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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.
  • April 15, 2014

    Ecocentric Mom Box Review

    Ecocentric mom (1) My Ecocentric Mom Box is always full of an interesting and surprising array of product options I never knew existed. Here's what I discovered in the March/April box:

    For your body:

    Bach Original Flower Remedies - Bach has distilled 38 flower and plant essences into concentrated clear liquids, each of which is reputed to help deal with some kind of stress. My box contained a bottle of the essence of elm. It smells good enough to use as a perfume, though the recommended application is on the tongue.

    Treefort Naturals Comfrey Salve - My hands always seem to be on the dry side. This salve soothes and softens and leaves no greasy residue.

    MarieNatie All-Natural Lip Gloss - It's free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, petro-chemicals and phthalates. I also like how moist it is on the lips. The company also makes eyeliner, eye shadow, blush, lip balm and mascara.

    Oatmeal Grapefruit Face Wash Powder by Homespun Northwest - This powder consists of freshly ground organic oats, Kaolin clay and grapefruit essential oil. Put a little in your hand, add a few drops of water until it makes a paste, and scrub. Easy peasy, and safe as can be.

    House Blend Organics Coconut Body Wash - I already use coconut butter as a body lotion because it is so moisturizing. This body wash both cleans and moisturizes, too.

    Essio $10 Gift Card - Essio is an aromatherapy diffuser for the shower and uses 100% USDA-certified organic essential oils. Wouldn't a lovely essential oil be so much better to smell than chlorine when you take a shower?

    To help you relax:

    Organic Caffeine-Free Roman Provence Rooibos Tea - This tea is full of rooibos, elderberries, blueberries, rosehip pieces, lavender blossoms, and even rose petals. It is just as soothing to smell as to sip.

    Powernap 2-CD Set - The lovely ambient music on these CDs will help revive you in the middle of the day with a powernap that works with your schedule. Choose from three longer naps to two five-inute programs. Each nap ends with chimes and a gentle voice to away you from a refreshing sleep.

    2 Degrees Food Bar - Unlike many power bars or energy bars, this snack actually tasted like real food. It includes heritage grains like quinoa, cia and millet. Plus, they're gluten-free, vegan, GO-free and kosher. An added bonus: For every 2 Degrees bar sold, the company donates a meal to a hungry child in the US and abroad.

    PLUS:

    Bluapple for Produce Preservation - I've been wanting to try one of these for a while, so I'm glad to have a chance. It is a small plastic ball that resembles an apple. Inside, you add small pellets that absorb the ethylene gas that fruits and vegetables emit as they age. By absorbing the gas rather than leaving it in the fridge, the Bluapple aims to preserve food freshness and extend the life of the produce. I've just put it in my veggie drawer. I'll let you know how it works.

    Sport Suds Laundry Detergent - This detergent is specially formulated to remove stubborn stains and odors. I'm not sure exactly what is in it, but happily it doesn't contain phosphates, dyes, or synthetic fragrances. It could be very effective on t-shirts, socks, shorts and sweatpants that take a beating when you or your kids are playing sports, out biking or hiking, or otherwise working up a sweat.

    Acai Seed Bead Hair Barrett - All of the jewelry made by Terri Jean's adornments, including this barrett, are vegan, with a particular emphasis on organic nuts and seed beads.

    Get Your Own EcoCentric Mom Box - It's easy to sign up to get your own box. You'll find all the details here.

    Note: Big Green Purse earns a small commission on any boxes ordered through our site. Those fees help make it possible for us to provide you with expert content at no charge. Our editorial opinion of the products remains our own. Thanks.

     

    February 10, 2014

    EcoCentric Mom Box: Soap, Serum and Chocolate

    EcoCentric Mom pulled together a fun and helpful collection of new green products to try this time around. They included:

    Ecocentric Mom Jan 2014 Soap - Not just any soap, but a full-sized bar of Wildly Natural Seaweed Detoxi Cellulite Soap featuring coffee and cinnamon to help cleanse and nourish the skin. Like most Ecocentric Mom products, it's also paraben, sulfate, gluten and dye-free.

    Lip Balm - This may be the last lip balm you ever try, because it's so soothing, nothing else will ever feel as good. LIPS by Healthy Houseful uses coconut oil, shea better and quality essential oils to moisturize and protect against chapped lips. Plus, as they say, "Nasty chemicals not included!"

    Facial and Hydrating Serum - Two sample bottles of Pure + Remedy serum included Vitamin C Facial serum, formulated with pure vegan hyaluronic acide to moisturize and plump skin cells; and Precious Drops, a super hydrating serum to firm and tone the skin.

