My Photo

Or receive updates by email:

Delivered by FeedBurner


FIND DIANE ON...



AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Get Our Newsletter:
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 09, 2013

    Children Slammed by Typhoons, War Need Your Help - Today.

    Philippines Kids should be able to be kids, right? They should be able to run and laugh and go to school and aim for a future that is bright and hopeful and full of promise.

    But for children in the Philippines and Syria, that definitely is not the case. And even though those places may be worlds away from you, I hope you'll stop for a moment, read about the plight little ones in these two forlorn countries face and, through UNICEF Australia, decide there is something you can do to help.

    THE PHILIPPINES

    On Friday, November 8, a powerful typhoon called Haiyan struck the Philippines. You probably saw some of the initial news reports about the typhoon's impact on communities across the country. Powerful winds ripped roofs off housing and uprooted trees. Flooding and the collapse of buildings killed thousands of people. Parents were separated from their children; millions of people lost their homes, their belongings, and their livelihoods.

    Continue reading "Children Slammed by Typhoons, War Need Your Help - Today." »

    September 19, 2013

    What's so bad about fracking? Here's what you need to know.

    Don't Frack NY rally If you've been wondering what fracking is and whether it's good or bad, you're not alone. It's a complicated, high tech process whose advocates say it produces abundant clean energy. As an environmentalist as well as a consumer, though, I've been concerned about the impacts fracking is having on drinking water, clean air, and farmland. To try to chip away at my confusion, I electronically interviewed expert Maya van Rossum (pictured left). Maya is the Delaware Riverkeeper, the spokesperson for and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), a nonprofit environmental organization working to preserve, protect and restore the Delaware River Watershed, an area that extends into four states: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Here's what she had to say.

     

    Maya, in a nutshell, can you explain what fracking is and why it worries you?

     

    Fracking is the process of discharging massive volumes of water under high pressure into a drilled well in order to fracture the shale found under ground. The fracking process requires 5 to 9 million gallons of water for each well frack. Often this water comes from aquifers, streams and rivers. To that fresh water has been added toxic chemicals. Water that stays underground after the fracking has occurred is highly toxic, but the water that comes back to the surface is even more toxic.

     

    The toxified fluid trapped underground can make its way to our freshwater aquifers, threatening drinking water supplies. Toxified water that gets back to the surface of the earth is often stored in open pits or transported to other sites by truck or piping. In all of these activities, failures happen, contaminating streams, farmlands, our air and our communities.

    Continue reading "What's so bad about fracking? Here's what you need to know." »

    April 17, 2013

    Hate Throwaway Plastic or Paper Cups? KLEAN KANTEEN's Pint Cup Is the Perfect Reusable Alternative

    Klean kanteen 4 pack Throwaway drinking cups made from plastic, paper and polystyrene be gone! KLEAN KANTEEN's new reusable, stainless steel pint cup is now available to replace the trashy disposables you're used to seeing at convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, and keggers (college students, I'm talkin' to you!).

    The durable and easy-to-clean cup is made of food-grade stainless steel, making it perfect for the juice you serve at your kids' party or the beer you serve at your own. It won't break, so you don't need to worry about throwing it into a backpack, cooler, or beach bag. And it's dishwasher safe; whenever you're finished with it, just pop it into the dishwasher and it will come out safe and sparkly.

    KLEAN KANTEEN has been a pioneer in the world of reusable drink containers ever since it launched its reusable stainless steel water bottles more than ten years ago. KK recently became certified as a B Corp, meaning that the entire company operates to meet rigorous standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

    Klean Kanteen PINT-KID_A_300 KLEAN KANTEEN is also a wonderful partner when it comes to promoting important causes. I recently  partnered with them to provide their cups to the attendees at the first ever US - China Greener Consumption Forum, which I organized at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

    Thanks, KLEAN KANTEEN, for doing so much to help the rest of us kick our throwaway habits!

    September 28, 2011

    Michele Bachmann Wants to Crush EPA. First, She Should Go to China.

    Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Republican Member of Congress who's running for President, vows she'll cripple the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency if she's elected. Maybe if she spent a week in China like I recently did, she'd change her mind.

