Monday, September 01, 2008

Maria Energia Book Review: Big Green Purse

Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World is a good manual for consumers looking to make sustainable changes to their lifestyles. We can change CFLs, tell our legislators to encourage renewables, but we also have to take on the responsibility of supporting those businesses and products that align with our green values.

Women should take on a lot of that responsibility. According to author Diane MacEachern, women spend 85 cents of every dollar in the marketplace. And our green choices are taking effect:
We've already make organic food the fastest-growing sector in the food industry. We've turned 'natural' personal care products into a booming business, too...But we have to do more.
Big Green Purse is a huge book and rather daunting, but I found it helpful to use it as a manual rather than a book to read from cover to cover. The chapters are organized into areas like cosmetics and personal care products, cars/transportation, food, cleaning supplies, clothing, electronics, toys, clothes and home. After explaining the risks/benefits of particular items (PVC kids toys vs safer alternatives), the book lists where the readers can buy sustainable items, including websites and organizations to check out for more information. The chapters are self-contained and allow you to quickly research the greenness of your next car purchase or grocery trip.

Big Green Purse asks its readers to pledge to shift $1,000 of our annual spending to green products. If a million of us do that, we'd have a $1 billion effect on the marketplace. This could mean moving $10 a week of your grocery bill to locally grown or organic foods, or recycled paper towels, or CFLs. The point is, a little bit can go a long way. But that means we all have to commit to a little bit and ensure that our pocketbooks follow our values.

1 comment:

Diane MacEachern said...

Thanks so much for taking the time not just to peruse my new book, Big Green Purse, but to give it such a thorough review. More importantly, thanks for helping to spread the message that the way we spend our money makes a difference. Our purse is a powerful took for social and environmental change, and the more women who understand the opportunities to make our money matter, the better! Diane MacEachern, Author, Big Green Purse