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Greening Our Money, Jobs, and Economy (to meet our ecological and economic needs simultaneously)

For your convenience, I've gathered my Ask EcoGirl print columns into themes, often with additional information.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ECOGIRL, including how she can appear in your publication,
see the
main EcoGirl page.

Pursuing Your Green Job Dreams (February 2009)
Green jobs are increasingly being discussed in books, magazines, even President Obama's economic stimulus plan. And, yes, by bringing together economic, ecological, and employment objectives, we can address multiple problems at once -- if we pay attention to the details. So, how can a job-seeker skillfully align with these trends, while avoiding the pitfalls?
Can I Afford to Go Solar? (January 2008)
Most people think solar is just for those with up-front capital. But what if you could take out a loan with payments equal to your current utility bill? Then you'd be converting an expense into an investment! (We love to do that!) And reduce your vulnerability to energy price increases. Oh, and help the planet by supporting our transition to earth-friendly energy sources. Here are the key notions to consider, and the steps and resources for you to determine if this approach is right for your situation.

"Solar financing is a complex topic and you nailed it."
Chris Cone, Writer, Coordinator Green Energy Loan Program

Greening Your Holidays, On a Budget (November 2008)
Yes, you can create greener winter holidays while treading lightly on both the earth and your budget. In fact, one of the silver linings of this economic downturn is that it can help us reduce the consumerism rates that are more than the planet can bear. Here's some ideas for how to do that while still having loving fun with friends and family!
Holiday Donations: Your Magic Wand for Planetary Change! (December 2007)
You can empower change in the world through your holiday donations (and perhaps even get a tax deduction!). Here are inspiring ideas for finding your own passionate issues, and suggestions for wonderful local groups you can support.
Happy Traveling on Public Transit (January 2009)
We've heard that using public transit can be great for both the planet's well-being and our convenience. But how do we get started? This column makes it easy, offering both resources and encouraging stories. By including public transit among our transportation modes, we can reduce our car pollution's contribution to climate change, reduce our shared wealth transfer to oil-rich nations, turn stressful travel time into useful time, and connect more with our community.
Eco-Remedies for Our Health Care Crisis (March 2010)
The health care crisis is such a timely topic right now. Yet, amidst all the passionate debates, the environmental dimension is still largely being ignored, even with the clear evidence linking our high illness rates and exposure to environmental pollutants and everyday toxics. However, by turning and seeing how our actions in the world are harming our own health, we can find true solutions that significantly reduce both illness and costs, lightening the load on us all.
Eco-Organizing Your Stuff (August 2012)
One of my life's personal pleasures and challenges has been that I tend to collect a variety of cool things. It's not that I bring so many items home (well, except paper information), but that I tend to keep them longer to get full use out of them. It's been helpful for me to understand that this keeper side of me comes from some beautiful qualities in me, including curiosity, passion, caring, respect, remembering -- and my eco-values! And I notice that other eco-allies are often savers too. But how can we manage these valued treasures skillfully so that we're not mistaken for hoarders? Eek! I offer here the key tips I've developed for myself over the years, presented in an empowering and compassionate eco-perspective. (The website has more tips and resources beyond the print column.)
Being a Smart Organic Consumer (August 2009)
Despite areas of controversy, organics are still a convenient way for consumers to choose food and agriculture that's healthier for themselves, their families, and the planet. But how do you know if something is really organic? And how do you sort out the organic issues and labels? Find out more in this column!
Affording Organic (May 2008)
With today's economic uncertainties, a reader wonders, how can I still include organic in my budget? EcoGirl offers tips for saving money, and a reminder that our true survival depends on our health and the well-being of the earth.
Seeing Through Green Eyes: Remodeling Green on the Cheap ( October 2007)
Yes, being cheap can be good for the planet - when you see through green eyes! Here are great ways to remodel green and save money, including local resources that most folks don't even know about!
Greening Our Money (July 2008)
Our current economic woes make it increasingly urgent that we shift to more earth-honoring ways, because our economy depends on functioning ecosystems. But how can we take care of the earth when everyone's budgets are so challenged? EcoGirl explores tangible ways that we all can nurture our economy's transition to wiser ways.
Can We Afford to Care About the Environment? (June 2008)
I'm anxious about the economy, writes a reader, with rising gas and food prices, medical costs, even food riots. How can we worry about the environment when real survival issues are at stake? EcoGirl responds by describing how our survival depends first on the earth, both physically and economically. Therefore, our current economic disruptions actually offer us an opportunity to redesign our economic systems to better align with nature and thus better ensure the survival of us all!
Affording Organic (May 2008)
With today's economic uncertainties, a reader wonders, how can I still include organic in my budget? EcoGirl offers tips for saving money, and a reminder that our true survival depends on our health and the well-being of the earth.

