44 posts categorized "Trusted Businesses"

July 17, 2010

DeVita Does Dickless Marketing, Can You?

Screen shot 2010-07-17 at 8.42.27 AM On Monday, Yvonne DiVita, LipSticking Queen and publisher of In Women We Trust, (the book) will be speaking on our favorite topic - Marketing to Women by Women.  Be sure to listen into the program hosted by Simple Truths for Women Entrepreneurs. 

Yvonne will be joining others as she reveals what she's learned about this market-moving culture that has gone from "trend" to "mainline-never-to-turn-back-fact" on MONDAY, July 19th at 3:00 p.m. (PST) 

Yvonne caught my eye years ago when she wrote "Dickless Marketing," what's not to love about someone who isn't afraid to be so cheeky? She is a pioneer on the topic of why women think, act and buy differently than men. 

We've been promoting each other for years, which is sort of the point -- why do women talk and promote each other's work and how can your company/product be part of that circle of influence?  This is goes way past girly, and straight to the core of the women-driven media. It doesn't matter if you're selling organic food or sustainable wall panels, if you want to know how to generate buzz in an authentic way using word-of-mouth,  tune in on Monday and find out how. 

March 08, 2010

International Women's Day / Business Style

Screen shot 2010-03-08 at 4.01.37 PM Today is International Women's Day. Women everywhere are taking pride in their accomplishments and the changes that they are making in their lives and world. One of those places is in business. 

To celebrate, Accounting Degree has listed 100 Best Blogs for Women in Business. They are recognizing how women-help-women and giving out the Atta-Girls of which (blush) In Women We Trust is listed. (Thank you!) 

What is notable in this list is how it is broken out. Go here to see who else made the list of:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Leadership
  • Motherhood and Work from Home
  • Marketing
  • General Business
  • International
  • Regional
  • Inspiration and Lifestyle
  • Some of Everything

Enjoy and be sure to bookmark this valuable collection of inspiration and sharing. The answers you seek are all there, just tap into the circle and make your part of the world better. - Mary

March 02, 2010

One woman, One message, JUST SAY NO, TO PLASTIC

I get asked all the time 'What can I blog about"?  Each time I use Beth Terry as an example, she's passionate about what she does and it's inspiring the world to take note and follow her lead - consume less plastic.

When I watch the National Geographic channel and see how many organic items (hair, bones, seeds) can be found thousands of years later by archaeologists, it makes Beth's message even more powerful. As my husband and I watched this ABC segment on Beth, we are re-motivated to further tighten up our own consumption. Even If you don't believe in climate change, the least we can all do is commit to pollution change. 

June 04, 2008

Yes, we can (and must) Save the World through Mindful Shopping

FbofwOver on La M, the debate continues in the comment section on whether we can buy our way out of this global warming problem. The answer is not only "Yes," but "Yes, we have to."

[My thanks to Lynn Johnston for capturing in one cartoon why many give up before trying. On some level we all know our good work can be undone in a manufacturing minute.]

The "Smokestacks" are causing the problem and the ONLY thing that will keep the smokestacks happy is profit. Consumer action is half of the solution, the SMaRT Sustainable Standard is the other half. With both not only have we solved the emission problem, but transformed the market safely and kept our retirement portfolios intact. Yes, as Tom Friedman points out, we'll lose MANY products and companies along the way. Detroit's feeling that pain now, but we also will replace them with mindful companies and products we can all live with.

If you want to see how serious business is about change, take a quick read down today's blog at Sustainable Life Media. The stacks want to do it, they just don't know how to do it and they don't know how to talk about it in terms that breadwinners and buyers can understand. Oh, and by the way, it's also required by the EPA.

Green_brands_2Not only do we/consumers have to do it, we have to write about our intent before or after we do it. Every time we write about Sustainable products we like, those products stay in the marketing mix and the other ones die.

GM has FINALLY decided that going small and green will bring bigger profits. Why? Because Toyota and Honda made the top ten brands and ate their lunch. You can't go 10 feet in California without running into either car.

