Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ready To Go Green AND Give Green This Holiday Season?

I just reviewed Deloitte’s 2008 Annual Holiday Survey and it seems Mother Nature will be receiving a great gift this year: More eco-minded shoppers!

Here are some of the results of this year’s survey:

· 21% of consumers will consider not wrapping holiday gifts to conserve paper

· 20% will purchase more “eco-friendly” products this holiday season than they did in the past

· 18% will shop at more “green” retailers this holiday season

· 14% will purchase more organic products this holiday season

Additionally, 37% will use fewer plastic bags from supermarkets and other stores. Of course, as the owner of EcoVixen—a chic cloth bag company, specializing in made-in-the-USA, recycled cotton totes for men and women—I’m especially thrilled with this statistic.

Another thing that thrills me is’s hassle-free packaging, which doesn’t just avoid wrap rage, but it avoids all that unnecessary product packaging ending up in the landfills. Read all about it.

Question of the blog: How does being green influence your holiday shopping?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why Can’t Obama Take Office Today?

Now that Obama has won the Presidential election, I just want him to move right into the White House and get all cozy behind the desk in the oval office. I already consider him my President. I look to him to voice the thoughtful solution. I’m ready for him to lead, especially when it comes to the environment.

For years, President Bush has refused mandatory curbs on emissions which could/would help control global warming. Can you say, “In bed with oil companies”? As I’ve expressed before, I’m pretty convinced the only way Bush is able to sleep at night is by sniffing a little of his prized oil. The damage he’s done to our earth, and the damage he’s failed to avoid, is beyond measure.

I can’t wait to see him ride off into the sunset on that Texas ranch.

More than that, I can’t wait for the sun to rise on our future under the leadership of Barack Obama. Speaking of global warming, Obama made a surprise (videotaped) speech at the climate change conference in California today and vowed to take quick action to curb global warning. (Read the entire article here.)

Now that’s my leader.

Question of the blog: Do you think Obama will get to do all he’s promised to do for the environment?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Where Are All the Eco Couches?

When Mark and I sold our house last month, the buyers purchased almost all of our furniture, including our sofa. We were thrilled with the transaction because it meant we could finally buy an eco couch.

Or so we thought.

Go to and do a search for “eco couch” or “organic cotton couch” or “non-toxic couch” or “green couch” or “environmentally friendly couch” and you won’t find very much (and certainly nothing affordable).

We all know that conventional couches aren’t terribly good for our health, what with toxic glues holding the frame together, non-organic fillers, and flame-retardant fabrics. It’s a good thing organic denim jeans and a bamboo tee comes between us and our couch!

Here's the good news: I love a challenge.

Inspired by a search result that revealed Crate&Barrel has made a green commitment, Mark and I headed over to a Crate&Barrel furniture store. I approached a sales woman and she walked us through the store, pointing out the “eco” sofas (read about their “eco-friendly construction”) but when I asked if they had an organic cotton fabric available, she said no. Disappointed, we started to leave . . . and just as we were almost out the door, the sales woman appeared, holding a book of organic cotton fabric swatches.


So as I type this blog, I’m sitting on my eco couch. Mission: Accomplished.

Question of the blog: What eco items are you having trouble finding?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Got Hope?

Last night, just before midnight eastern time, I watched Barack Obama walk onto the stage in Chicago as the president-elect. Rather unexpectedly, I burst into (joyful) tears. In that instant, I felt not just immense hope for my country and for myself, but a relieving hope for my child and his or her future.

Until then, I hadn’t realized just how worried I was that John McCain would win and just how scared I was to bring a child into that world.

And I mean “that world” in both the figurative and literal sense. Instead of McCain’s commitment to continue to be a seemingly reason-free aggressive force on the international scene and to strip the planet of its resources with no thought to the consequences, Obama is looking to bring people together (both in this country and across the globe) and to help solve the environmental crisis.

In fact, during Obama’s speech, when he mentioned the challenges facing the United States, the first thing he mentioned was the two wars, the second thing he mentioned was the environment (!), and the third was the economy. Obama gets it and, as a result, we all get a healthy dose of optimism.

