When Kermit the Frog first sang "(It's Not Easy) Bein' Green" in 1970, he wasn't just pulling your (frog) leg.
Environmentalism was synonymous with hippies, and recycling was viewed chiefly as a cost-saving rather than planet-saving measure.
Almost 40 years later and most people agree that humans do, in fact, have a negative impact on the Earth. Al Gore isn't president, but his brand of green zeal has brought him a Grammy, an Emmy, an Oscar, and a Nobel Peace Prize. In short, green is cool.
But where the will may be strong, the wherewithal may be weak. Where to start? How does one make the jump from excessive consumer to sustainable smart-shopper?
Thanks to Jill-of-all-trades Dominique Pryor-Anderson, Memphians now have a service that makes it easy to be green.
If Pryor-Anderson's name sounds familiar, it may be from one of her other business ventures. A veritable small-business mogul, she is the owner of Mas Dinero Taxes, president of Vida PR and Marketing Group, and a Spanish-language coach for Memphis' branch of The Language Lab.
Her latest venture with husband Tim Anderson is Luxe Green Gifts and Concierge. Luxe Green, which officially kicked off in July, is a personal shopping service, with consultation and event-planning thrown in.
An initial service from Luxe Green might include the "Painless Pantry Makeover," in which a representative replaces all the "bad" food and products in your pantry with the good stuff. A nursery audit will take stock of what products (clothes, toys, paints) your little ones are exposed to, while an office audit will do the same in the workplace. Personal shopping will set you back $45 per hour (minimum two hours), while prices vary on other services.
Pryor-Anderson began down the road of eco-entrepreneurship with the birth of her daughter, now almost two years old.
"We were looking at all the baby food, and it was so gross," she grimaces. "So we decided to go organic. I thought about starting a baby food company, but I had to stop myself."
One thing she's learned — and now teaches — is that you don't have to break the bank to shop and live sustainably. Many lifestyle changes involve substituting one kind of item for another that can save money in the long run (incandescent fluorescent light bulbs, treating your baby's crib with tea tree oil instead of paint). Retail stores also are making it easier and more fun to eco-bargain hunt.
"I was in Target even, and they had $1 recycled school products," she says. "Folders made out of Frito bags, pencil bags made out of Capri Sun pouches. Very neat!"