November 12, 2010Issue 72   

Mrs. Green's World

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Green Jewelry? Think & Then Shop!
I have come to the conclusion that there aren't very many areas in our lives where it doesn't make sense to stop, think, and then make the most sustainable choice possible when making a purchase. Case in point for this newsletter: jewelry. Not only are we giving away a $1000 gift certificate to Abbott Taylor Jewelers for our "I'm dreaming of a Green Christmas" website contest, it's a time of year when people buy jewelry - second only to Valentine's Day. So jewelry it is!

Truth be told, jewelry making can be a really dirty, awful, human rights nightmare kind of thing. I have edited and condensed the information from the Daily Green article in the hopes you will at least read about some very important things to consider before your next purchase of your dream ring or necklace or diamond earrings. Do people's lives depend on it?  Ultimately yes. It matters that much. My second wish is that you will share this information with the lucky person who might be the one buying you said jewelry or with anyone you can think of because that's how change really happens and how we make a difference.


1. Impact to environment?
Precious metals and stones are extracted at a sometimes high cost to the environment.

2. Impact to human beings? The mining of precious metals and gems has one of the biggest environmental and human impacts. For instance, gold mines represent the largest U.S. sources of mercury pollution, a potent toxic metal that attacks the brain. In Alaska, watchdogs fear that a proposed mine upstream of Bristol Bay would threaten the millions of salmon that spawn there. Diamond mining is notoriously tied with slave labor and the funding of systemic violence in Africa. Beyond that, mining anything involves not only tearing up a landscape, but also processing that typically uses toxic chemicals and metals. Avoiding unnecessary purchases avoids those impacts. (Note from Mrs. Green: Abbott Taylor uses 100% recycled gold - always and forever)

3. Buying new? Do you have to? When it comes to jewelry, antique and vintage pieces can be found in the estate section of many jewelry stores. The workmanship of past decades of centuries is often unsurpassed, when it comes to filigrees and detail, so don't assume that newer is always better. Buying antique jewelry means avoiding the use of newly mined natural resources.

4. How WAS it really made?  If you're buying new, consider how the piece was made: what materials were used, who made it and how were those workers treated? It's often not you, the buyer, who suffers if a product isn't made in an ethical, sustainable manner; it's the workers and the communities at the source. Like other products, you can look for Fair Trade-certified jewelry to ensure that workers were treated well. (Comment from Mrs. Green: On any given day one might find children, dogs, grandchildren and definitely the owner of Abbott Taylor Jewelers on site at their showroom. Abby is a family man and people have worked with him forever. Says it all.

5. How was it packaged and shipped?  I have to admit, I don't always think about "how things got here."  It's time for all of us to start - past the time actually. Per The Daily Green: The making of a product is only part of what contributes to its environmental footprint. The materials used to package it, and the fuel used to transport it, are two other biggies. Studies have generally endorsed the proposition that online purchasing has a smaller environmental footprint than buying from a brick-and-mortar store, in large part because of the reduced energy costs associated with lighting and heating. (more if you follow the link)

6. How easy it to maintain? Translation?  If a piece of jewelry gets broken, simply get it fixed. And remember, if you are really ready to get rid of it, be sure to either recycle it through a reputable dealer or have it made into something new and wonderful. I would do a check-in with loved ones first because heirlooms are full of precious memories.

7. What will you say about it? This might be my favorite one of all. Tell the story! Tell your friends who comment on your creation that you made a conscious decision to go to a jeweler or to a jewelry store that cares about our earth, its resources including those of the human kind. Ethical buying decisions are something to be proud of and shared. Think it's hyperbole to say OUR lives depend on it? I invite you to think again.

And here is the link for you long fact finders who want the scoop, the whole scoop and nothing but the scoop!


P.S. Now if this does not inspire you to enter Mrs. Green's World "I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas" website contest and possibly win the prize from Abbott Taylor Jewelers, I am not sure what will! Yes, the prizes are great and fun but most importantly, sharing your creative, green gift ideas is REALLY great! Please do and if not, please VOTE for your favorite entry - often.

Enter to win 

Shaffer Dry Cleaning & Laundry Is Having Twins

Twins of the grand opening kind!  Shaffer Dry Cleaning and Laundry is not only expanding their partnership with Mrs. Green (had to get that in) but they are expanding in the Tucson community which is a good thing. Why am I so excited about this? Lots of reasons - some personal. Patricia Shaffer is as wild and crazy about preservation of the planet as I am. She wants Shaffer to be the greenest dry cleaner in America. Think I am kidding? Talk to her about it sometime.

