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February 23, 2008

BIG GREEN PURSE, the most important book your book club will read this year

It was 4 am and I opened Big Green Purse and read, Big_green_purse_book_2 "Did you make a cup of tea or throw in a load of laundry before starting to read this book"? I laughed out loud, that's exactly what I had done. How did she know? Perhaps that's why women like listening to Diane, she knows how women work.

"She" is Diane MacEachern the author of Big Green Purse who I met for the first time last month. I already knew her from our virtual connections and was impressed with her ability to synthesize the scientific with the pragmatic when it comes to making our lives more green. Her book, Big Green Purse brilliantly blends the two, providing the HOW TO's that you don't see anywhere else with stories that burn a visual into your brain.

Take Chapter 1 where she asks, "If it can happen to an alligator, can it happen to your son"? The alligator has survived 80 million years and yet pesticides are messing with his personal parts making mating "out of reach" per se.  This is happening because of pesticides in the alligator's water.

The same exposure is there for babies, she explains how babies can accumulate these dangerous chemicals quickly. "When corrected for body weight, it's as if an adult were to drink seven liters of water or thirty-five cans of soda daily." She then she lists off off the chemicals found in breast milk.The Mom's over at MomsRising, and BlogHer know that last issue well.

So what do we do? Go after the government? Diane's lived in DC the majority of her adult life and has been an environmental advocate for 40 years. She outlines why policies to protect us have failed or never were initiated. That leaves it up to us to make the changes that force the issues back on the companies causing our system breakdowns in the first place, and to do it quickly.

Maceachern_torso Like many "tip books" this one is packed, but it comes with context and real life experiences - that's the motivating difference for me. Before a product or service was given a thumb's up, it had to pass the "Diane test" which is harder than anything the EPA could dish out. The test is a combination of what is scientific fact with personal use with the bigger environmental impact. Products get a thumbs up or down and the reader gets to learn why Diane made that decision and often times get an inside look at Diane's own test site - her home.

Products will evolve, but knowing how to evaluate them won't. This book is an entertaining way to rewire your personal spending habits while educating yourself on the bigger issues. Big Green Purse is a "must read, save, refer to" book that will get us through the next critical decision making years. It's filled with links and ideas for gardeners, nutritionists, designers and business alike.

Bgp_circlePerhaps the #1 link that Diane offers, however, is linking to each other. If Big Green Purse is the "Green Bible for Individuals" then Big Green Purse the website is the church where we can join together and commit to a greener lifestyle and planet. The Million Women Pledge to swap $1000 of everyday buying habits to green buying habits, will have a Billion dollar impact. When buyers tell sellers what they want on such an open forum, that's all we need to create a tipping point for change.

If you are in a book club or are starting a group like Eco Moms, this is one book that you'll be discussing for a long time.


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When it comes to purchasing eco-friendly products, I definitely need an education --that's why I've added the Big Green Purse Widget to FunnyBusiness. Check it out right underneath the ads for the Blogher Ad Network. Each week it gives you [Read More]


What an awesome reference! It's admirable to see that diane's
patience and pioneering of these ideas as well as her willingness to perservere

Mother Earth aka Karen Hanrahan

Diane's the real deal. Her credentials in the eco-field run deep.

I believe my wife read this book. I often reference her statistic that historically and factually, men make most of the money in this country, yet women spend 75% of the money. If we can get women to vote with their dollars everyday, a huge shift can happen.

It's ironic that I often say if we want real change then religion and women need to change. If those two groups can be influenced to spend their money responsibily and live a greener lifestyle, then a large change can happen in this country. Why is it ironic? Because I'm neither a woman nor am I relgious.

Anyway - glad you're promoting this book.


Jason - recognizing and supporting the decisions that your wife makes is huge. I know that I'm more energized to keep up the green work because my husband and partner-in-life is in step with my values. Thank you for being one of the good guys. It makes our work more fun and rewarding. It isn't like anyone comes by our "office" and hands out "atta boy" congrats for our work. It's a thankless job until our spouses thank us.

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