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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 16, 2013

    Three Best Ways to Reduce Food Waste: Shop Smart, Cook Smart, Compost Smart

    Every time I clean out my fridge or pantry, I'm appalled. As conscientious as I try to be about my food budget, I still find myself wasting more than I should. I'm not a hoarder, but I do hate throwing things away. To me, it's just like burning money, and who has money to burn? I certainly don't. That's why I'm trying to stick to these three smart strategies for wasting less food.

      Store shelves #1 - Shop Smart

    The first trick is to buy what you actually will eat. I've gotten pretty good about taking stock of what's still in the fridge before I go to the store. I never get around to thinking about recipes before I grab a shopping cart, but I have finally stopped buying double or triple of something, just because that's what I always buy.

    Plus, I try not to be motivated by what's supposedly on sale. Would I buy it if it weren't on sale? If the answer's no, I still skip it.

    Timesaver Tip: No time to even make a list? Take a picture of what's inside the fridge or in the pantry with your smart phone.

    Continue reading "Three Best Ways to Reduce Food Waste: Shop Smart, Cook Smart, Compost Smart " »

    April 18, 2013

    Compost: Crack for the Garden

    Compost is crack for the garden.

    Compost When you add it to your soil, it makes the earthworms shimmy, the bugs boogie, and plants positively pop.

    (From what I've read, crack has a similar effect on the people who use it; let me say for the record that I've never tried it!)

    Just as good, compost strengthens your soil and reduces your need to use synthetic fertilizers or toxic pesticides. If you're NOT using compost, why are you bothering to garden at all? Really!

    WHAT EXACTLY IS COMPOST?

    Composting is Nature's way of turning waste into organic gold.
    • Through good old-fashioned biological processes, composting converts kitchen scraps, yard waste, and other organic matter into rich and crumbly, soil-like material that attracts healthy worms, fights disease and improves the fertility of the soil.

    WHY IS COMPOSTING SO GREAT?

    • Composting saves money by reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers and toxic chemicals.
    • Composting could save communities money, too. Yard trimmings and food waste together constitute 23 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. That's a lot of garbage to send to landfills when it could become useful and environmentally beneficial compost instead!

      Compost bucket I compost fruit and veggie kitchen scraps in my backyard. My town picks up our fallen leaves every autumn, lets them biodegrade at a municipal site, and delivers them back to us in the spring to use as mulch on our gardens and around our bushes and trees. You can also buy ready-made compost at most hardware stores and garden centers, or online at places like Amazon (we sell some in our store here). NOTE: If you buy compost, make sure it has been made from certified organic plant sources.

     YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN COMPOST

    You can make compost from kitchen waste, debris from your lawn and garden, or both. You can either build your own compost pile, or buy a compost tumbler or bin. You can even get composting bags to keep on your back porch, deck or patio.

    Continue reading "Compost: Crack for the Garden" »

    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" »

    April 19, 2012

    Earth Day or Any Day, Don't Toss Your Cash With Your Trash

    Aviva headshot purple shirt kitchen 09Aviva Goldfarb of The Six O'Clock Scramble fame shares her "Earth Day Every Day" suggestions for living greener in the kitchen that will save you money, too.

    "If I asked you to reach into your wallet and grab a couple of twenty dollar bills, and rip them up and throw them away, you’d probably think I was crazy, right?  But that’s essentially what most Americans are doing each and every week!  According to an article in On Earth magazine, “Americans waste 30 – 40% of their food, or the equivalent of about two full meals a day.” 

    Think about those weeks that you buy food without having carefully planned your meals.  Do you end up throwing away more flimsy produce, expired meats, or moldy cheese? There are high costs to wasting all this food, and they're not just economic. All this extra food has to be produced and transported before it’s eaten and even after it’s discarded, resulting in higher energy costs and emissions. 


    What to do?

    I’ve found my family can vastly reduce waste and save hundreds of dollars each month by:

    * planning ahead for meals and snacks before grocery shopping,

    * grocery shopping just once a week,

    * keeping a grocery list on the refrigerator for all family members to update during the week so I can stick to shopping just once a week, and

    * using up as much leftover food as possible in a final meal or two before doing the weekly shopping.


    Start Composting

    Even if you do plan your meals and cook at home, you’re bound to have some waste.  Last year my family started composting as a way to reuse some of our waste and reduce the amount of trash that has to be hauled from our curb.

    While the thought of composting was a little intimidating, it turns out to be the easiest thing in the world! Each day I collect our fruit and vegetable rinds, peels and ends, along with any egg shells and coffee grounds, in a bowl on the kitchen counter.  At the end of the day I dump the bowl’s contents into a large plastic kitty litter bin I keep under our kitchen sink.  When the bin is full, we dump the contents in a pile in our back yard, rinse the bin with the hose, and start over.  This summer we’ll use some of the compost to enrich our garden, but until then, we can feel good knowing that we reduced the amount of waste that is transported and takes up space in local landfills. 

    (NOTE: If you want to get a compost bin, Big Green Purse sells them in our store here.)

    This month, let’s all commit to saving money and the environment by reducing our food waste.  Please keep me posted on how your family has met or plans to meet this challenge by commenting on The Scramble Facebook page or via twitter(@thescramble) or by email at aviva@thescramble.com. I look forward to learning and sharing how much you save!"

     

    Scramble logoEarth Day Bonus!

    Between now and Earth Day (April 22), use the promo code EarthDay12 to get $5 off every subscription to The Six O'Clock Scramble weekly plan. As an added benefit, The Scramble will donate 5% of its Earth Day sales to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Subscribe to The Scramble here.

     

    Aviva Goldfarb is a family dinner expert, mother of two and the author and founder of The Six O'Clock Scramble, an online dinner planning system and cookbook. Her most recent cookbook, “SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Meals for Busy Families” was named one of the best cookbooks of 2010 by the Washington Post .  Aviva contributes weekly to the Kitchen Explorers blog on PBSparents.org, and often appears on television, radio, and in magazines such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Working Mother, Kiwi, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and Prevention.You can sign up for her weekly newsletter at thescramble.com. For more information, contact Aviva@thescramble.com.

     

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