11 posts categorized "Power of the Post"

April 26, 2011

Online Women or Location, What Drives Green Spending?

Amazon put out a green dot survey correlating the purchasing of green sector products. It's fascinating if you like tracking trends. [Go here to read the entire article in Green Biz.] One chart tracks energy products, another water, and another (below) parenting. 

The article draws the conclusion that financial or locational needs were driving the purchasing for energy and water, but when it came to green parenting what was driving that?

Why is there a green dot in the NW corner of the lower peninsula of Michigan? It's not exactly where you'd expect to see a green dot, San Francisco or the East Coast sure, but upper Michigan? 

The Amazon research was based on number of green items a parent purchased off of Amazon, such as Green Baby  and Toys.  One reason more green products are being purchased and mailed to Northern Michigan could be Sommer Poquette based in Petosky, MI. She's been a green mommy blogger for years on her Green and Clean Mom blog. Sommer has been so successful, that she's turned it into a business. 

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Screen shot 2011-04-26 at 8.25.19 AM Can I give Sommer all of the credit, probably not, the Great Lakes Bioneers conference spearheaded by Sally Van Vleck and Bob Russell holds their meetings just around the bay in Traverse City each October. For years Sally, Bob, and the Bioneers have been raising green and sustainable awareness. There are even green baby stores in Traverse City.  

But the Amazon article was based on purchasing from Amazon and specifically, they looked at items for "green" babies and children.  That takes an online champion, which makes me see Sommer as a larger influence. Her blog averages 6000 unique visitors a month according to Compete.com. Whether she links to Amazon or not isn't as important as that she is a constant voice for online readership and from there, Amazon is a click away.

I would like to see more research on this topic. When you look at all the maps, one thing is clear, if purchasing is an indicator of culture, the nation is beginning to put their money where their values are -- and that starts with pockets of people who are talking about and buying the solutions. 

Thanks to all the women (and men) who keep the drip, drip, drip of conversation going. 

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  Screen shot 2011-04-25 at 8.39.02 AM Screen shot 2011-04-25 at 8.38.47 AM

March 17, 2011

This is What Green Economic Co-Creation Looks Like

When companies get it right and customers are happy, then the testimonies and word-of-mouth advertising begins -- Seventh Generation is one of those companies and Women's Voices of the Earth is one of millions who talk them up. 

We wear green on St. Patrick's Day to be part of a tradition; by sharing green all year long we start a new tradition that rewards companies who are doing it right and ignoring or starving out those who just-don't-get-it. Thanks Women Voices, for all you do for promoting the right products and companies. For a full list of their accomplishments, go here. 

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February 08, 2011

Ladies, take a bow for kick starting transparency in household cleaners

Today, Clorox, the name synonymous with toxic bleach, announced that it's going transparent with its products ingredients.

"...it is now disclosing preservatives, dyes and a palette of fragrances used in its cleaning, disinfecting and laundry products in the U.S. and Canada. The Ingredients Inside program is available at www.CloroxCSR.com/ingredients-inside/" more

That doesn't mean that these products are safe or less harmful, but transparency is a step in the right direction. It also establishes a benchmark for other companies to follow. Once there is transparency, bad ingredients will be seen and no one wants that, consequently companies will work extra hard to come clean themselves before going public. 

Ladies, take a bow. YOU drove this action.

The picture below was taken from Mom's Voices.org. [correction, the site is called Women's Voice of the Earth] Do a search on "toxic cleaners" "toxic cosmetics" (both sink into your skin) and you'll see countless mom generated books and blogs on the subject. Public pressure is the wind beneath the toxic-free movement's wings. Mom's Voices is one of many women-fueled sites on this subject.

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Listing all ingredients is a brave, first step for Clorox. They, like Wal Mart, are turning their Darth Vader image into a force for green good by taking a leadership for green position. It won't be easy for Clorox and those like them, unlike Seventh Generation who started out green, Clorox had to justify the reformulation and changing entire production lines before they could make a move. Public pressure made them do it, otherwise they would have started out clean like Seventh Generation. 

