Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shopping for the Environment: Big Green Purse

I don't know about you but I make most of the purchasing decisions in my household. Not that my husband cannot do it, but come on, he does not want to buy clothes for the kids, groceries, etc.  And I am not alone, women purchase or influence the purchases of 80% of all consumer goods -- trillions of dollars per year.   That is a lot of spending power!  So how can we take this purchasing power and save the environment?

Well, for years, environmental writer, Diane MacEachern, has been loosing an uphill battle fighting for a better environment.  She decided in addition to fighting to get Congress and companies to adopt better business practices to reverse global warming, and speaking across the country about environmental issues, she would go shopping.

Shopping?  How can shopping help save the environment?

 "Women have a whole planetful of power in their purses," states MacEachern in her new book, released this week, Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World.  

But really, how can my spending help environment?  MacEachern put outs this pledge. If one million of us (men can do this too!) pledge to shift $1,000 of our annual spending on green products, it would create an impact of $1 billion on the market place. That is a lot of influence on companies.  

Her book Big Green Purse guides readers through every section of the marketplace -- beauty, cosmetics, personal care products, cars, food, household clears, clothes, jewelry, garden and lawn care. kids and baby items, lights, appliances, electronics, and home products -- 25 commodities where our dollars can have the most impact. 

In the market for a new diamond ring or necklace? Shop at antique stores, estate sales or yard sales.  If used does not do it for you, buy diamonds mined in Canada that miners rights are protected and the diamonds are mined under stricter environmental regulations than Africa or those that meet the Kimberley Process Certification, non-conflict stones. 

Love clothes? Search out those made of organic cotton, recycled soda bottles , hemp, and bamboo.  Buy clothes with less color and dyes and shoes made out of cork and recycled rubber. 

Big Green Purse is not just a list of things you should buy or avoid, rather MacEachern explains in detail the current marketplace, the issues and what the impact of buying these green purchase will make on the environment.  

For example, the section on foods, because we know I am obsessed with food, entitled "We are what we Eat,"  goes into detail on the impact of eating beef, poultry and pork has on the environment.  The difference between certified organic, natural and grass-fed meats. How to choose sustainable seafood.  How to afford organic foods.  There is even a section on which you should use plastic or paper bags.  (Answer:  reusable bags!) 

So I've begun to shift my $1,000.  Who's joining me?  

BTW, kudos to the publisher of this book for publicizing Big Green Purse via a "paperless PR campaign!"


Diane MacEachern said...


Thank you for your kind words about Big Green Purse! I'm really excited to see what you're up to. Let me know how your progress towards the $1,000 goes. No doubt, you're One in a Million! Best, Diane MacEachern

Allie said...

I'm reading this book right now and LOVING it.

Anonymous said...

looking forward to reading it and helping to dave the earth