Those top ten brands were made inside of buildings which a consumer can also affect - by DEMANDING that the brands are made using Sustainable Standards that certify when a product is in compliance. INSIDE the SMaRT Sustainable Standard are requirements for conserving energy and lowering emissions, VOCs and PVCs (plus over 1200 other chemicals). Not only do the standards cover their buildings, but also the operations and processes for the entire supply chain as well - even if those smokestacks are in China.   

Smart_certifiedThe SMaRT Standard (Sustainable Materials Rating Technology) covers six areas of product development:

  • Safe for public health & environment
  • Renewable energy & energy efficiency
  • Biobased or recycled materials
  • Facility or company requirements
  • Reclamation, sustainable reuse
    & end of life management
  • Product Innovation

Under these areas, products are required to:

  • Provide Feedstock Inventory Documentation
  • Document No Input and Output Stockholm Chemicals
  • Maintain a Manufacturing Facility Energy Inventory
  • Inventory of all bio-based and Recycled Content Materials
  • Have EMS Environmental Policies and Targets.
  • Have Social Equity Indicator Reporting for Manufacturers
  • Compete an ISO Compliant Life Cycle Assessment
  • Have Operational Reclamation and/or Sustainable Reuse Program
  • Meet Product Performance Durability Standards (long lasting products)

And encouraged to keep going until they have achieved:

100% Reduction of Over 1300 Pollutants covering 12 Environmental Impacts
100% Use of Green-e Renewable Power
100% Post Consumer Recycled or Organic/BMP Biobased Materials
100% Reuse/Product Reclamation
Social Equity for Manufacturer & Suppliers (worker's rights)

That's a pretty big stick, but sticks are also fun to chase - especially if you're one of the Big Dogs attending the Sustainable Brands conference.


After the requirements are met, the Big Dogs can get competitive and earn higher and higher ratings of silver, gold and platinum. Its not impossible, Forbo/Marmoleum and Knoll Life Chair have already have done it. Milliken carpet is on its way.


But they can't do it alone.


They and all the other companies trying to go green need buyers for their Sustainable Certified products, people who appreciate the work that has been done on a very high level.  Which brings us back to the first side of the buyer/seller equation - consumers.


Take a gander at that top ten list again. If you were hired to change the world, which "demographic" would you focus on to make it happen faster? On that list you have, groceries, cleaning supplies, lotion and potions, cars and home appliances. Without doing a massive research project, take a wild guess on which gender has the greater influence either directly or indirectly buying these products?


In the end, after all the discussions and  the chatter it's going to come down to tightly linking these three tipping points together - women+companies+sustainable standards.


That's the new balance of power in this global economy. What happens among them happens about the world and it all starts with the heart of a women making the right choices while her purse is open and being willing to talk about them.


Men can expedite the process by educating the women in their life on the SMaRT Sustainable Standard or other Standards that use a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) across the entire supply chain. While women are the buyers, you are the "sellers." Let's get to work, shall we?

Your continuing ed starts here:

SMaRT Standard Market Overview - for High C's (9 pages)- Download">http://www.sustainableproductsblog.com/mts/files/mts_smart_sustainable_standard_overview_2.1.08.pdf">Download mts_smart_sustainable_standard_overview_2.1.08.pdf

SMaRT Standard Overview - Supplier Education - (slide show) Download">http://www.sustainableproductsblog.com/mts/files/act_smart_presentation.pdf">Download act_smart_presentation.pdf

SMaRT Standard for Consumer Orientation - (slide show)Download">http://www.sustainableproductsblog.com/mts/files/smart_sustainable_standards_102_consumer_orientation_51008.pdf">Download smart_sustainable_standards_102_consumer_orientation_51008.pdf

Forbo Sustainability Report - for High C's, Supply Chain, Distributors, Investors, Consumers (20 pages) Download">http://www.sustainableproductsblog.com/mts/files/forbo_sustainable_manufacturing_and_marketing.pdf">Download forbo_sustainable_manufacturing_and_marketing.pdf

May 10, 2008

Adding their Best to Best Buy

In 2006, I interviewed Julie Gilbert of Best Buy. At that time they had 120,000 employees, today they top 140,000. Then, Julie was a Vice President of WOLF (Women's Leadership Forum) and Entrepreneurial Initiatives; now she's a Senior Vice President of Retail Training, Learning and Innovation, Winning With Women, and WOLF. On top of all that, she also has taken on Sustainability issues, turning Best Buy into a woman-friendly, earth-friendly corporation. My kind of woman.

