Sustainability Sleuth 101: meet NLJ's new resident reviewer Mary Anne Bennick.

AuthorBennick, Mary Anne
PositionNew life journal's GREEN HOME RESOURCE: SUSTAINABILITY SLEUTH

Let's put it this way, I'm less of a "shaken, not stirred" kind of girl and more of an "I'll take two please!" Except, I'm not sipping cocktails during a spy game like James Bond. Instead, I'm stealthily shopping! If I listen hard enough, I can still hear my mother's voice lost in the fog of a lifetime spent in department stores asking with a sense of charm bred only in the South, "Pardon me Ma'am, but does this come in eggshell?" Bless her heart, my mother instilled in me a very, very dangerous habit. Only now., I channel her by asking, "Is this cotton organic with vegetable dye?" I can also hear her cheekily suggesting that the cure-all answer to life is "When in doubt, blame it on your parents." Or perhaps that was my sister?

Well mom, I hope you're proud! It turns out that being a product junkie has never looked so good or been so rewarding. Today, not only are there more companies making greener products for consumption and construction, but the demand for them is increasing as well. Still, these days it's hard enough to spend money on gas and groceries, much less that new pair of hand-dyed organic cotton stretch Eileen Fisher jeans you've been eyeing for four months (not that I'm bitter!). Yes, the markets, just like trends, will always fluctuate. If you're tired of losing faith with stocks and bonds and want your investments to go someplace worthy, there's no greater investment than buying sustainably, particularly since eco-friendly products become more affordable with demand. So, to all you allied product junkies, this is the department for you! This is the place to find the best-of-the-best made by companies working to benefit their local communities and to do their part by creating products that help sustain our planet, not harm it.

Think of me as the shopping cart before the horse. I'll answer your questions and...

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