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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.
  • July 29, 2013

    Eco-Friendly Soaps & Lotions, Plus Organic Energy Drinks & Honey

    The July EcoCentric Mom Box offers lots of interesting goodies you're either going to want to put in your body or on it.

    IN Your Body

    Julyboxsmall1 I hate to admit it, but the first thing I do when I get an EcoCentric Mom Box is to see what foods it contains. Maybe that's because it usually arrives around lunch time! In any event, I've really enjoyed this month's taste treats. They included:

    Honibe Honey Lozenges and Honibe Honey Delights Candy - The lozenges are made from 100% pure dried honey - and they sure taste like it. They're also infused with menthol and eucalyptus; I can imagine using them in the fall and winter if I get a sore throat or stuffy nose. The Honibe Honey Delights are also made with 100% pure dried honey - and that's eat. They taste delicious and are just sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

    Continue reading "Eco-Friendly Soaps & Lotions, Plus Organic Energy Drinks & Honey" »

    July 01, 2013

    Natural Mosquito Repellent to Ward Off Summer Bugs & More

    My Ecocentric Mom Box has arrived just in the nick of time. Summer is in full swing, which means so are the mosquitos. There are lots of ways to reduce mosquitos around your home, but most of us still need Mombox1to use some kind of repellent when we're in the garden, at a picnic, or taking a walk. This month's Mom Box included Herbal Insect Repellent from Turtle Moon that's worth giving a try. Made from essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus and wild geranium, it smells great to me (though not to bugs), sprays on so you can rub it in, but is not greasy.

    I was a bit skeptical of another product in the box until I tried it. It's a lip scrub, believe it or not. This is a terrific solution if you have chapped lips that you just can't seem to keep moist.  Essence of Antiquity Pomegranate Lip Scrub works like hand or body scrubs you might have tried. Organic sugar provides the grit that gently wipes off rough skin cells, leaving lips feeling surprisingly moist.

    Afterwards, I tried the Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Lip Colour, a lip stick made with shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and pomegranate oil (NOT lead, which is found is a surprising number of lip sticks). All those oils left my lips feeling soft and healthy. NOTE: this lipstick is pretty shimmery, so if that's not for you, you can use it as a base and put something more subdued on top.

    Another healing product in this month's box was the Brigit True Organics Magic Healing Skin Balm Stick. This balm claims to help heal skin irritation, bug bites, and dry skin. I wasn't able to verify those claims independently, but given the ingredients - extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, calendula - I can imagine that it does a pretty good job moisturizing and soothing.

    Continue reading "Natural Mosquito Repellent to Ward Off Summer Bugs & More" »

    April 30, 2013

    Ecocentric Mom Box: Put on Your Best Face (Mask)

    An EcoCentric Mom Box is both dependable and surprising. Dependable because you can count on the sample products it contains to be non-toxic, low impact, and a great bargain. Surprising because every box introduces a whole host of healthy personal care products, shampoos, soaps, and even foods that you might have no idea existed. I like the box because it constantly gives me fresh ideas for ways I can practice my Big Green Purse commitment and shift my spending to greener goods to protect myself, my family, and my community.

    Aprilbox1 (1)  This month’s box is no exception. Here’s a rundown of the dependably surprising items I found. (NOTE: If you’d like to receive your own Ecocentric Mom box every month, you can sign up here. Big Green Purse readers get a 10% discount on any subscription plan you choose.  Be sure to enter code ECOMOM10 at checkout.)

    7th Heaven 100% Natural Face Mask – This mask uses Moroccan Clay infused with fresh fragrances of apricot and orange to hydrate, cleanse and tone skin.  After you use it, moisturize with…

    Natures Gate Rice Bran Facial Moisturizer – This light lotion smooths on easily and leaves no greasy film behind.  It complements perfectly the…

    Biotin Shampoo and Conditioner, and Acai Body Wash – Also made by Nature’s Gate, all these products combine botanical, herbal and floral ingredients to create personal care products you’ll feel good using, even more so if you brew a cup of …

    Continue reading "Ecocentric Mom Box: Put on Your Best Face (Mask)" »

    May 10, 2011

    I took her camping; she took her iPod.

    We started taking our kids camping when they were both still in diapers. They were used to playing outside anyway, so camping seemed normal, only better, since they got to sleep in a tent and roast marshmallows around a live fire.

    Dan Dana Monet By the time they were five and seven, they could hike all day -- as long as we included picnics, tree climbing, rock skipping, tag and other games to keep them engaged and their minds off what they were actually doing: walking up a big hill, then walking down again.We also bicycled to local parks, visited horse stables, went to the zoo, and prowled the botanic garden. Going with friends whose kids were the same age as ours made it more fun for us all.

    During several spring breaks, we camped at Cinnamon Bay in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It's a wonderfully safe place where children can flit about wild as birds and find endless fascination in hermit crabs, land iguanas, bats, and the myriad fish they see when they snorkel. My son eventually joined the Boy Scouts. My daughter became a dancer and a musician as she entered middle school, but we still made it a point to go hiking as a family a few times a year.

    Continue reading "I took her camping; she took her iPod. " »

    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..." »

    February 16, 2010

    What Does "Natural" Mean?

    Carrots Dictionary.com defines natural as "not artificial" or "having undergone little or no processing and containing no chemical additives." When I think of "natural" I think of things "as Nature made them" - a tree, a flower, an apple, a bunch of carrots. I can recognize natural products in more or less their original form and can usually figure out whether they're good for me or instead pose some kind of threat (think "natural" poison ivy).

    Cheese puffs Businesses have long appreciated how much they have to gain by marketing their goods as "natural." It's why they've plastered the word all over products that, ironically, couldn't be farther from their natural state...like "natural" cheese puffs, crayola-colored gummy worms, ice cream that contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cocoa processed with alkali, and cleansers, soaps, toothpaste, and make-up that contain lye or lead.

    Gummy worms Products like these slide by as "natural" because no law prevents any manufacturer or retailer from claiming they are (unlike the label "organic," which is strictly defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and whose use is policed by both the federal government and consumer groups.) That's why I and many other consumer advocates encourage shoppers to ignore words like natural, earth-friendly, or something else equally appealing but ambiguous. There's no way to know what they really mean.

    NaturalSeal_Homecare_150px The Natural Products Association wants to clarify the debate. The group, which represents more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids has issued a Natural Products Association Standard and Certification for Home Care Products like household cleaners, laundry detergents, and concentrated and ready to use hard-surface cleaners (they've previously issued a similar standard for personal care products). Only products certified under the standard can bear the NPA natural home care seal, which is supposed to signal to consumers that the product can be trusted.

    Can it? Or is the standard just a clever attempt by companies better known for harsh and toxic ingredients to greenwash their products and cash in on the "natural" craze?

    Continue reading "What Does "Natural" Mean?" »

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