Is Ecosex Your Thing?

15 May 2013

Many conversations about sexuality focus on health. It’s safe and respectable. Builds the immune system? Yep. Good for the heart: check. Relieves menstrual cramps and depression: double check. Sex bonds us through the oxytocin-dopamine cascade: check again. We know healthy people have more sex, and having good clean fun may help you live longer too. Orgasms are great for body and mind, and caresses feed our skin hunger. Check, check, check.

Happiness Holiday to You…

23 Dec 2012

May this be a reminder that you are so needed in this world, at this time, to be the good, the change, the one (and you know what that is for you). If you are waiting for something to shift to do that, to be that, then don’t. The time is now.

Happiness holiday to you and your family. May you have the courage this year to just say YES.

From all of us at Women Of Green

Who are the Top Ten Women Of Green?

12 Nov 2012

We sending a BIG SHOUT OUT to our community. That’s you. And your friends. And your friend’s friends. We’re looking for the Top Ten Women Of Green. Women who are stepping out and making a BIG POSITIVE IMPACT on the planet. We know you know one. Send us her name, what she’s up to and why you think she should be on our Top Ten list. The time is now.


How the Collective Power of Women Can Change the World (Part 2 of 3)

6 Jun 2012

by Carolyn Parrs

This is Part 2 of 3 on “How the Collective Power of Women Can Change the World”

Read Part 1

QUICKIE QUIZ #2: On April 26, 1777, who rode through the towns of New York and Connecticut warning everyone that the British were coming, and gathered enough volunteers to push back the British army the very next day? Not Paul Revere. It was Sybil Luddington who accomplished this feat at the ripe age of 16. Her ride was twice as long as Paul’s but unfortunately most of us never heard of it — or her.

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” says poet, Maya Angelou. How important it is for us to be invited to the table – especially now. “The fortunes of nations are inextricably tied to the fortunes of women,” says Hillary Rodham Clinton in the foreword to The International Human Rights of Women. “It is this simple: where women flourish, her families flourish. And where families flourish, communities and nations flourish. Issues affecting women and their families are not ‘soft’ issues to be relegated to the sidelines of serious debate, rather, they are among the hardest and most important issues we face.”

How the Collective Power of Women Can Change the World (Part 1 of 3)

1 Jun 2012

by Carolyn Parrs

When sleeping women wake, mountains move.

~ Chinese proverb

No sunlight. No fresh air. Enclosed in darkness to plump up in an insanely artificial way. That’s the reality for most chickens being farmed today. And if the farmers under contract with the Big Boys do not agree to raise their livestock that way, “They hold their contract over their heads,” says third generation chicken farmer, Carole Morison. She was mad as hell and just couldn’t take it anymore.

Inmates pay their debt by caring for our planet

23 Apr 2012

It’s springtime in the northwest. The endangered frog eggs are now tadpoles, and the butterflies are beginning to pupate. But the people tending to these ecological projects aren’t grad students or forest-loving yuppies. They’re prisoners in the care of the Washington State Department of Corrections, where the Sustainable Prisons Project is in its seventh year.

Back in 2004, the Washington State Department of Corrections started a partnership with the Evergreen State College. A forest ecologist, Nalini Nadkarni, brought together staff and incarcerated men from a nearby corrections center to start the Moss-in-Prison Project. Using prison facilities as a controlled environment, the project explored how to “farm” mosses for the horticulture trade.

In that pilot project, participants had to figure out which species of moss could be cultivated to alleviate pressures of unsustainable moss harvesting in old-growth forests. Nadkarni also intended to provide intellectual and emotional stimulation for the inmates, who typically have little or no access to nature but could provide fresh perspectives for ecological research. The project was a huge success, and one inmate even coauthored a peer-reviewed paper for an international sustainability journal with Nadkarni.

Fierce Kindness

6 Mar 2012

Sharon Salzberg, the queen of loving-kindness meditation, tells a story of a time she was traveling in India. As she was exiting a taxi, a man grabbed her suitcase in attempt to steal it. Sharon, grabbing the handle, struggled back and forth and back and forth with this man. Finally, when she knew he wasn’t letting go, she took her umbrella and hit him over the head “with all the love in my heart,” she says. Hit him over the head with all the love in her heart. You’ve got to smile at that.