According to a recent profile, "Through her leadership in WOLF, Best Buy increased female market share by more than $3.6 billion, increased the number of female job applicants by 37 percent, and reduced female employee turnover by 5.7 percent." Hummm.... Best Buy has 20,000 women employees, that means 1140 stayed at Best Buy because of the WOLF program. Cool.

GilbertApparently Julie wants to do better than 5.7%. On Wednesday this week, she was in town (Anaheim, CA) with about 1000 other "blue-shirters" and WOLF Omegas (women who are not part of Best Buy). The Blue Shirts and the Omegas formed one, big brainstorm to continue exploring why employees and customers stayed with Best Buy and why others left.

Fortunately, the conference was only about 5 minutes from my place, so I was able to join Julie and other manager and Omega types for happy hour at the Hilton. Since this conference was all about making women happy, I took with me a request from Eco-Mom, Kimberly Pinkson. She wanted Best Buy to, Take back the e-waste [recycle] and show her what they are doing with it. "I don't want my old computer to end up over in Africa polluting the landscape for the kids over there," Kimberly told me.

Kimberly will be happy to know that Best Buy is working on the beginning of that wish list. According to Julie, they are doing a test in three stores located in Minneapolis, Baltimore and San Francisco. People can take any kind of e-waste to the store regardless of where they bought it. Currently at all Best Buy stores you can recycle print cartridges, batteries and cell phones. They are also greening up the buildings as well adding solar panels.

When it comes to the "show me" part. Kimberly isn't alone e-waste disposal, over at Envio Mom they addressed the same concern. Trust, but verify! No one wants to recycle only to find out that we messed up some other country's back yard. I have two old computers sitting under my desk for that very reason. I don't trust where they'll end up if I take them to a recycling center. That picture in the National Geographic of E-waste in third world countries is too vivid. I'll be the first one to champion Best Buy's program when they are able to show and tell the full story.

TaihaI also visited with Omega consumer, mom and small business owner Taiha Wagner. She was there, traveling with her incognito sister to answer questions from Best Buy employees. Taiha was encouraged by Best Buy not to hold back (she didn't) and wasn't given any advice on what to say before she came. (Taiha's the one with the white shirt)

So why would you love a company as an employee and customer?

Over on Best of Mother Earth, Karen Hanrahan explores why she stays with her company. It started with products that she could trust as a consumer of eco-safe cleaners. Years ago she had to switch to a chemical-free lifestyle as cleaning agents bothered her health. When she found products that allowed her a way to not only live safely, but also make a living she was hooked and never left. "They just fit who I am as a person," Karen told me. "I've always been told I'm a mother earth sort, and these products let me live that life."

The more I read blogs and pay attention to what women want, it always comes down the same thing, give them something they can believe in - oh, and prove it.

April 09, 2008

How Method Moved to Social Media

Method_cb_tight I was honored to moderate the the discussion for the Method Social Media Case Study at BlogHer Business last week. On the panel, (left to right) were Amy Cotteleer, President of A Squared Group (A2G), Anna Boyarsky, Senior Associate of Influencer Marketing at Method and Kathryn Thompson, who blogs for Parenting.com and DaringYoungMom.com. (thanks CB for the pic)

In preparing for the discussion, I checked out A Squared Group and was instantly impressed. They just "get it" - this marketing to women thing as well as seeing women's for the "really new media" that they are. It's no wonder that Method chose A2G to help them develop a sincere social media program.

Detoxing Seattle

Method_detoxThe Detoxing Seattle program was a completely new way to enter into a market. Method, with it's sculptural design has been in major retail stores for a while, but it doesn't scream "Green" which is its main selling point in an evergreening market. I asked the BlogHer audience how many are "greenies" and a modest show of hands went up. When I asked how many used Method products however, and many hands went up. Without knowing it, they were supporting the green movement, the product's styling and recyclable packaging worked. Being green(er) than other options was icing.