    Continue reading "EcoCentric Mom Box: Soap, Serum and Chocolate" »

    December 11, 2013

    Indoor Plants Refresh Stinky Air, Make People Happy!

    We spend close to 90% of our time indoors. Shouldn’t we want to be breathing the cleanest, freshest air possible?

      Peace lily One way we can do so is by installing plants in the rooms where we work and live.  Gaddy's Plant Hire, a company based in Australia that specializes in renting out plants to offices and special events (and our sponsors for this post), has taken to heart the recommendations of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to use plants for air purification.

     Though plants don’t particularly look like air filters, they are. Plants emit water vapor that helps pull contaminated air down around a plant’s roots, where it is then converted into food for the plant. The more air circulates through the roots of the plants, the more effective the plants are at reducing pollution.  As you might expect, some plants are better air purifiers than others. For example,

    Continue reading "Indoor Plants Refresh Stinky Air, Make People Happy!" »

    December 09, 2013

    Butter for Your Hands, Not Your Bread, Plus Much More from EcoCentric Mom

    EcoCentric Mom Box November It's that time of year when my hands are starting to feel so dry, you'd think I lived in the desert. Nope, it's just winter setting in, along with its prescription for cracking skin and painfully tight dryness. Happily, this month's EcoCentric Mom subscription box included butter - hand butter that is, made by The Seaweed Bath Co. from shea butter, neem oil and bladderwrack seaweed extract. I'm not sure what a bladderwrack is, but this balm feels great, and smells yummy, too, with a hint of citrus (or maybe that's what bladderwrack smells like...).

    Not to leave lips at the mercy of winter, either, the subscription box also included both the 3 Little Girls Holistic Oange Pop Lip Gloss, and lip scrub and lip colour from Lauren Brooke cosmetiques. The organic sugar in the lip scrub helps smooth chapped lips, then moisturizes with organic lecithin and shea butter. The lip colour is infused with organic pomegranate and non-GMO vitamin E. And of course, the lip gloss is organic, too. Winter or summer, I actually put lip gloss on top of lip colour for extra moisturizing, so am glad to try out both these products.

    Continue reading "Butter for Your Hands, Not Your Bread, Plus Much More from EcoCentric Mom" »

    December 08, 2013

    Planning a Renovation? Don't Forget to Get the Lead Out!

    Woman house paint Are you planning a home renovation for 2014? Have fun coming up with new interior designs and imaginative ways to use your space! But while you’re plotting for the new, make sure to take proper precautions as you get rid of the old. Why? Because the furnishings and construction materials found in many older homes actually contain dangerous chemicals and compounds that can cause serious health problems if they’re underestimated or ignored. This post, sponsored by Newcastle Permanent, highlights several problems home renovations could create.

    LEAD

     Renovation and remodeling have been proven to result in lead poisoning in children, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The lead primarily comes from old paint.  Power sanding and demolishing walls and ceilings can release toxic dust, which can poison kids and pregnant women in particular. Your contractor can do a test to detect the presence of lead in wall, ceiling, door and window trim paint.

    To be safe, if your house was built before 1978, assume the worst so you’ll take the best precautions. Work with a contractor who is certified in safe lead removal practices. Seal off the area that is being renovated with plastic sheeting and make sure the paint is being removed using a wet sand or wet scrape process, which reduces the presence of dust and fumes. Clean up thoroughly every day. And keep pregnant women, babies and children, and even pets far away from harmful dust and debris.

    Continue reading "Planning a Renovation? Don't Forget to Get the Lead Out!" »

    "Green" Holiday Rentals Powered by Solar Energy

    Green living doesn’t need to stop when you take a vacation. An increasing number of properties are available that offer close-to-nature lodgings that tread lightly on the earth. 

     

    Fern Our sponsors at Perfect Stays, a UK-based rental or “letting” agency specializing in unique homes for holidays, special occasions, and short breaks, has drawn our attention to the properties at The Emerald, a five-acre estate in England’s Cornwall district that has achieved the UK’s highest level of sustainability (code level 6).

     

    The properties include five different rental homes (including "Fern," pictured left) and several additional facilities (like an indoor swimming pool and a gym) powered by solar energy, to the point that the entire property is carbon neutral. Rainwater is captured from the roof, while grey water from the kitchen sink, bath, and shower is recycled to maximize water conservation and ensure water is abundantly available for Solar farmthe landscape as well as the house. Waste paper is recycled on the property. Lights are illuminated with energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs, though the properties are also designed to maximize use of sunlight indoors to minimize the need for electricity. Appliances are energy efficient and save water. Each house is cleaned with products free of toxic chemicals and compounds.  

