "just one," but gobbled them all right up once I tasted them.

    Clandestino Milk Chocolate Banana Bar - Between the subtle banana filling and the milk chocolate covering, these bars pack a nice little energy punch.

    Tisano Organic Chocolate Tea - I drink at least six cups of tea a day, and chocolate is one of my favorite foods, so you can imagine how much I liked trying out this new combo. One added benefit: though the tea is made from pure cacao beans, it's calorie-free.

    Organic Nectars Chocolate Bars - Yes, more chocolate! These bars are certified organic, vegan and completely free of dairy, peanuts, soy, gluten, GMOs and refined sugar. I especially liked the one flavored witht raspberry.

    Continue reading "Candy I Don't Feel Guilty About, and a Whole Lot More in This Month's EcoCentric Mom Box" »

    January 03, 2013

    My Green Goals for 2013: Less Bathroom Plastic, More Home-Made Yogurt, Better Compost

    I learned a long time ago not to make New Year's resolutions per se. They could be so general and vague, they could also be frustratingly easy to abandon. Without accountability to anyone but myself, it didn't really seem to matter if what I resolved to do oozed away after a month or two (if I even made it that long!). And the "pay back" or reward for keeping my resolutions seemed hard to measure. Sure, I might have resolved to save more energy or use less water, but without actually measuring what I used or what I saved, there wasn't much incentive to use less or save more.

    This year is going to be different. I'm not making resolutions, I'm setting goals - specific goals that will have real environmental benefits and that I can measure with real "before" and "after" statistics.

    Though I hope I'll reduce my environmental footprint in all sorts of ways this year, I'm only setting three specific goals in the hopes that a narrower focus will lead to broader achievements.

    GOAL #1 - MAKE MY OWN YOGURT

    Organic_yogurts I eat two cups of yogurt every single day - plain, non-fat, usually Greek-style yogurt that serves as the delicious base for whatever fresh fruit happens to be in season. It's a healthy and mostly eco-friendly breakfast - marred only by the fact that I buy the yogurt in big plastic throwaway tubs. When I was in college, I had an electric yogurt maker and made my own yogurt every week. I also made yogurt by mixing milk and yogurt starter in a bowl, then keeping it in a warm oven for several hours until the whole mixture became yogurt-like. Over the years as I was busy raising kids, running a business and writing books, I've gotten away from making my own yogurt. But I'm appalled at how many plastic yogurt tubs I throw away every week. If I made my own yogurt using milk I can buy in glass bottles from my local food coop, I would go from three or four plastic tubs a week to zero. So one goal for 2013 is to start making my own yogurt.

    Do you make your own yogurt? If you have a recipe you love, please share it!

    GOAL #2 - USE NO MORE THAN THREE PRODUCTS BOTTLED IN PLASTIC IN MY BATHROOM

    Continue reading "My Green Goals for 2013: Less Bathroom Plastic, More Home-Made Yogurt, Better Compost" »

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