Book Review: Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener, World

Big Green Purse Cover Photo
"Women spend 85 cents of every dollar in the marketplace." That's an astonishing statistic. It's so incredible that Diane MacEachern wrote Big Green Purse to inspire women to use their spending dollars to help protect the Earth and to send a message to manufacturers that consumers want environmentally friendly products.

Big Green Purse explains in twelve chapters, how some seemingly insignificant decisions can make a difference, leading to bigger shifts in everyday habits and a cleaner planet. The book starts with easy to understand explanations of issues and concepts. MacEachern breaks things down, like the precautionary principle, chemicals, climate change, and air and water issues so that anybody can understand it, yet she doesn't over-simplify things.

We can be the world's most powerful earth-saving force, but only by buying less - and then intentionally shifting our spending to the products and services that offer the greatest environmental benefit. We have never faced a more exciting opportunity - or necessary moment - to "put our money where our mouth is."

This all-in-one reference manual will become a staple in your home as you make greener choices for yourself and your entire family. It's not a book that you read in one sitting (you can if you want to!), but more like your guide to greener consumer decisions that you can check when you have doubts or need to find a supplier of an eco-friendly product.

What's inside Big Green Purse?

All of the sections are laden with attention-grabbing facts about industry and the environment. While talking about clothing MacEachern tells us that 10% of ALL of the pesticides applied in the world are used to grow cotton. And it takes one third of a pound of pesticides and fertilizers to produce enough cotton for just one t-shirt. These types of facts are the kind that makes you want to only buy organic cotton from now on!

This is a marvellous reference book to keep by your shopping list as it is full of contacts, websites, and addresses and in some cases, even phone numbers of companies with products or services that are safer for the environment.

It is also a first-rate guide for making homemade cleaning products, tips for your organic garden and ways to reduce your energy consumption at home. These are the kinds of tips and recipes that you know are out there, but you never know quite where to find. All of this comes amongst a myriad of relevant and useful information contained in chapters about cosmetics, cars, cosmetics, coffee, chocolate, food, cleaning products, clothing, kids stuff, lights, appliances, electronics and furniture, paint, flooring and fabrics.

One of the other interesting features of this book is the text boxes in each chapter called, "in my house." These little treasures are where MacEachern tells us motivating anecdotes about how she makes green choices in her own home. She shows that she practices what she preaches - pardon the cliché. But don't get us wrong, while you're reading you don't feel like it's a lecture in eco-friendly living; it feels more like a conversation with MacEachern as she shares her secrets to making your spending dollars help the environment. And what makes it even easier to consult is that most of the information is broken down into bullet points, top ten lists and checklists.

Apart from the "in my house" sections, each chapter includes sub-sections on how to go green through simple, immediate changes, how to make the shift, how to save money while helping Planet Earth (ecocheap), tips for green at work, and products, services and practices that get a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down".

What are the Big Green Purse Shopping Principles?

1) Buy less.
2) Read the label.
3) Support sustainable standards.
4) Look for third-party verification.GREAT
5) Choose fewer ingredients.
6) Pick less packaging.
7) Buy local.

Who Should Read Big Green Purse?

This book is a must have for the American woman; especially those haven't already taken the leap to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. This book lays out ways you can make eco-changes without major alterations to your lifestyle. It's a great beginner's guide to green choices and green consumerism. It's as easy as taking some small steps and starting by changing where you spend those 85 cents of every consumer dollar.

And gentlemen — you will like it too if you can get past the title. The facts, tips, anecdotes and lists of eco-product suppliers are ultimately genderless and we should all be trying to make these changes if we want to protect the environment.

Where can I get more info on Big Green Purse?

You can get more information on the Big Green Purse website where you can also purchase the book, sign up for a newsletter, read about the Big Green Purse shopping principles and browse MacEachern's top ten lists. And you can see her site called One in a Million that challenges women to shift $1000 of their household budgets to green products and purchases.

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