For the record, Shaffer uses GreenEarth cleaning method, the healthiest choice available for dry cleaning - no toxic chemicals, silicon and water. They use biodegradable bags to wrap their clean garments in, they recycle hangers and very important to me - they give back to the community - BIG TIME! Do I believe Patricia and Bake care about us, our families and our community? A resounding yes and I am proud to have them as a sponsor.

Check out their website for info on the grand opening and for more info about all they're doing to make our world a better, healthier place.


Mrs. Green wearing the winning crownQueen of Green
Humor me on this one! I was, indeed, crowned the Queen of Green on October 23rd at Goodwill Industries. I had so much fun it was almost obscene. Please check out the winning crowns on Mrs. Green's World FB page. Cindy Smith, an employee of Goodwill, was the judges' favorite and the People's Choice Award went to Barrie Herr, The Green Realtor. Cindy's First Place crown was created by using shower curtain hooks, corn cob holders, place mats, clothing, stuffed animals, and lots of found items. I LOVED all the crowns and was beyond Thunderdome blown away by the creativity. Check out all 36 entries - talk about how living green can be fun! (And did I mention asking your friends to follow me on FB? Can't wait to hit 2000 fans!)



Did You Know?
Did you know that when I first got a message from a man named John Smith claiming to be the Arizona Green Plumber, I thought someone was playing a joke? Did you know that since then, John, THE Arizona Green Plumber, has become a colleague, supporter and friend? Did you know that John was named 2010 Green Plumber of the Year by GreenPlumbers USA? Did you know that John now has a blog talk radio show and a great, informative FB page with all kinds of useful information? Did you know that Mrs. Green now has one high efficiency toilet from the Arizona Green Plumber which uses 1.28 gallons of water instead of more than 3 gallons per flush so I can flush guilt free? (And am getting 2 more!) Did you know that in addition to having a great team of people for all your plumbing needs, The Arizona Green Plumber REALLY knows about gray water and about rainwater harvesting and can help you out with that too? And did you know that John, his staff and his family are dedicated to their communities in both Phoenix and Tucson and support organizations like the Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity's Habistore? There's so much more but now at least you know this much!

Upcoming Shows

Biosphere 211/13
Travis Huxman & Bob Logan - Biosphere 2. Biosphere 2's mission is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe. Travis Huxman is a genius & Bob Logan is the Director of Development for the College of Science, is an old friend and a total crack up. I can promise you a mix of information, exciting developments about the Biosphere 2 combined with plans for the future and lots of fun. Please plan to join us.

Stacey & Jeff Sire - The Environmental Development Group - an environmental industry leader in commercial and industrial facility maintenance. We'll find out what they are up to in Tucson and around the southwest. Please join me because there is so much I DON'T know about what they do and can't wait to let the questions begin. 
Function Drinks11/27
Mrs. Green will be spending time with family and friends in Los Angeles - including a trip to the Channel Islands! So if you happened to miss this great show, please tune in to hear Josh Simon and Dr. Alex Hughes and their journey to creating and bringing to market healthy natural drinks called Function. Their Light Weight is a personal favorite of Mrs. Green's. It's been a fun, exciting and action packed journey and you will find out why! Hope you'll tune in! 
Goodwill of Southern Arizona12/4
Grand Opening of Goodwill at Bear Canyon - Mrs. Green is on the road again this Saturday at noon to celebrate the grand opening of the newest Goodwill Store at Bear Canyon. Hear about some of Goodwill's outstanding success stories and from friends of Mrs. Green (including Legendary World's Legend Scott Caddow) who have discovered why it's fun AND sustainable to shop at Goodwill.

Chapman Automotive12/11
Neb Yonas, General Manager of Chapman Tucson. What's coming up for the 2011 lineup in the auto industry? What is Chapman up to in their journey to becoming greener from the inside out? I know but Neb will tell you! From Audi's biodegradable plastic bottle message to Chapman's commitment to being good stewards of the community to what's new in their cutting edge industry, tune in to get a look at the year in review as well as a look at Chapman's plans for 2011. This is always a great show!

Mrs. Green Goes Mainstream's All Green Talk Radio Show
Please remember to tune in to Mrs. Green Goes Mainstream every Saturday at 12:05 p.m. PST on NEWSTALK 790 KNST AM or live, streaming on the internet at
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