The power of the purse: use your smart dollar

Spring Green Purse

Spring Green Purse (Photo credit: Jilted Ballerina)

Click here for a Good Dirt Radio 5-minute eco-spot on purse power.

Attention Spenders! We consumers are the source of dollars that most mega corporations crave and upon which they thrive. We can all participate in reducing the threat of climate change by learning about and switching to appropriate eco-friendly goods and services available in today’s changing marketplace. Tune in to find out how each ‘smart’ dollar we spend sends a message to manufacturers to produce cleaner, more sustainably made products.

Click here for resources and information on this topic.

Read the transcript below.

Welcome to Good Dirt Radio, reporting on positive solutions… taking root.

Attention Spenders!  We consumers are the source of dollars that most mega corporations crave and upon which they thrive.  We can all participate in reducing the threat of climate change by learning about and switching to appropriate eco-friendly goods and services available in today’s changing marketplace. Each ‘smart’ dollar we spend sends a message to manufacturers to produce cleaner, more sustainably made products.

Many corporations go the extra mile, producing greener products that are safer for the environment and your purchase of their goods is an incentive for them to continue making and improving these products. Whether it’s spending for home, office or family, everyone can learn and apply new consumer information with a keen eye to make smarter choices, helping create a healthier world.

Diane MacEachern, founder of Big Green Purse, is focused on empowering women to use their marketplace clout to protect the environment.  As an author and speaker, conservationist and entrepreneur, she is dedicated to helping transform women’s environmental concerns into measurable improvements in quality of life, through Purse Power.

MacEachern:  I started Big Green Purse because there seemed to be a need beyond legislation and regulation to protect the environment. And I believe that the fastest, easiest, most direct way to a clean and healthy environment, these days, is really to shift our spending to environmentally safe, socially responsible products and services.  We need to protect our health and health of our kids and grandkids and the places that we treasure, the wildlife we love, all those things are threatened and we have consumer power that we are really not using and so the idea with Big Green Purse is to use the power of our pocketbooks to get manufacturers to clean up their act, literally.

Big Green Purse.com estimates that women control the spending of up to $.80 out of each dollar.  MacEachern’s challenge to women is to start… byswitching just one thousand dollars of old buying habits to more earth friendly choices.   Her website provides information and inspiration.

MacEachern:  Diane’s Big Green Purse really tries to focus on products and services that are available to women that offer good options both from a consumer point of view and an ecological point of view.  And when something happens in the marketplace or on capitol hill or in a corporate boardroom or in a community, the blog lets people know immediately that a situation is occurring so that they can respond.  And their actions make a difference.  When there are products that I think are being green-washed, a toothpaste, for example, that claims that it’s all natural, when in fact it’s not all natural, it’s just using natural as a way to market it, I try to call that out and say be aware that this is a green-washing situation.

Mary Hunt is a marketing professional and author also pushing for new consumer spending habits. She uses the web to spread the word that smarter spending sends strong messages to corporate boardrooms.

Hunt: The whole point is to help, not only each other make educated decisions but also post about what we like.  The more we put things on the internet and sort of burn it into the internet cave wall, the more those decisions are going to be sourced by companies, they’re going to be looking at people’s opinions and those opinions will get weighed in on future marketing decisions.

Hunt says that buying eco-friendly products and services has a positive and direct effect on the health of our natural world.

Hunt:   The nice thing about having the smart, sustainable living standard out there is that it is geared to take the carbon out of the air, its focused on the emissions.   At the same time, that standard is also cleaning up the water, cleaning up the toxicity going into the soil, a multitude of sins we have out there environmentally.

Because women control so much spending, they hold a major key in helping preserve the health of our planet through greening up their buying habits.

Hunt: One thing I’d like to leave women with is to realize that they really have power now like never before.  Follow the money.  It’s not in politics, it’s not, arguably, in religion, it’s not in the corporations.  It’s in the consumer who are buying the products that give the corporations money.

Everyone can make a difference by using less of everything, and for necessary purchases, choosing earth-friendly products and services.  We urge you to learn about your options and make smarter marketplace choices.

For more information on Purse Power and how your spending choices can affect the health of the biosphere, please visit us at gooddirtradio.org.