What they did

The agency first got to know different bloggers, like Kathryn on a personal basis. Kathryn already had recognition in the local market, is an entertaining writer and someone who cares about how her home environment affects her family. Amy explained that her agency always tries to meet with Bloggers first to see if it's a good fit of values and interest or not. How many agencies are willing to do that?

Next they invited the women to a night out with cocktails and no expectations except to bring with them all the under-the-sink chemicals that they would want to take into detox. Even if no one liked Method, the night was still be a success. (Hundreds of toxic products were brought in.)

Afterwards, they sent a basket of Method products directly to each women's house. Pretty nice and unexpected. Needless to say, they had many nice things blogged about Method later and now that's a permanent part of the Method legacy for others to read including investors. I know I sure would invest in a company that is good to the planet and good to those who buy it. What's not to love? For the record, Method is the 7th faster growing privately held company in America according to Inc. Magazine in 2006.

What's next?

This very Social Media program will continue in Boston, Minneapolis and more major cities. Their plan is to detox the world one woman and one city at a time.

My thanks to Amy, Anna and Kathyrn for a great discussion that had us all laughing. If you want to be someone who "cleans like a mother" fill your house with Method eco-safe products.   

February 28, 2008

What Will Oprah Do to NOT Blow her Brand?

What will Oprah do when the consumption lights fully light up and she has to take a stand and promote only Sustainable products or blow her brand? What's her brand? Oprah Cares. Why might she blow it? Because you can't do right by the world and promote billions of dollars of non-sustainable stuff in the same space - at the same time.

On yesterday's show, Oprah covered the art of Freegan Living with Lisa Ling. (love Lisa's reporting style) Freegan Living takes dumpster diving to a new level - those who can afford to buy anything, yet choose to obtain most of their day-to-day stuff from dumpsters.

It was an important show for many iconic reasons:

  1. It demonstrated how wasteful we are as a society.
  2. Oprah acknowledged the irony of hosting this topic and then cutting to a commercial where someone was going to sell you something.
  3. It introduced the concept that LESS (much less) is "more living" for the society. That concept is being amplified through all the other Green sites.

Then this morning, I'm exchanging emails with Jason from Scream to be Green, and he tells me about LivingOprah. (thanks Jason) Turns out it's a performing artist in Chicago. She decided to try to live the Oprah life at it is featured each week because the culture is Oprah and Oprah is the culture. It's a brilliant concept, kudos for the idea. There is no way to contact the "artist" however, so for all I know it could be one, big setup by Harpo Productions to glean information. There's a survey on the site that asks if you subscribe to Oprah's magazines or not. (hey, I'm a born again skeptic) [Correction: the artist saw this post and assured me, that Harpo has nothing to do with it, and she put up a way to contact her.]

GarbageTwo minutes later, I'm skyping my husband who is working in Naples, Italy and he's describing the ever-present trash in the city. "There is smoke in my hotel room everyday with the smell of burning trash... smells mostly of plastic." Then he described his weekend boat trip to a nearby island. "the boat went through layers of junk, mostly plastic, you could hear it scraping on the side of the boat."

Wow, so much for the amore of Italy. Pretty disgusting. You hear that and it sure doesn't make you want to run to the mall and buy more junk and carry it home in a plastic bag. It doesn't even make me want to be on Oprah's Favorite Things show, the hottest ticket of the year and a show that can make or break an emerging business.

Which brings me to my final point...

I have a big favor to ask you Oprah, since you are culture and culture is you, could you do us all a favor and have a show dedicated to Sustainable Standards? We need a big name consumer champion to keep Wal Mart and other big box stores on track. Educate your world of women and you can single handedly set off a market transformation. Don't talk about green, talk about products and processes that can prove they don't put dioxins in our air, or chemicals into our children and most of all CO2 in the atmosphere. The White House doesn't control the world of consumer consumption - YOU DO.

Here's my wish list line up:

  • EcoMom Alliance (they are probably already on Oprah's radar after the NY Times article)
  • Big Green Purse (Diane MacEachern's scientific and pragmatic approach to shifting buying dollars from pollution to solution - the book and the site)
  • Annie Leonard (her Story of Stuff explains the problem in everyday language)
  • Mike Italiano (SMaRT the solution)  (Sustainable Material Rating Technology, it takes away the problem by providing a standard that is ethical, accountable and greenwash free. Consumers want truth and investors need quanitfied proof.