Return to EcoGirl's Theme Page Index.

* "Profitable Green" (NorthBay biz magazine, February 2011). "Is it still possible for businesses to be both profitable and green? Regular biz contributor Patricia Dines talks with local business leaders to find out how green is weathering today's economic storms."

* "Navigating Nonprofit Technology" (NorthBay biz magazine, January 2011). With budgets and workloads already stretched thin, keeping up with technological innovations can seem like just another task added to the overflowing plates of local nonprofits. But NorthBay biz has found good news about how nonprofits can unlock technology's potential to help them be more effective in their missions.

Reader feedback
"Great Article!
Hi Patricia, I really enjoyed the North Bay Biz article -- great job on covering all that territory. I think it will really help out a lot of nonprofit folks. I wanted to share with you that around the time we were exchanging emails about this article, I was going through some paperwork and ran across a stack of clippings that I had put aside, some dating back years (!) and they were "EcoGirl" columns -- I saw your name and thought, "Hey, that girl leads a double life!!". Very cool. Keep up the good work. :-)
Ruth Persselin, Programs and Outreach Director, Petaluma Bounty
* "True Green: Moving beyond greenwashing to authentic eco-success" (NorthBay biz magazine, Aug. 2010). In this cover story, "EcoGirl Patricia Dines helps NorthBay biz readers see beyond enticing green façades to uncover the products and approaches that support true environmental change." This article offers useful information that cheerfully nurtures meaningful and effective eco-action by both individuals and businesses!
* "Green Pinstripes: Bringing sustainability to the executive suite" (NorthBay biz magazine, Feb. 2010, Green Issue). This feature story explores the work of three local pioneering "sustainability officers" -- to find out what such a job entails and how they're helping North Bay companies reduce costs and save the environment.
* "Financing a Greener World," NorthBay biz magazine, August 2009. Feature story. Learn more about Sonoma County's innovative SCEIP program, which offers government financing for increasing the energy or water efficiency of a home or business. It'll also finance solar and other alternative energy projects! These projects can save us money, improve our property's value, offer work to local green contractors - and are vital to reducing our impact on the planet. Click here to view the article in a webpage, with the option to download it in the original layout, in PDF format.
* "Greening Your Home - With No Money Down," West County Gazette, April 2009. Cover story. On the surface, Sonoma County's new $100 million Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) seems simple enough, offering property owners government financing to install solar equipment and improve energy and water efficiency. Yet, hiding beneath this mild-mannered exterior, lies a powerful tool to help us solve some of our most urgent shared problems. I've been watching this program emerge for a while, so I'm delighted to finally be able to tell you about its special features. Click here to view the article in a webpage, with the option to download it in the original layout, in PDF format.

* "Earth-friendly Economics: Remodeling our economic system to better harmonize with the planet," North Bay Bohemian, Nov. 19, 2008. The current economic crisis has brought to our collective awareness the need to modify our economic system. However, instead of just returning to the old unsustainable game, why not take advantage of the current disruption to make the deeper changes so vitally-needed for the survival of ourselves and the planet? Here's some thoughts about how we might approach this and what we might request. This column features a discussion with long-time local professor of ecological economics Bruce Macpherson. (My web page also includes web bonus info!)


* My Next STEP newsletter, which has lots of information on toxics and alternatives, plus government and community-level actions. "It's your handy guide to less-toxic living." Look up topics of interest in the The Next STEP index of articles.
* North Bay Bohemian. I also wrote several articles on these topics for the Bohemian's Green Zone column. 

* I also cover these topics on my Facebook page and blog.

Ask EcoGirl is written by Patricia Dines, Author of The Organic Guides, and Editor and Lead Writer for The Next STEP newsletter, which gently educates readers about toxics and alternatives. For more information about my work for the planet, see www.patriciadines.info

Sign up for my low-volume writing announcement list (1-3 emails a month), to get emails when my new print articles are published, at www.patriciadines.info/EList.

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Explore and sign up for my blog at www.patriciadines.info/LTEblog.

I hope that you find this information useful. I welcome your throughts and feedback! (You can email me at info [at] askecogirl.info.)
Editors: Please contact me if you'd like to publish any of these articles in your periodical, or discuss an article that I might write for you.

This entire website is (c) Patricia Dines, 1998-2012. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 12/12/12