Here are a few more books on the subject, all written by women. Do you have a book on Toxic-free living? Please let me know. --Mary(dot)inwomenwetrust(dot)com

Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 9.31.54 AM Practically Green: Your Guide to Ecofriendly Decision-Making
By Micaela Preston

Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 9.34.02 AM Smart Mama's Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child's Toxic Chemical Exposure  By Jennifer Taggart






The Green Parent: A Kid-Friendly Guide to Environmentally-Friendly Living
By Jenn Savedge

 Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 9.36.52 AM Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World
By Diane MacEachren



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Green Cleaning For Dummies Elizabeth B. Goldsmith , Betsy Sheldon 






Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 8.59.03 AM Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living Annie Berthold-Bond 



Screen shot 2011-02-08 at 9.02.15 AM Green Cleaning Christine Halvorson Erika Swanson Geiss 


November 02, 2010

In Women We Trust to VOTE

I never considered myself a feminist, I always saw the world as a 50/50 proposition. That said, the majority of the things I take for granted today happened because women could vote.

The following email is making the rounds again. Each year I'm struck by how long and what physical pain it took to take half the American population seriously.

Have you voted yet? 

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Iron Jawed Angels

This  is the story of our Mothers and Grandmothers who lived only 90  years ago.  Remember,  it was not until 1920  that  women were granted the right to go to the polls and  vote.

The  women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed  nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs  asking for the vote. 

And  by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison  guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a  rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing  sidewalk traffic.'

They  beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her  head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping  for air.

They  hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against  an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice  Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.  Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging,  beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the  women.

 Thus unfolded  the  'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917,  when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered  his  guards  to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because  they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the  right to vote.  For  weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their  food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.  

When  one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike,  they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and  poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured  like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.  

So,  refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year  because  -  why,  exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our  vote doesn't matter? It's raining?  ...."


October 13, 2009

Sustainable Standards: What are the Consumer's Opinions?

On October 1, Wal Mart asked its 100,000 suppliers to fill out 15 questions relating to their sustainability. It was just a request, but in doing so it set an expectation of what is to come - manufacturers will be expected to answer harder and harder questions about their sustainable attributes. Wal Mart and its BBFs (Big Box Friends) have created a consortium to set a Sustainable Index for the world.

I have a question for Wal Mart, why aren't consumers part of your consortium? They don't have $250,000 for the entry fee or even the $25,000 you're asking the small businesses to pay, they've been priced out, yet consumers are 100% of the retail consortium's buyer base. Don't their opinions count? Shouldn't the buyers of your products get a say in helping you form this developing standard with global implications? [the entry fee has been lowered since this was published - MH 11.1.09]

This month's Green Mom Carnival was inspired by this gap in communications. What do the carnivalites think about Wal Mart's and friends Sustainability Index? When should we have standards and what do we want included? 

NEW Beth Terry on Fake Plastic Fiswas late to the carnival, but her post is so on-target with the concerns and issues that this retail consortium's creates. If you have one post to read, read her's. Then read the rest and get the background and additional viewpoints. Wal Mart is right about one thing, this is bigger than just them - it's about all of us

Eco Baby Steps did a bang up job of defining what standards, certifications, seals and more are and are not. Start with this blog to get your base of operations on this confusing world of standards. 

Katy at Non-Toxic Kids just submitted her post explaining the consortium players and connections. Because it goes hand-in-hand with the above, I'm adding her to the top of the submissions.

Over on Citizen Green the subject of having a standard for green events is addressed. I'm with ya. Have you ever seen a street after the parade or attended a trade show? The pile of leftover litter is so unnecessary. Be sure to catch her tip list before you manage your next event. 

Ambejoins as newbie this month to the Green Mom Carnival, her first post on Wal Mart's Sustainability Index can be found here. Her readers had a very strong pro/con reaction, some even thought that Wal Mart planted responses! 

Karen has her say over over on Best of Mother Earth. You remember Karen, she's the one who ranted about a 12 year old McDonald's hamburger that never rotted and the post went viral? In this post she expresses the skepticism and fear many of us feel about standards and their ilk. 

Diane on Big Green Purse has been a strong advocate of standards for years. Her summary will make you think twice about the labels you follow now. She wants the standards that do stand the test of public opinion to be meaningful. 

Erin adds a very poignant view and coordinating story that brings home the message of engagement and participation in the new standards - read it for a look inward at yourself. 

