When should you spend your money to protect the planet – and when should you keep it in your purse?

Given the thousands of green products being introduced these days, and the vague marketing claims being used to sell them, you don\’t want to blow your budget just to keep up with the newest “eco,” “herbal,” or “biodegradable” fad – especially if the claim turns out to be more greenwashing than green.

On the other hand, genuinely earth-friendly products do help minimize your environmental impact. Every organic cotton T-shirt you buy, for instance, helps reduce the use of toxic agricultural chemicals, protecting the air and water. Moreover, the same tee waves like a bright green flag in front of conventional cotton producers, reminding them that your money is filling their organic competitors\’ coffers.

Using your Big Green Purse to favor companies whose goods protect the climate, eliminate toxins, keep the air and water clean, and safeguard forests and other natural places creates a powerful incentive for their rivals to do likewise. The challenge is in knowing how to avoid the “greenwash” so you can promote more green. A few clear principles will help you identify an ecobargain from a rip-off, while getting manufacturers to transition as quickly as possible to the most earth-friendly practices available.

The Big Green Purse Shopping Principles1)Buy less.
2) Read the label.
3) Support sustainable standards.
4) Look for third-party verification.
5) Choose fewer ingredients.
6) Pick less packaging.
7) Buy local.
For ideas on putting the Big Green Purse Shopping Principles into practice, stop by BigGreenPurse.com.