That's a show in itself right there. Will Oprah do it? It's a VERY scary move for  her economically if she did. She's in the same place the big chains are in, she's a promoter of goods and has to make a living while promoting the very things that cause her female viewers problems. That's not good, but I believe in Oprah. More than not wanting to break her brand, she understands that you either "stand for something or stand for nothing." She keeps saying how she doesn't need the money. This one move would prove that beyond a doubt and set off a tipping point for social change like the world has never seen.

February 11, 2008

February is Clear Your Space and Mind Month

Michele_skaly_doilneyCollected, calm, centered... that's what struck me about Michelle when I met her at the Sundance Film Festival. How did she do it? She was off the charts cool in the middle of cameras flashing and everyone being a bit crazed, including myself.


"When the student is ready the teacher will appear"


In her packet (and on her site) were 9 Feng Shui Projects. Before you roll your eyes, go to her site and read the list. Maybe I was ready and master showed herself, whatever the reason, as I implement her clutter free ideas, I feel better. Try it. Let me know if it's also working for you.


I could stop here, but I wanted you all to meet Michelle as well and learn how she arrived at this place.


MARY: Were you always a neat freak or did Feng Shui transform you?


MICHELLE: As a small girl, I lost my favorite Babar the Elephant book in a pile of toys as tall as me. Since then, I’ve been aware of how my environment can make my day a good or challenging one! Feng Shui has given me the language and tools to understand and use my environment to mindfully create a better day, and a better life. Feng Shui is the art and science of designing or adjusting an environment both indoors and outdoors for optimum comfort, balance, and use, given the purpose and occupants.


Feng_shuiMARY: Is it hard to keep it up?


MICHELLE: As Goethe said, “Begin”! We all have days of clutter and chaos – including me, and those of us who look organized on the surface but have the junk drawer, the “keep it closed” closet or hidden mystery boxes in the garage. I find that it is harder to let things go, let papers pile up, laundry multiply and the junk drawer to spread to the whole cabinet than it is to finish each use by putting things back where they belong. This plan starts with having a place for each thing, something you can start NOW.


How many of us keep buying rolls of tape because the last 10 rolls disappeared? Saving money from avoiding duplicates is just another bonus to being moderately organized. On a deeper level, Feng Shui is not just about being organized, but about keeping only that which you love or use. And, Feng Shui is about using your space wisely and comfortably and fitting your space to your needs and likes. This part is not hard to keep up at all, once you feel the difference between dreading your home and looking forward to being at home at the end of a long day.


MARY: What's the biggest thing you've noticed that's changed in your life now that you apply the principles?


MICHELLE: I have more clarity and peace in my daily life as I interact with others or think about what needs to be done. It is true – clutter in environment creates clutter in our minds…


MARY: We talked about the LEED project when we met. Do you see Feng Shui and integration with LEED or no connection?


MICHELLE: Feng Shui and LEED standards, as well as other “green” standards, are ‘naturally’ connected. Both LEED and Feng Shui teach us that our environment impacts our daily life and the lives of those people, neighborhoods, plants, and animals around us. Rather than home, work place, shops, and leisure as separate places, ideally these places collectively form our neighborhood.


Place organization using LEED-ND standards is like space organization in a home with Feng Shui effort. And... Feng Shui can be used hand-in-hand with LEED-ND standards in designing neighborhoods. We need to see how everything in life is intertwined and affects everything else. We have a choice – the choice to make a better life for us, for others and for the future based on how we see and plan our different environments now. Both LEED and Feng Shui are about mindfulness in our environment, and how we can make the best choices for us and others.


More information about Practical Feng Shui and about Newpark Hotel/the Newpark Development (LEED-ND is in process) are on Michelle's website:


December 29, 2007

2008 what's OUT and what's IN, in Business Climate Change

It’s out with the old and in with the new time.