One of the originators of the Green Mom Carnival, Lynn (Organicmania), extends the conversation on the lack of consumer participation in the sustainability index. Lynn's a long time supporter of the Wal Mart sustainability direction, read her reaction here.  

This is a very globe reaching subject. My thanks to the women who take their high standards seriously and hope that the retail giants of the world do as well. Please visit their thoughtful posts and leave your comments. 

August 13, 2009

New Global Stats on Women's Wants, Needs and Roles

Two years ago I wrote a little paper on Purses, Peers, Posts and the Power to Move Green MarketsDownload Purses Peers Posts and the Power to Move Green Markets

o By 2028, women will control nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of consumer spending worldwide.

The writing was on the wall in lipstick; it was only a matter of time before research would back up common sense:

  1. Women buy all the stuff
  2. The global economy is anchored in consumer goods
  3. The purchasers of these goods will be filtering them based on their needs
  4. Women and business working together will co-create the next economy.
All that is happening right now without any direction from business. All companies can do is follow the money and the feminine culture. As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing..." 

Today, one of my progressive guy pals, (thanks Mark) sent along new findings on the women's market from the Boston Consulting Group. They reinforce what the market has believed for the last seven or so years and have added new insights into just how global this impact will be. 

Read the full story here and paste the press release on your wall. You're going to see these numbers showing up everywhere as they become the new defacto facts for marketing to women.

The survey covered 12,000 women worldwide. We are making more money, but still doing the majority of the work at home as well. Sighhhhh

o Between 2002 and 2007, women's income (globally) increased by nearly $3 trillion to $9.8 trillion. By 2014, women's income will jump by $5 trillion to $15.6 trillion.
o In the U.S. and E.U., most college students (57 percent and 55 percent, respectively) are women. Worldwide, almost half (49 percent) of college students are women.
o Women own or co-own 40 percent of U.S. businesses. Solely women-owned businesses are growing at twice the rate of all U.S. firms (and faster than male-owned businesses).
o Most important, globally, women control nearly $12 trillion of the overall $18.4 trillion in consumer spending. By 2014, women will control $15 trillion.
o In the top 20 markets, women control $10 trillion of $15.3 trillion in consumer spending.
o By 2028, women will control nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of consumer spending worldwide.

Below, the "women influence over 80% of consumer goods" from the prior research, still holds true.

o 88 percent say they have responsibility for grocery shopping.
o 85 percent have responsibility for meal preparation.
o 84 percent have responsibility for laundry.
o 84 percent have responsibility for cleaning.
o And 77 percent have responsibility for household administration

Ironically, shopping doesn't make us the happiest - owning a pet does! Expect to see a huge upswing in ads with women and pets in them. The Humane Society should be very happy.

o The values most important to women are: love (77 percent); health (58 percent); honesty (51 percent) and emotional well-being (48 percent).
The things that make women extremely happy are: pets (42 percent); sex (27 percent) and food (19 percent). Only 5 percent cited shopping, and only 2 percent cited the economy.

My sincere thanks to the Boston Consulting Group for pulling these new, global stats together. It proves that the gender is mightier than the culture that it lives in, and that the next global culture will definitely have a woman's touch. 

July 29, 2009

To Review or Not to Review...

Could you do it? Could you turn down a FREE NEW REFRIGERATOR in exchange for three months of (hopefully) positive reviews? How honest could you be at that high of a freebie price tag? Below is how Diane handled it.

Moral Marketing (to each other) is the new concern of social media marketing. When Neilsen tracks 10,000 women bloggers for their mass media appeal just like they do magazines and newspapers, you know the tide has turned. Because the influence of the blogging woman is so high, because high product praise from a friend carries so much influence, companies are doing whatever they can to get women to endorse their products in writing. 

By the time I was done writing "In Women We Trust" it was apparent that in Women we better trust as we find our voices and do online what they've been doing off line for generations - sharing experiences about food, products and life.  

Many in our green women group have set policies for reviews. My policy is that I'll only review products or books that serve the triple bottom line of people, planet and then profits. The products must be certified as sustainable like Forbo's Marmoleum (SMaRT certified) and books must offer insights into how to turn the world greener and safer. 

What's your moral marketing policy? Will you blog about anything, or does the product/service need to hold itself to higher standards first?What is your standard for changing the world? Are you a change agent or an enabler?