     

    Kitchens in the houses can be stocked with locally-sourced food, including milk, eggs, bread, and cheese. If you want to venture into the beautiful Cornwall region rather than hit amusement parks or shopping malls, you can go kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and paddle boarding at one of the nearby beaches. Or if you prefer, bicycle along the coast. Fine dining is available at local pubs rather than chain restaurants. Enjoy the region’s history at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, or at Pendennis Castle.

    Continue reading ""Green" Holiday Rentals Powered by Solar Energy" »

    December 06, 2013

    Idling Engines Make Air Quality Worse, Especially in Winter

    No idling The colder it gets outside, the more people want to heat up their cars inside - even before they get in the car. Leaving an engine to idle -- in other words, turning the car on and leaving it on when it is parked for longer than about the wait at a stop light -- wreaks havoc on clean air. That's because when your vehicle burns gas, it emits dirty particles and toxic chemicals that combine in the atmosphere to produce acid rain and ground-level ozone or smog that can be very harmful to our lungs. Air pollution is particularly tough on kids, reports the terrific non-profit group Moms Clean Air Force, because they actually breathe faster than grown-ups and inhale more air per pound of body weight. Some communities, like this inspiring group in Nova Scotia, Canada, have banded together to put a stop to idling at schools, sporting events, and shopping malls.

    Continue reading "Idling Engines Make Air Quality Worse, Especially in Winter" »

    December 04, 2013

    Swap Houses for Holidays to Help You Stay Green

    If you love to travel but hate the impact that many hotels may have on the environment, consider house swapping. Never heard of it? House swapping, says LoveHomeSwap.com, our sponsors for this article, is the practice of literally exchanging a stay in your house with people living in a house in a place you want to visit.

     

    Home swap For example, I could swap a stay in my home, which is just outside Washington, D.C., with someone who lives in London (or with this gorgeous house in Bali). I would stay in their house, and they would stay in mine.  Usually, the stays last about the same amount of time, but they don’t have to occur simultaneously. I have friends who regularly swap houses with people all over the world. If their guests want to visit at a time when they’re not traveling, they decamp to their kids’ house or to a neighbor’s or friend’s. It has worked so well for them, they have managed it in Maryland, San Francisco, Seattle, Paris, the Dordogne region in France, Italy, Belgium…you get the picture.

    Continue reading "Swap Houses for Holidays to Help You Stay Green" »

    December 02, 2013

    How Sustainable is Your Diet? Why Not Add Bugs?

    When you think of a sustainable diet, do you think of bugs? Normally, we wouldn't. But this provocative post from our sponsors at Ecocleen did. It's so interesting, we wanted to share it with you.

    It's clear to many people that as the world's population rapidly grows (it's expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2060), many aspects of our current way of life simply aren't sustainable. Our meat-intensive diet is just one of those things.

      Cows trough Enviro Impact of a Meat-Based Diet

     Many people have become concerned about eating burgers, not only because they can be high in calories and saturated fat, but because producing meat takes a big toll on the environment. Let's start with 13 - that's the number of pounds of grain (5.9kg) needed to produce just one pound (450g) of meat. Meanwhile, it takes 11 times as much fossil fuel to make animal protein as the equivalent plant protein.

    While many vegetarians believe that killing animals for meat is morally wrong, many also give up meat because of these environmental concerns. But while it's clear that we need to find a greener way of feeding ourselves in the future, the answer to our grumbling stomachs doesn't necessarily need to exclude animal matter.

    Bugs for Dinner

    Continue reading "How Sustainable is Your Diet? Why Not Add Bugs?" »

    October 15, 2013

    Want a Discount? Buy in Bulk to Save Money, Cut Trash, Shop Smart

    Bulkaisle  Buying in bulk is a smart shopping strategy for anyone looking to save money and cut back on trash. To raise awareness about the benefits of bulk buying, the Bulk is Green Council (BIG) is sponsoring National Bulk Foods Week this week. 

    Why Bulk?

    For starters, buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money on groceries. Why? Larger sizes deliver the same amount of product using less energy and materials than the equivalent number of smaller packages.

    The next time you go shopping, browse the snack aisle and compare the difference for yourself. When you buy one large box of cookies, all you pay for are the cookies and the one box. But if you buy a "snack pack" of ten or twelve small bags, you end up with all those individual bags, plus the display box they came in and the cellophane wrapped around them. That's a lot of excess packaging - and all that extra wrapping costs you more money.

    Continue reading "Want a Discount? Buy in Bulk to Save Money, Cut Trash, Shop Smart" »

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