OUT                IN

Green                        Sustainable

Greenwash                Authentic Marketing

Overlook Standards Quantified Sustainable Standards

Fossil Fuels               Renewable Energy

No Accountability      Product Life Cycle Assessments      

Federal Regulation   Free Market Self-Regulation

Internal Audits           Third Party Audits

There's another big trend that seems to be skipping by the news writers - yes, we may be buying less because of being cash strapped, but we also buying less because green sites like here, here and here are all saying "buy green (now sustainable) or buy nothing." All of which affects the economy and that's what scares policy makers and investors because currently, we don't have enough sustainable items. Let's put it another way, if Wal Mart stores had nothing but products that were as sustainable as an organic apple, what do you think would happen to their stock?

In the past when our economy goes south, other global markets (all 180 of them) balanced it out and the investors kept on chugging along. In 2008, that spread-the-risk investment strategy is at risk as ALL markets are affected by the treat of Climate Change. So what can you do to stop a market melt down on top of an Arctic cap meltdown? Do something to protect the market.

That something is provide proof of sustainability - proof that your sustainable product IS as organic as an organic apple.

Mindylubber Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres put it this way:

“…corporate concern about sustainable business practices, once taken seriously by a handful of prescient companies, is hitting both Wall Street and Main Street. Clearly, some corporations joining the movement to go green are doing so because they see a market trend and don't want to miss the wave. Others see a public relations opportunity, while still others have leadership who genuinely see corporate responsibility and sustainability as integral to the corporate strategy.”

Accountability for corporate actions is taking hold. You can expect to see more announcements coming out of the EPA in January. Mindy goes on to say...

“Indeed, hundreds of companies have spent billions of dollars to understand and reduce their impacts on biodiversity, water quality, energy use, and climate risks...

Investors, too, are helping to shift the tide towards greater corporate transparency and accountability on a variety of sustainability challenges. It would have been inconceivable 15 years ago that in 2007, 55 of the nation's largest institutional investors representing $4 trillion in assets, would become part of Ceres' Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), scrutinizing how the companies they invest in are managing the financial risks and opportunities of climate change. Climate change is the mother of all sustainability issues and will have an impact on every economic sector, whether from new regulations, physical impacts or growing demand for climate-friendly technologies. Thus, climate risk is embedded in every business and investment portfolio, which is why more Wall Street analysts are beginning to factor corporate response to climate risk into their evaluations of the companies they cover.

That last part cuts to the chase… corporations and investors are all looking at the bottom line. Mindy concludes that, “Sustainability reporting must become as routine as corporate financial reporting… and sustainability strategies must become more than an adjunct or afterthought, or relegated to the PR department. They must become an integral part of every major company's core mission and strategic plan. Fundamentally, environmental and social issues are business issues.”

Read her full commentary here.

This is a momentous change in the way we are doing business and every citizen needs to be aware of it's impact as much as corporate and investment insiders. Our everyday lives, our retirement lives and the life of this planet is dependent on that understanding.

If money makes the world go around, I’m very hopeful for 2008, as money starts going around in a more sustainable way thanks to Sustainable Standards and those who support them. Climate Change may still not be "real" to many, but this economic climate change can't be ignored, not if you have a business or are investing for your retirement.

September 24, 2007

Jennifer Carronna: Fundraising Green for Schools

Fundraising_green_logoEveryone - meet Jenny Caronna. For 14 years she was a stay-at-home mom and a fundraiser for her local PTA. Today, she's a business owner fielding calls from PTAs all over the nation. The callers want to know how they can get a Green Coupon Book Fundraiser started in their community.

Jenny's mission is to make the world greener through action:

"...to provide eco-friendly fundraisers that offer high returns with virtually no administration. Our Green fundraiser will educate students and supporters on readily available eco-friendly products and services throughout Southern California. From fair-trade to sweat-free, our product will lead the user on a path to Green and Ethical consumerism. We know that if each person or family using our green coupon book makes just one or two changes in their consumer habits, the impact will be exponential in the community and for the environment."

I met Jenny for the first time at OC Green Drinks. I was so impressed that I'm compelled to share her story. This is far more than another-green-business. The Green Coupons in her books are helping to raise funds and the green consciousness of schools and families alike. She has books for Greater LA/Long Beach and Orange County/Long Beach, but is also working on an online version for less green communities across the U.S. She's had an amazing amount of inquiries coming from the southern states.