June 01, 2008

Could Women Preserve Agricultural?

Coral_rose_2 Coral Rose gave me a head's up on this story that asks, Could Women solve the food crisis? It recognizes the women who keep 80% of third world nation's fed. (thanks Coral)

On Tuesday, the United Nations will open a "food summit" in Rome. Leaders and high-level officials from around the world will meet at the Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters. The F.A.O. says they will discuss the effects of rising food prices, limited resources, climate change, increased energy needs and population growth. ... The International Center for Research on Women says one answer is investing more in female farmers. ... Rekha Mehra is the director for economic and development issues at the Washington-based nonprofit. She says improving women's ability to get resources and technology can directly increase agricultural productivity.... After all, women produce as much as eighty percent of the food in developing countries.

Coral has been doing her part as well. She's been working in the organic farming for the fiber industry the majority of her career. In her blog post today, she addresses how changing agricultural practices which will be needed to bring down climate change emissions.

"The Rodale Institute’s 23-year findings show that organic grain production systems increase soil carbon 15 to 28%. Moreover, soil nitrogen in the organic systems increased 8 to 15%. The conventional system showed no significant increases in either soil carbon or nitrogen in the same time period. Soil carbon and nitrogen are major determinants of soil productivity.

HandsOver on Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, (thanks Diane ) Barbara Kingsolver, Steven Hopp and Camille Kingsolver record what it's like to grow your own the old fashion way. Growing your own was called everyday life when I was 16, now 40 years later I'm still growing things. Looks like the things I learned from my mother, stuck.

Over on Kitchengardners.org, Marge Braker, of Preserve shows us how to make your own small batches of homemade jam in about 15 minutes. Like Barbara, she's preserving more than jam, she's preserving a way to eat better and more backyard local.

The more we change, the more we need to stay the same in some areas. How about you - it's June 1, isn't it time you planted a few seeds?

April 23, 2008

Why Do Green Women Gather? See Below.

" Ever notice how bloggers talk about the same people over and over? That's because we have relationships with them." Yvonne DiVita, Lipsticking

I laughed out loud when I opened my email this morning. In one of my Feedblitz aggregators, the two new Divita_2 posts offered came from Yvonne DiVita and the other Toby Bloomberg. As I scrolled down to see what they were talking about I ran into myself and the cover shot from Bloomberg_2 WECAI this month. (12,727 readers so far) Wecai_trust_cover_2WE is published by Heidi Richards, who is also Heidi_2 another great blog and biz buddy with 35,000 on her mailing list.

Emily_2 What made it particularly poignant was that I just read an email from Emily McKhann from The Motherhood (who I met through BlogHer).(23,000 women bloggers/8 million readers) She asked if I (or Diane MacEachern) (2500 eco women) would be interested in talking to a grad student (another woman) Maceachern_2 regarding ECO women's green groups.

Why do we gather? For the same reason we blog together - to support one another.

These are crazy times, we need each other to help keep the crazies at bay. Kimberly Danke Pinkson of Eco Mom Alliance (11,000 women) sure knows the answer to that one. It's the same reason Kimberly_danke_pinkson_2 we join Weight Watchers or AA. Like any good 12 step program, first you have to acknowledge you have a problem and then, by being accountable to others in your group, you can work to solve it. Why are we accountable? Because we have a build a relationship with the members of the group.

Terry_2Let's take it a step further, take a look at the banner on this blog, see the woman who is in the black suit (second from the left) that's Terry Gamer. She recently bought the rights to 500 women's small town, local level news sources which account for 36 million readers. Small, local papers who would have thought they have much to do with why women gather? The answer is as simple as to why do they subscribe to a small women's paper - it's all about the relationships that it helps to foster between women.

That's the short list, but these are the nine whom I intersected in the last 4 days. Nine women representing a reach into over 45 million women's lives. Why do green women gather? Because we can!

April 18, 2008

Project Vulcan puts CO2 Emissions into View for Earth Day

How do can we avoid green fatigue? It helps if we can see what we're fighting. Project Vulcan does that. It makes CO2 emissions tangible and shows how it's a night and day difference. It overlaps the emissions from power plants, traffic and manufacturing. It's pretty amazing and shows how the US impacts the world. Getting us out of the red zone is goal #1. Keep that in mind when picking a president this next time around.