So often we think of the word “kindness” and get all mushy and passive. We confuse it with being “nice”. Being meek. Being monkish. I would like to shine a light on a side of kindness that doesn’t get much airtime. Fierce kindness. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s not.

6 Keys to Happiness to Live By

16 Jan 2012

Make time for those closest to you. Be kind. Forgive. Give thanks. Let’s add one more…smile often. There you have it. The secret to the fountain of youth. Do you have one you’d like to share?

How These Nobel Peace Prize Women Used Fun to Forward Their Missions.

24 Oct 2011

Lisa Witter, Chief Strategy Officer of Fenton and co-author of The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World – And How to Reach Them.

The last few weeks we have experienced joy and sorrow for new and old Nobel Peace Prize winners — the death of the first African woman winner, Wangari Maathai, as well as the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, and Yemeni democratic activist Tawakkul Karman for their work on women’s rights.

This group shares a number of obvious attributes: strength, leadership, risk taking and vision. Another that may not be so obvious is how fun they all are or were, and how fun may have impacted the resilience of those movements.

I have had the privilege of spending personal time with two of them — Ms. Maathi when she was in Oslo to receive her prize and with Ms. Gbowee through the last few years as she toured the U.S. telling her story of Liberian peace in the award-winning film Pray the Devil Back to Hell. I can say that they both have fierce eyes of kindness and were often funny, with larger-than-life smiles.

Fun is often thought of as superfluous, extra, something to get to when you have time and a tool not to be used in serious situations. In fact, we have sayings to reinforce this notion: “this is no laughing matter” or “serious times call for serious solutions.” But fun can be, and has been, a powerful tool for transformation when tapped appropriately, as our past and recent Nobel-Prize-winning women demonstrate.

Environmental activist Maathi and her Green Belt Movement mobilized community consciousness using tree planting as an entry point for self-determination, equity, improved livelihoods and security, and environmental conservation. As she planted trees, she worked hard but never forgot to smile or create a chorus of song with her colleagues.

While being the first African woman to win the Prize, she was not the only Nobel winner to tap the fun factor in her organizing; Leymah Gbowee did, as well. It is not often you experience what feels like a real-time, front-row seat to a Nobel Peace Prize act like you do in Pray the Devil Back to Hell. The film, released this week on PBS, chronicles Liberian women’s struggle for peace, shows the fierce organizing ability of Nobel winner Leymah Gbowee, and highlights the political skills of the first woman African President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

I was making pretty landfills for a living.

28 Sep 2011

Sometimes the challenges of the planet seem too big, too complex. What can I do? What is my role to play? My late friend, John Armer, used to say, “Our job is to leave the sandbox cleaner than when we found it.” I have always liked this simple yet poignant saying.

I am a textile designer by trade. For years, I designed products for mass markets — Walmart, Target, etc. I loved my job. Creating patterns and designs is total joy for me. In 2004, I got a call from a competitor who wanted me to come work for them.However, I couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel right. It felt like a step sideways. It was a blessing though, because it got me thinking. What is the next step? What does it look like?

It was around this same time that I walked into a mass market store and found a sea of check-out stands, all filled with customers, all with baskets filled with stuff. All I saw was a glacial-size flow of landfill. Cheap stuff to be enjoyed briefly and then discarded. It was in that moment that it hit me—I was making pretty landfills for a living!

Determined to have my life’s work be something I could be proud of, it was on that day that I started down the road that would ultimately lead to the creation of Harmony Art Organic Design — an independent, printed organic fabric company. I am happy to report that six and a half years later, colorful printed organic cotton is no longer an anomaly but a growing market segment.

It is my sincere belief that for the “sandbox” to get collectively cleaner (or remain dirty and continue to inherit more debris) there is a magic shovel. No, I can’t solve poverty, climate change, financial exploitation, or war. What I can do (and what everyone on the planet can do) is to look at my own life. What contribution am I making with my life’s work? What about your contribution? I made the decision to walk away from a steady paycheck to create a new, healthier fabric option for people and businesses. I don’t expect you to quit your job and start your own company — that’s extreme. But I do think if we each took a good hard look at the results of our life’s work, and simply focused on creating the best possible product (or outcome) for the world, the change would be explosive and powerful.

