Big Green Purse ~ A Book & A Crusade

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What realizes and promotes the fact that 85 cents of every dollar spent in the marketplace is spent by a woman and that big business responds faster to consumer demand than any other market force?


Grist, an environmental journalism site, has a compelling article on the book Big Green Purse and its author, Diane MacEachern, a longtime conservationist.

Just a few Q&As from the riveting interview:

question There’s this notion out there that you can save the world by buying all this stuff — as long as it’s green.

answer In every single chapter, the very first suggestion is buy less, consume less, reduce — clearly we have to cut back on the total amount of stuff that’s being produced. But I do think that being a conscious consumer is a very powerful tool, because consumer dollars are the lifeblood of manufacturers. So we can either use them to tell manufacturers what to make or we can just continue to let manufacturers tell us what to buy.

question Do you feel like environmentalists have been too quick to dismiss shopping as a route to change?

answer I think that the power of green consumerism has not been harnessed by the environmental movement. You’ve got all kinds of companies wanting to be green and natural and eco-friendly, and you’ve got the environmental movement saying, “Whatever you do, don’t buy anything.” … The light bulbs are a perfect example … people have to change their light bulbs anyway, so why not buy the option that makes the most sense? If you have people sit in the dark, that’s literally a turn-off.

question Does your book address the challenges of buying green on a budget?

answer First of all, there’s so much cushion in people’s budget that they don’t realize. People will say to me, “I can’t buy organic; it’s too expensive,” and then I look in their refrigerator and it’s full of bottled water. They may be spending $10 to $15 a week on bottled water, but they don’t want to spend $6 for a gallon of organic milk.

question How can the environmental movement change its message to be more effective?
answer I do think some groups are doing a pretty good job in starting to provide information … but now I think the next step is to start getting the message out to people who aren’t necessarily in the environmental community. We don’t need to talk to other environmentalists; we need to talk to garden clubs and women’s clubs and church groups and all these people who are not as fully aware of what the opportunity is.

What would be great is if Safeway would put an environmental spokesperson in the store. “On Saturday, as you’re coming through the store, there’s going to be these five people wearing green vests, and if you have any questions about green shopping, you can ask them.” Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

~ Unleash The Life Within ~

How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic

“O ye peoples of the world! Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity is following you…”

Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 209


My last post was based on what I consider to be truth. However, one study by one organization may not be convincing to those who (for various reasons…) deny there’s a global climate crisis.

So, to add more ingredients to the soup, here are a comment from one of the world’s most popular blogs,  a complete catalog of responses to denialists from an environmental news and commentary blog, and a link to an actual brick-and-mortar institution that focuses on the earth’s climate.

Cory Doctorow at BOINGBOING:

“Have you noticed that whenever you mention climate change online a bunch of people show up with identical objections — almost as though there was a list of talking points somewhere on the Internet that astroturfers and denialists used to derail discussions of the most grave existential crisis facing the human race today?”

He then quotes GRIST:

“Below is a [set of links to] the articles in “How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic,” a series by Coby Beck containing responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming. There are four separate taxonomies; arguments are divided by:”

* Stages of Denial
* Scientific Topics
* Types of Argument
* Levels of Sophistication

And, for those enamoured by a more scientific approach:

The Worldwatch Institute is an independent research organization known around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Worldwatch research is the gold-standard for sustainability analysis for decision makers in government, civil society, business, and academia.”