    Michele Bachmann I've just returned from a seven-day trip to Beijing, China's capital, and Xi'an, the country's cultural heart and soul and home to its famous terra cotta soldiers. In that entire time, I never saw the sun or sky. Nor was I able to drink the water that came out of any tap.

    Why? The sky was cloaked in grey smog so thick it obscured the tops of buildings, not to mention the heavens above. The air, while not exactly putrid, smelled dank and dangerous -- a result of massive numbers of polluting cars on the road and regional industrial plants that spew contaminants into the air.

    I could have worn a surgical mask like many of the city's permanent residents. Instead, I opted to be a "guinea pig" and see how much the smog would affect me as I went back and forth to various business meetings and tourist destinations.

    Beijing air pollution After just three days in Beijing, I developed a sore throat and itchy eyes, and lost any desire to explore the city's beautiful parks. I could have easily walked distances of a mile or two. Instead, I took the subway to avoid breathing the outdoor air unnecessarily. Back at my hotel, I kept the windows closed, choosing a stuffy room over a polluted one.

    The water coming out of my faucet looked cleaner than the air -- but I would have been a fool to drink it. Water treatment anywhere in China is thoroughly inadequate. The country's drinking water is tainted not just by household waste but from relentless industrial run-off.

    Some government figures estimate that over 70 percent of the nation's rivers have been contaminated by the discharge of heavy metals and other toxins directly into streams and tributaries that feed into China's waterways. Water treatment facilities remove a smattering of contaminants but never clean up the water to the point where it is drinkable. And this creates another problem.

    Independent companies are privatizing the water, purifying and bottling it, and selling it to the public by the tons. What happens to all the empty plastic water bottles? They end up back in the rivers and streams when they're trashed.

    Why is China so polluted?

    In short, because it has neither a power federal environmental protection agency nor adequate laws for such an agency to enforce. Yes, the government gives lip service to reducing pollution and protecting public health. But local activists in Beijing told me that given the physical size of the country, a population of more than 1 billion people, and tens of thousands of "renegade" manufacturing facilities, neither air nor water quality will improve significantly until the government makes a real commitment to strengthen and enforce its environmental laws.

    This is not to say that air and water in the U.S. are perfect, or even good enough. A recent study by Environment America, using data provided by the American Lung Association, reported that nearly half of all Americans -- 48 percent -- live in areas plagued by unhealthy smog pollution. A water quality analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council concluded that 22 million Americans may be drinking water that contains excessive levels of poisonous arsenic, among other chemicals.

    Still, the same Environment America study notes that "air quality has improved significantly in the last decade as a result of policies at the state and federal level." Likewise, the non-profit Environmental Working Group found over 90 percent compliance by water utilities in applying and enforcing standards that exist. Their recommendation: that EPA set even more effective standards so water quality will continue to improve.

    We can continue cleaning up our air or water. Or, we can abolish the EPA and look a lot more like China. I suggest Michele Bachmann go to China before she decides.

    Follow me on twitter @dianemaceachern.

    (NOTE: This article originally appeared at Huffington Post.)

     

    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" »

    June 30, 2011

    What the Heck is Fracking? And Why Don't You Want It Anywhere Near Your Water?

    It sounds like it could be a new dance ("Let's do the frack!"). Or maybe it's a cool way to clean your house ("I really fracked my floor this week; it looks great now!")

    Fracking But it's not. Fracking is short for "hydraulic fracturing," explains Chris Bolgiano in this Bay Journal article. "It involves drilling a hole a mile down, then thousands of feet horizontally, and pumping down millions of gallons of water laced with sand, salt and chemicals to crack the shale. Gas is forced up, along with roughly 25 percent of the contaminated wastewater, often hot with radioactivity."

    Chris adds, "Fracking chemicals include formaldehyde, benzene, and others known to be carcinogenic at a few parts per million. Municipal plants can’t handle fracking wastewater, and it’s stored in open pits until trucked elsewhere. If enough fresh water can’t be sucked from streams on site, trucks haul it in.