Carolyn Parrs on the power of the collective – Mrs. Green’s World Radio

13 Jul 2011

The tables were turned in this show. Mrs Green interviews Women Of Green founder, Carolyn Parrs about how Women Of Green was born and the collective power of women to change the world. No small topic. Listen to this lively interview on Mrs Green’s World Radio.

This is It!: A conversation with Jean Houston – show 48

12 Jul 2011

“We have come to the stage where the real work of humanity begins,” says scholar, philosopher and visionary, Jean Houston. “We’re in the great ‘either/or’ of history. Either we really blow it the next 20, 30, 40 years, and stay on the same path of same ol’ same ol’, or we consciously decide to rise to the challenges, the greatest challenge in human history. Other people thought they were ‘it’. They’re wrong. This is the most critical time in history.” This is how my interview with Jean begins. Boy, am I in for a ride, I think to myself. “And critical to the turning are women,” she punctuates. I’m speechless.

There are no words to describe the power, intelligence and heart of this cultural icon. When you are in her presence, every cell in you becomes alive. It’s like they begin vibrating at a different frequency. Jean seems to know what you need to know and speaks to it, without you even saying a word. So, make yourself a nice cup of tea, turn off the cell phone, and listen to the words of this wise woman giving us a glimpse of where we’re headed next.

Vulnerability Management: Required course for leaders?

8 Jul 2011

Birute Regine, EdD is the author of “Iron Butterflies: Women Transforming Themselves and the World.” She previously co-authored the critically acclaimed “The Soul at Work: Embracing Complexity Science for Business Success” with her husband, noted science writer Roger Lewin. She earned her doctorate in human development at Harvard and has spent 25 years as a psychologist in private practice and now works as an executive / life coach, facilitator, speaker and author.

I was having dinner with a friend, a very successful consultant, whom I hadn’t seen for quite a while. As we munched on a Caesar salad, I talked about my research on successful women. “I asked myself, what did these women, from many walks of life, share in common?” I told my friend. “What I discovered really surprised me. And because it surprised me, I knew I could trust this finding. A secret to these women’s success, I realized, had to do with how they dealt with vulnerability, their own and others’. They were able to transform vulnerabilities into strengths.” My friend leaned back in his chair and said, “You better not use that word with leaders. No leader wants to talk about vulnerability! They won’t go there.”

Is compassion the key to a truly greener world? An intelligent conversation with Dr. Renee Lertzman – Show 46

28 Jun 2011

We know plastic water bottles are overwhelming our landfills and severely clogging mother earth’s pores, yet we mindlessly grab a bottle when offered. We know pesticide-free apples are way better for us, but still we eat the heavily sprayed ones. Here’s the dilemma: We say want green products and healthy foods, but we don’t back up our words with actions. The very actions, Renee Lertzman says, “…we know from an ecological, economic, political and spiritual standpoint would do us all a lot of good.” So what’s holding us back? Why are we talking the talk, but not walking the walk?

Renee has some answers. She’s a writer, researcher and communications consultant focusing specifically on the psychological dimensions of sustainability. Her article “The Myth of Apathy” laid out some concrete truths and insights into this dilemma, so I invited her on Women Of Green to share those with me. What I uncovered is a fresh, new perspective on what it means to be green and how to engage the mainstream consumer in really caring about the environment. A very cool interview so listen in!

Our Accidental Community

6 Jun 2011

I live in an idyllic valley just 45 minutes drive north of Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. These six acres I call home has been my turangawaewae or standing place for 25 years. The first time I walked the land, I knew I belonged here. It was mostly pasture with a scraggly bit of remnant native forest that sheltered the sheep and cattle that grazed here. North facing, it is surrounded by huge hills covered with native trees. My then husband and I had no doubts. We rang the agent and put in a bid. From a piece of bare land it has grown to be a tree covered oasis, a place of healing and a haven for people, birds and insects.

Calling all fans, followers and friends of Women Of Green!

10 May 2011

We’re starting a new column called “Be the Change”. We’re looking for super short videos of how YOU ARE being the change in your family, your community, your world. No act is too small. No video is too amateur. This is your chance to inspire all of us to be the change we need right now in the world. Interested? Contact Carolyn (at) mindovermarkets (dot) com.