Have you ever stopped to consider the impact that living an ever-greener lifestyle has on our economy? If you have followed this blog for long, I hope that you do consider the impact that your personal consumer behavior has on what kind of products are offered in the marketplace. I hope that you remain aware that each product you buy (or refuse to buy!) is sending a message about what kinds of products we want companies to make (or stop making) in the future.
Since women influence at least 80% of all consumer purchases in the U.S., we are in a position to really influence change in our country. Beyond our own country, the #1 largest importer of goods into the United States is China. It might surprise you to know that women in China, who contribute about half of all household income and influence and make more than half of all purchasing decisions, are equally concerned about consumer decisions and how they impact our shared climate.
It is for this reason that The U.S. – China Greener Consumption Forum is taking place on March 22 in Washington, D.C. Through my membership with the Green Sisterhood, I have met Diane MacEachern of Big Green Purse, a leading green consumer advocate and an award-winning entrepreneur who is both organizing the event and speaking. Together, we are urging all women to get involved in this forum by attending, listening in via social media, and spreading the word.
Why join in?
At first it might all sound very distant and far away, but did you know that you, too, can listen, participate, and benefit from this international forum on conscientious consumerism? If you choose to follow along, whether by attending in person or from home (see “How can you join in?”, below), you will learn from the speakers:
- why our purses have so much power to make a difference
- how McMansions, meat-based agriculture, and toxic chemicals in common household problems affect our health (agenda item “The impacts of consumption on the environment and human health”)
- how lack of equality between women and men undermines sustainability
- obstacles that make it difficult for people to shift their spending and habits to greener products and services
- strategies to reduce consumption (focusing on the sharing economy, a really interesting project in China to help communities come up with a mission and vision around sustainable consumption, and energy efficiency)
The afternoon workshops will focus on new green products and services that have been introduced to meet the demand of women and mothers. In the behavior change set, we’ll be highlighting campaigns to reduce the use of plastic, helping people to become more energy efficient, and reduce consumption.
The product innovation set will include a group on home renovation and cleaning products, food and drink featuring the VP of Honest Tea, MOM’s organic market, Green America, and the CEOs of an organic cosmetics company and an organic skin lotion company (full speaker list).
How can you join in?
If you live in D.C., you might actually consider registering to attend the event. There are fabulous speakers and practical consumer tips throughout the event that will be particularly engaging in person. There will be simultaneous translation for all of the plenary sessions, and on-site translators in the workshops. There will be opportunities throughout the day for Q&A between the audience and presenters, but also among all attendees.
Follow along on Twitter. All of The Green Sisterhood bloggers will be re-tweeting segments and links from the forum with the official hashtag #USChinaGreenForum, but specifically be sure to follow @dianemaceachern and @biggreenpurse. Our Green Sisterhood hashtag for this event is #GSGF13 if you want to follow only Green Sisters tweeting about the forum. Make a special list or stream on Hootsuite for those hashtags in preparation for the day!
Make sure you are following The Green Sisterhood Facebook page and The U.S. – China Greener Consumption Facebook page. If you hover over “Like” and check “Notifications”, you’ll be sure to get links to great content on the day of the event, allowing you to follow along.
Help us spread the word!
Since you already follow me on Twitter (of course you do, right? Cause you really want to hear about how many times my kids wake up at night or see Instagram photos of my food…), you can just retweet my messages from the forum, or you can click here to tweet a pre-formatted message about the forum! You can also share the things you learn from the Facebook page posts with your Facebook friends.
Most of all, just tell someone one thing you learned about the forum or from the forum!