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5 posts from March 2009

March 23, 2009

The weeding out of plastic purchases

Cultivate It's spring somewhere, time to cultivate a new way of living.

Beth Terry over on Fake Plastic Fish wants plastic to go away. Little by little she's eliminated the need for it in her life. She's hosting this month's Green Mom Carnival and wants to know what we think about this pervasive material.

I'm all for less plastic in my life. It doesn't do anything for my soul. I believe we should stop making the killer plastics such as PVC and polystyrene and start replacing them (even food grade plastics) with more inert and reusable solutions.

Fortunately, the State of California is in tandem with this. The state government has banned PVC and also used their buying power to STOP buying polystyrene in food situations. When the State of California's budget power unites with the power of women consumers, there is no telling how fast we can switch the market to a greener, leaner version of itself.

Bob Tetz, the manager of the Environmentally Preferred Products program noted at last week's Green Summit meeting in Sacramento that we skipped right over REDUCE and REUSE and went straight to RECYCLE. He wants the state and the people of California to use their first two options first before they finally put objects in the recycle bin.

Having a slow market has been good news for our nation's landfills. Another speaker at the conference said that landfills were getting 30% less stuff since the economic slowdown. That proves that it is possible for all of us to get by on a bit less.

Those who are in favor of plastics "because it's recyclable" should pick up this month's National Geographic and check out the Frito Lay supplement. According to the graph, it looks like 30+million tons of plastic goes into the landfills and only 2 million tons is actually recycled. It you want to recycle your liter pop bottle, fill it water and putting in our toilet tank. You just recycled a plastic bottle and created a lo-flow toilet for free

The best way to cultivate a new plastic free culture, however, is to not purchase the them to begin with.  What's your position on plastic - thumbs up or down?

March 21, 2009

Clip Art: Where art reflects the new business life

Buy I laughed this morning when I read Mary Schmidt's post on Lipsticking, "Lose the Old White Guy Stock Photos". She was commenting on PowerPoints and the overuse of boring old white guy handshakes to indicate partnerships, etc. We've all seen them.

Recently I was putting my own social  media PowerPoint together and opened up Microsoft's library of clip art to see what could jazz up the bullet points. I was pleased to see not only women's faces and situations, but MANY, MANY women's faces and situations. Wow.

Back in the day, i.e. before the Internet, I used hard copy clip art during my stint as a communications director for an insurance company. I remember looking high and low for line art with business women in the picture along with men. The offerings were bleak. When I did find ONE, my boss informed I couldn't use it because, "Women don't make the decisions." (I'm not making this up.)

Does clip art imitate business life? If so, we have finally arrived at the top of the pinnacle of marketing success indicators - to have our actions depicted for fast use in PowerPoint. 



Not only did I see women's faces everywhere, but I saw GREEN being represented everywhere with a lot of overlap in the shopping sector. "Green" has a definite feminine touch.

Purse String Theory is no longer theory - the market is putting a face on women and green because that's where the consumer cash lives. It's also where the new business decision makers live as more women start small businesses. I'm also seeing more women in the key "filter" jobs as marketing directors, purchasing officers and now sustainability managers. Green women bloggers are also filters for what gets seen and talked about on a friend-to-friend level.


The market has chosen it's new darling and in doing so has also restored much needed gender balance in business - women are now being recognized as the majority "buyer" decision makers and men will continue to hold the majority "seller" position.

Shoes Ironically, it's a reversal of the world's oldest profession; it still takes two to tango, but if Clip Art reflects business life, the buyer/seller roles have officially changed.


March 08, 2009

Happy Women's Day, Canadian Style

It's International Women's Day. A time to look back and ahead at all the paid and unpaid "women's work" that continues to build our new economy.  

If you need a brush on exactly what International Women's Day is, swing by Jody Devere's write up over on Ask Patty, she summed up in grand style and detail. Did you know that in some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers? Who knew?


Each day I'm stunned and amazed by the women I'm meeting and the things they are doing to change the world. Many are starting businesses that are green or socially responsible - they represent the core of the what the emerging market will look like. 


Meanwhile, our sisters to the north in Canada are taking the lead.

Strong Women, strong Worldwas the title that caught my eye. Clare Beckton, Coordinator and Deputy Head, Status of Women Canada authored the intriguing article outlining how women are now the "leaders, financial managers, business strategists, risk takers and entrepreneurs." (and you thought we were only consumers...)


Says Clare, "Since 1997, the women of Canada have started small and medium-sized enterprises at about twice the rate of men."Noting further that studies are indicating that if women had the same opportunities and labor markets as men that the gross domestic product in Canada would increase by 21%.


The article is full of stats and figures enough to make you proud of your XX chromosome status and excited that the Canadian government is being so progressive - who knew?


March 07, 2009

The #1 thing that motivates me to do spring cleaning...

Out-of-town Guests!

It's March and women everywhere are opening up and clearing up. What is a once-a-season event everywhere else is called Saturday here in OC where the windows are always open and desert sand and highway carbon clings to every surface.  

It's hard to get excited about a weekly event. I needed a solid reason to get in touch with my clean green self. I now have two - Martha and Brian arrive in three days. Ahhh public humiliation, nothing gets me moving towards a mop faster.

I'm not a slob, but the idea of spending 5 hours doing what doesn't come naturally is such a waste of type time. I'd rather do taxes... Just knowing that when the cleaning is done that not only will my husband and I enjoy the space, but so will our guests makes it worth the down time, per se.

All the green cleaning tips I've read from my Green Group will be employed. I have a full box of baking soda, a jug of vinegar and fresh picked lemons to cap it off. Thanks to Karen, I also have cheap, but very effective spray cleaners courtesy of Shaklee. She convinced me to give it a try with MONEY. Two or three teaspoons of concentrate pure full bottle of water is all you need. (tiz true) I paid for the concentrate, not the water nor the bottle.


While the house is tedious the real cleaning will begin when I clear off the desk. To continually stack and organize doesn't give my brain the breathing space it needs to create, but thanks to Martha and Brian, it's toss or file time. By the end of today, it will look like an Ikea office space - fresh, polished and waiting for next creative burst.  

Thank you Martha and Brian, for stopping, staying and giving me a solid reason for coming clean.

So who are these Green Women Bloggers?

After winning the Twitter shorty awards, Anna Hackman of green-talk put this video together. It was too long to use at the ceremony, but too good not show you who's who contributes to the Green Mommy Carnival, blogs and by collection - twitter. Enjoy the tour and my deep thanks to Anna. If you can't play the video, go here.