An exclusive with Diane MacEachern of Big Green Purse, plus recycled metal jewelry for the Humane Society at 15% off.
By rachelsarnoff on March 11, 2009
If you ever doubt your power to change the world, think about this:
The 82 millions moms in this country represent $2.1 trillion dollars
spent each year—about 15% of our country’s economy—and make 85% of
household buying decisions. When they decide to go green, they’ll shift
the whole economy!
Diane MacEachern, mother of two, founder and CEO of Big Green Purse and the best-selling author of Big
Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World
and Save Our Planet: 750 Everyday Ways You Can Help Clean Up The Earth, was one of the first to realize the connection.
A successful entrepreneur, award-winning communications strategist, and
sought-after public speaker, Diane encourages women to “use your purse”
to green the marketplace by choosing products whose use or manufacture
offer the greatest environmental impact.
Through her books, articles and speeches, she motivates women to take
actions that make their money matter. She advises companies on
strategies to develop more effective green marketing campaigns. She
also helps environmental organizations engage more women as members,
activists, and donors. We spoke with her about using our clout for
good, and found a great example to put our money where our mouths are!
ES : When did you start getting involved in eco-consciousness?
DM: I think it’s fair to say I got started over 40 years ago. I grew
up in southern Michigan. One day, my parents took us to a lake for a
picnic. The beach was closed because it was so polluted. I’ve never
ES: How important do you think these kinds of changes are for you, personally?
DM: Living a green life has been my way of life for over 30 years. It’s not a question of “if” for me, but “how.”
ES: What about for the planet?
DM: We’ve been saying for decades that “time is running out,” but
today, it really is. If we don’t change the way we produce, consume,
and dispose of “stuff,” we’ll all be living in a wasteland.
ES: How do you find time to be more green while managing the demands of motherhood?
DM: Well, raising “green" kids
isn’t really all that different from raising kids differently. We
incorporate green living into every aspect of our lives. Our kids had
to recycle as soon as they started doing chores. They learned to drive
on a hybrid vehicle. They shop at thrift stores. We all garden
organically. It’s really very easy.
ES: What is your secret for staying centered and balanced while juggling work and motherhood?
DM: I walk my dog four times a day, spend a lot of time with
friends, and try to practice what I preach. Even shopping at the local
farmer’s market, which I do, helps: it’s a wonderful experience, and
reminds me why I do what I do.
ES: How did motherhood change your outlook on the environment?
DM: Coming face-to-face with issues that affect my children’s
survival—like air and water pollution, exposure to toxic ingredients in
food and personal care products—reinforced to me how important it was
to create a legacy worth passing down to my kids and grandkids.
ES: What are your favorite green fashion labels?
DM: Hmmm. I like Patagonia’s “synchilla” vest; I love Nau’s clothes:
stylish, high quality, and created to last for a very long time.
ES: What are the best eco-friendly beauty finds?
DM: I’m a simple girl, and I like a bargain. I use paraben-free, mineral-based makeup.
I also use Burt’s Bees shampoos, hair conditioners, and body lotions,
all of which are available at CVS, my grocery store, or a place like
ES: What’s the biggest green change you’d like to make in your life-even if it’s impossible right now?
DM: I love subscribing to newspapers and magazines. I should be
reading them online, but it’s just not the same! I should also probably
get a Kindle, so I could read books electronically rather than on the
paper-intensive printed page.
ES: What’s your favorite eco-friendly tip our readers should know about?
DM: Usually, adopting a green lifestyle will save people money.
There are a lot of green bargains available, if people just shift the
way they spend money.
ES: Who’s your eco-idol and why?
DM: I was inspired as a teenager by Rachel Carson and Jane Goodall,
and they remain at the top of my list today. Otherwise, I’m really in
awe over the incredible commitment thousands of people—especially
women—are making personally and professionally to go green.
ES: What’s your worst eco-sin?
DM: Probably my magazine subscriptions! But I do pass them along to friends; I definitely recycle them.
ES: What’s the best green advice you ever received-and who gave it to you?
DM: Small is beautiful. E.F. Schumacher.
E.S.P.S. So what did we find that embodies Diane’s big green purse philosophy? We love this line of jewelry from Three Cheeky Monkey,
which is made from fair-trade gems set in 100% reclaimed gold and
silver in the shapes of animals on the top of the endangered species
list, with 10% of proceeds benefiting the Humane Society of America.
Through April 15, 2009 get 15% off on any order over $50 by reading up on this week's Fashion section.
And let your purse do the talking.
Want a smaller carbon footprint? EcoStiletto.com is giving
away a free pair of eco-friendly shoes worth $500 or more every
month! Get the lowdown on shrinking your carbon footprint from an
Ugg boot to a Manolo with daily green fashion, beauty, lifestyle,
parenting, celebrity and eco-events nationwide and change the
world, one small step at a time. Stiletto-size
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