What inspired her path?

"Last year my husband and I decided to convert our diesel Mercedes to veggie oil. That got us thinking about what else we could do to make our home life greener. I do lots of fundraising for our PTA where we had the usual candy and gifts going around. Kids can see the inconsistency and the hypocrisy, We teach them to do one thing in school and then turn around ask them to sell candy or junk from China. I started to think about how we can do a better job of fundraising and also offer something that could be useful in our home plus be a vehicle for education. I know as a parent, whenever I bought fundraising items, I always felt obligated to use them."

That's the part that impressed me; besides raising money for schools this program actively works to replace brown buying behavior with green buying behavior. The green coupon book promotes goods and services that are a better choice. The List below is a sampling of the offerings. Besides green products and services, it also includes active lifestyle choices like coupons for kids' gyms and bike shops.

Just how green are the choices?

"We look for things that either are common sense green(er) or are a brand that already has a trusted name (like 7th Generation) and secure coupons for them. It’s incremental change, not 100% perfect. We're not here to be the green police or to lecture, just show how easy it is to make small changes... We decided early on to make it a business instead of a non-profit. We want to show people that you can be green and ethical and still make money."

After meeting Jenny, I attended a webinar held by Nielson BuzzMetrics. One of their services is to scan the web of words that surround a topic. The results tell companies know what people really think. They picked the word "ADVERTISING" as an example word. The closest words associated with it were "FALSE" or "MISLEADING."

It's no wonder businesses are having a tough time these days. Consequently, anything green is also suspect. That said, Jenny admitted that she has been surprised by how encouraging the green community was. She was thinking that all business would be more cutthroat, but instead suppliers and customers alike have been wonderfully supportive.

Humm, I wonder... will business at large become nicer as it becomes greener? If that's the case, perhaps someday we'll be thanking Jenny for far more than raising funds for school projects, we can thank her for instigating a better/nicer way to live.

For more ideas and the latest go here, or email Jenny.

118 Degrees
Action Sports Environmental Coalition
Adventure 16
Amazon Herbs
Amys Playground
Aqua Surf School
The Aquarium of the Pacific
Arbonne Cosmetics
Avanti Cafe
Back to Natives Restoration
Bean Products
Beautiful Oceans
The Beys Garden Spa
Beyond Touring
Bikestation Long Beach
Blue Hen
Blue Penguin
BTC Elements
Captain Daves Dolphin Safari
Childs Play
The Childrens Nature Institute
The Clean Bedroom
Cool Baby
The Courtyard
Custom Bodies Fitness
Design Forward
Dr. Teas Tea Garden and Herbal Emporium
Earthroots Field School
Eat Your Veggies
Escape Adventures
Fair Trade Sports
Ferns Garden
Fleet Feet Sports
Free Spirit Yoga Studio
Fun and Fit Gymnastics
Grant Redesign Group
Greencoast Hydroponics
Green Nest
The Green Office
The Invisible Gardener
Jones Bicycles
Karuna Yoga
Kombucha Kamp
Kusikuy Clothing Co.
LA Dance Center
The Little Gym Huntington Beach & Mission Viejo
Maggies Functional Organics
Natural High Lifestyle
Natural Solutions
Organic and Healthy
Organic Bouquet
Path Design
Pet Haven All Natural Boutique
Pink Cloud Events
Plain Brown Tabby
Play It Again Sports
The Real Earth
Renew Carpet Cleaning
The Road Less Traveled
Rooibos Tea House
Safe Spray Cleaners
San Diego Bike and Kayak
Sand Rock Farm
Seasoned to Taste
SHIFT Center for Dynamic Change
Sigg USA
Soggy Dog
Sprout Kids Clothing
Stroller Strides
Sunflour Bakery
Tahoe Sands Resort
Team OC Gymnastics
Tees For Change
Terra Bella Cafe
The Vegetarian Site
Viva La Greens
Willka T'ika Garden Guesthouse
Yard Design
Yogaworld Studio