    Continue reading "What the Heck is Fracking? And Why Don't You Want It Anywhere Near Your Water? " »

    December 21, 2010

    How to Keep Drinking Water Safe for You and Your Family (Bottled Water is Not the Answer)

    Water2 Being able to get clean, safe drinking water straight from the tap is a right we're all entitled to. Yet today's news stories report, once again, that the water we drink every day may contain dangerous chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses.

    This time, the chemical in question is a compound called hexavalent chromium, or chromium 6. If it sounds familiar, it may be because you saw the movie "Erin Brockovich," starring Julia Roberts. In the film, based on a true story, Roberts as Brockovich campaigns to protect residents of a small California town whose drinking water has been contaminated by hexavalent chromium. In real life, Brockovich, a legal aide, helps the town residents win a $333 million lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric, the company responsible for the contamination.

    But that's not the end of the tale. It turns out, hexavalent chromium persists in drinking water in dozens of American cities, including Bethesda, San Jose, Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, Albuquerque, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City (note: If your city is not on the list, it might only mean that the water in your city wasn't analyzed). The toxic chemical is released when plastics, steel, and paper pulp are manufactured; it's also discharged by leather-tanning and metal-plating factories. It can pollute water when soil and rock erode as well. It exists in our drinking water for two reasons: because companies can release it into the environment without much legal or financial consequence; and because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not currently impose regulations on municipalities to eliminate chromium 6 in our water -- or at least, to reduce it to much safer levels.

    You can get more information from the answers to this list of frequently asked questions; you can also read the full report on hexavalent chromium here. But don't just read the report: take action to protect the water you and your family drink! Here's how:

    1) Don't buy bottled water. Much bottled water comes straight from the same source as our drinking water. It looks healthier because it sports a fancy label touting how "pure" it is - but unless the label also says the water has been tested and proven to be free of hexavalent chromium and other contaminants, you'll just be wasting your money. Instead, use your purse power to invest in a reverse osmosis filter (see below).

    Continue reading "How to Keep Drinking Water Safe for You and Your Family (Bottled Water is Not the Answer)" »

    October 18, 2010

    10 No-Brainer Ways to Use Water Wisely. Plus, a Bonus...

    As I pointed out previously, we're drinking the same water Cleopatra drank.

    Water faucet That's another way of saying, the world just doesn't make more water. What's here is what's always been here. And it's what's always going to be here, even though there are more and more people using the limited water we have. Which is why we have to figure out how to make every drop of H2O count.  In honor of Blog Action Day's focus on water, here are 10 No Brainer Ways to Use Water Wisely.

    1) Give up bottled water. How many reasons do you need? Toxic plastic is used to contain bottled water. Bottled water generates mountains of trash. Making bottled water and moving it around the globe wastes enormous amounts of energy. Bottled water may not be as safe to drink as tap water.  Here's the real kicker: bottling water wastes water. Two gallons of water are wasted for every gallon bottled. Stupid, no?

    2) Give up the idea that you have to drink water all the time. Where did that notion come from, that somehow, your outfit isn't complete without a bottle of water by your side? I've gotten along just fine drinking from drinking fountains and -- believe it or not -- going for a couple of hours at a time without drinking water. Try it. You won't die.

    Continue reading "10 No-Brainer Ways to Use Water Wisely. Plus, a Bonus..." »

    October 15, 2010

    We're Drinking the Same Water as Cleopatra. Is It as Clean?

    Water2 Did you get a drink or throw in a load of laundry before starting to read this blog, written in honor of Blog Action Day? You probably could have, given the easy access most of us have to clean water.

    One person of every three on the planet today isn't nearly so fortunate, according to the International Water Management Institute, given their lack of reliable access to fresh water. Even here in the U.S., the federal Government Accountability Office reported in 2003 that "water managers in thirty-six states anticipate water shortages locally, regionally, or statewide within the next ten years."

    The rest of the world looks equally thirsty. By 2025, worries the Water Management Institute, all of Africa and the Middle East, and almost all of South and Central America and Asia, will either be running out of water or unable to afford its cost.

    Dirty Water Kills Kids

    Continue reading "We're Drinking the Same Water as Cleopatra. Is It as Clean?" »

    EcoCentric Mom
    Everbuying led light
    Green by Answers.com
    GSHNetworkMember125

    Categories