The way we spend our money can change the world. From a dime to a dollar to the amount we put into retirement funds, where and how we spend our money is one of the fastest, easiest, most direct ways to protect ourselves and our families. Plus, consumer dollars are a company’s lifeblood. Because women spend 85 cents of every dollar in the marketplace, we have tremendous potential to make a difference. In fact, no one is in a better position to use marketplace levers to create the world we want. When we shift our spending to products, services and investments that have the greatest social, environmental and human health benefits, we’re sending a powerful message to corporations: If you want our business, you need to clean up your act!
The Making Your Money Matter panel will focus on the levers we have as concerned citizens, issue experts, and social media influencers to use our financial and consumer clout to create a better world. Erin Ely is a “slow money” maven who will give you the inside scoop on alternative investment strategies that strengthen community while advancing better, safer business practices, especially in the food industry. If you’ve been trying to figure out what “slow money” actually is, or what tools are available to help you raise money for a cause you care about or to invest in your local community, you won’t want to miss Erin’s insights. Diane MacEachern, the founder of Big Green Purse, will highlight specific campaigns where women used their marketplace clout to force billion-dollar companies to get toxic chemicals out of their products. Beth Conway of Women’s Voices for the Earth will share some of the many victories WVE has had in combining scientific research with savvy consumer-focused campaigns to pressure product manufacturers to reduce toxic ingredients.
Join us to share stories of shifts you’ve made that have made a difference in your life or your community. And let’s all brainstorm a new campaign we can tackle that shows we women know how to make our money matter!
Diane MacEachern is one of America’s leading green consumer advocates and an award-winning entrepreneur who received the “Image of the Future” award from the World Communication Forum in Davos, Switzerland and was named one of America’s EcoHeroes by Glamour magazine. Diane founded Big Green Purse to inspire consumers – especially women — to use their marketplace clout to protect the planet and themselves by shifting their spending to the greenest products and services available. She has also launched the Big Green Network to empower women who blog about green and healthy living while deploying the knowledge and expertise of the network’s social media mavens to propel green brands into the marketplace. A best-selling author, Diane’s “how to go green” books have collectively sold almost four hundred thousand copies. Her most recent book is Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World. Her writings have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Country Living, Triple Pundit, Care2, and many more. Diane has provided social media services, consumer guidance, expert content, and employee engagement workshops to such companies as Avon, St. Ives, Whole Foods, Frito Lay, American Bankers Association, Pacific Life Insurance, Ceridian, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, Norfolk Southern Railroad, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NRG Home Solar and the American Society for Training and Development. Diane organized the first-ever U.S. – China Greener Consumption Forum at The World Bank. She also speaks to international audiences, which have ranged from Sustainable Brands and BlogHer to Environment Oman and the International Women’s Forum for Green Living in Shaanxi, China. Prior to founding Big Green Purse, Diane served as the Director of Communications for the national Sierra Club and was the co-founder, President and CEO of Vanguard Communications, a national communications and advocacy company based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please contact[email protected] and visit www.biggreenpurse.com. You can join the Big Green Network here.
Erin Ely is an organic fanatic, strategic optimist, and Slow Money evangelist. She has a degree in Forest Management from Oregon State University and spent 12 years working on the Willamette National Forest, including a stint as a hotshot firefighter. With a wide variety of interests Erin has been a Forester, full time mother to two, and professional volunteer fundraiser (raising over $150Kfor various organizations through direct donations, product sales, grant writing, and event coordination). She also works in the financial industry with her husband who is a Financial Planner. Currently she organizes the Slow Money South Willamette Valley group and has helped catalyze $230K+ in local peer-to-peer loans and equity crowdfunding offers for food and farm projects in her community. Passionate about local investing, she is helps connect local investors with small businesses using the new Oregon crowdfunding law. A successful online entrepreneur, Erin is one of the highest-ranking North America representatives for Miessence certified organic and non-toxic personal care products and superfoods, which she makes available at www.elyorganics.com. For more information, please contact [email protected] and visit www.slowmoneyswv.org
Beth Conway is the Communications and Outreach Manager at Women’s Voices for the Earth. For over 20 years this women’s health non-profit has helped lead the fight to disclose toxic ingredients in cleaning products, fragrances, cosmetics and feminine hygiene products. Women’s Voices focuses specifically on cancer-causing chemicals that directly and disproportionately impact women’s health. Their campaigns have challenged such chemical giants as SC Johnson and Son Inc., Procter and Gamble, The Clorox Company, Simple Green, RB (formerly Reckitt-Benckiser) and more. No wonder Women’s Voices is frequently featured in leading publications like The Guardian, Huffington Post, LA Times, New York Times, Forbes and on influential blogs ranging from GreenBiz, Center for Effective Government, ScienceBlogs and EcoWatch to MomsRising, Groovy Green Livin, Flour Sack Mama, Big Green Purse and other game-changers in the non-toxic movement. Prior to her work at Women’s Voices, Beth spent a decade spearheading marketing, communications, public relations and multi-media programs in the adventure and sustainable travel industry. Beth holds degrees in history, English, and political science and earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana, Missoula. She is particularly adept at using the power of storytelling to connect unlikely audiences and bring about change — or stop it in its tracks. She knows the potency messaging has to strengthen like-minded communities, ignite action, and invite conversations with the most seemingly surprising allies. Beth has three children, two dogs and one husband. She works from her home office in Rochester, Minnesota where she can frequently be found trekking through the region’s nearby state parks or swimming in one of its famous 10,000 lakes. To contact Beth email [email protected] or visit www.womensvoices.org for additional information.