The Power of the Purse

An Interview with Diane MacEachern

Diane MacEachern wants you to use your purse to build a better world. The bestselling author and founder of Big Green Purse has been working on environmental issues for most of her life.

?I was thinking about how to capture the message ? every woman has a big green purse. Whether they have a lot or a little money, every single woman has power in her purse.? ~Diane MacEachern

Someone who Walks the Talk

Diane is a true advocate and was involved in many grassroots campaigns, from strengthening of the Superfund Act, to keeping drilling out of national wildlife and banning of underground testing of nuclear weapons in Colorado.

Here are some of her career highlights:

  • Masters in natural resources and environment management and policy
  • Founder of Vanguard Communications, an public policy communications firm focused on environment, healthcare, energy, human rights, women?s rights and children?s welfare.
  • Seven years as vice chair of the Alaska Wilderness League, helping to protect wilderness in Alaska

Don?t Count on Capital Hill

While her focus on public policy was fruitful, she learned that the tides could change quickly with a single election. She began looking for ways to make impact that was not dependent on government regulation. ?According to Diane, ?The Big Green Purse is more relevant than ever, because we can?t count on Capital Hill.?

Why Women Have More Power than they Realize

So Diane began to look elsewhere. She had been interested in the intersection between women, health and environment. She spent time researching pressure points. It turns out that $0.80 on the dollar is spent by women in the marketplace.

?We realized that women care about the environment and are concerned about their health and the health of their families.?

Diane knew that mobilizing consumer clout to make big market shifts could drive manufacturing to change their ways. Commerce could be used as a way to put pressure on manufacturers to clean up their act. It was also the fastest way to protect consumers.

So she began to educate and write about healthy living and not buying things that were bad for people and planet. ?Big Green Purse provides great ideas for living a better life, including DIY, energy efficiency, green home ideas, personal care, and more. Diane shares with her readers ideas for using the power of the purse to drive cleaner, safer, and greener products.

The Dream: measurable impact

When Diane first started Big Green Purse, her team decided to test a small campaign. They inspired people to commit to shifting $1,000 of household budget to greener products and services. As it turned out, 6,000 people signed up for the challenge. That had $6 million in marketplace impact.

Her dream is to expand the concept of using our consumer power to drive even greater impact.

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