Question of the blog: Has your hope for positive environmental changes improved with the election results?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just What Does a Pregnant Vegan Do at a Wine & Cheese Party?

Okay, so it’s Election Day (a most historic and important day) but rather than encourage you to get out there and vote, I’m going to offer you a little election distraction.

You can thank me later.

Back in September, I shared with you that Mark and I had sold our house and made an offer on another house. Well, the offer was accepted and the move is now complete. Whew.

I’ve been silent for weeks as the massive undertaking (pack, pack, pack and then unpack, unpack, unpack) completely took over my life. We’re beyond happy to be in a green space that’s just the right size for us—with just enough room to grow—across the street from a dog-friendly park and with really wonderful neighbors.

But that’s just a small part of my news: I’m also expecting a baby on April 22, 2009 . . . which just happens to be Earth Day. For a passionate environmentalist, the idea that my baby’s due date is Earth Day is a heart-warming thought. We're thrilled!

Our new life is based in the charming seaside community of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For six years, Mark and I have wanted to live downtown so we can walk to our favorite restaurants, the movie theater, the health food store, etc. (and Mark still has a quick commute while I continue to work from home as a full-time freelance writer).

Yesterday, I had a meeting with a client in a coffee shop about a 10-minute walk from my house. Walking to a meeting is a liberating and highly enjoyable activity. I smiled the entire walk. On the way home, I popped into a local gallery, seduced by the lovely painting in the window (I wanted to buy it for the baby’s room but it had already been purchased).

While there, I learned that six of Portsmouth’s galleries host a “Gallery Stroll” the first Friday evening of every month. Mark and I will absolutely go this Friday! The gallery employee was telling me all about the event. “Oh, beyond the art, you’ll really enjoy the cheese and wine,” she said. I just smiled . . . after all, what does a pregnant vegan do at a wine & cheese party?

Question of the blog: Okay back to the election: As we wait to hear if McCain or Obama will lead us, are you feeling anxious or excited?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just How Low Can George W. Bush Go?

I just read an enlightening article about President Bush’s upcoming “midnight regulations” (swift policy changes made at the end of a term) as he rushes to extend his harmful environmental legacy with oh-so-honorable decisions like:

  • Getting wolves off the Endangered Species List;
  • Allowing power plants to operate near national parks;
  • Loosening regulations for factory farm waste; and
  • Making it easier for mountaintop coal-mining operations.

What a great human being!

I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m a free-thinking, unconfined, objective Independent. And my opinion of George W. Bush is that he has been the worst president in our nation’s history. Not only has he stripped U.S. citizens of many of our basic rights, but he’s led our country into not just economic crisis, but a crisis of faith in government (he’s also done nothing to advance health care, education, or environmental efforts; if you argue he’s made the country safer, I’d have to disagree with you as many experts say we’re more vulnerable now than eight years ago).

A crisis of faith in government might pale in comparison to a burst housing market and high unemployment, but it is quite serious. Tomorrow, U.S. citizens influence the direction of our nation’s future as we vote for the next president. As an Independent, I’ve listened to both McCain and Obama and—to me—the choice is clear.

McCain’s campaign is running on a foundation of fear and lies, and his actual campaign is a mess (my question: If McCain can’t run a campaign, how can he run the country?). McCain and his running mate have also sunk to lows so deep that I wonder how they can sleep at night. What do they stand for other than knocking down their opponent? I wish they would run on their strengths.

Obama's campaign, on the other hand, is running on a foundation of hope and of actual ideas for the future. When Obama talks about the environment, he knows his stuff and—if he stays true to his message and his word—will be a great steward for Mother Nature (versus the “Drill, Baby, Drill” attitude of his opponent).

To me, November 5th will be a day of fear or hope. Let’s just hope that whichever candidate wins will be able to rectify all of Bush’s “midnight regulations” and bring honor back to the White House.

Question of the blog: How can we stop “midnight regulations”? After all, the president is supposed to enact the will of the people, not the will of big business!