What it means. In recent years politicians on both sides of the aisle have tried to woo soccer moms, NASCAR dads, and Starbucks Republicans. But during the 2008 U.S. presidential election, candidates might have to focus their efforts on voters whose party color isn’t Republican red or Democratic blue but green . . . in the eco-friendly, environmentally aware sense.
What’s the hot new voting bloc, the fashionable faction? EcoMoms. In living rooms across America, these moms-on-a-mission are gathering to discuss ways to run more-sustainable households and shrink the carbon footprint of their families. Think 21st-century versions of Tupperware parties (without the plastic) or makeup-buying get-togethers (minus the chemical-laden cosmetics). The 9,000-member EcoMom Alliance is the de facto head of the movement. That number is too small to rock the vote, but the EA’s nationwide membership is on the rise and includes some high-profile names, including politico Arianna Huffington and actress Robin Wright. Visit the group’s Web site to learn how to become an EcoMom leader and host an EcoMom party.
Why the buzz? If you caught the last Democratic debate in Ohio, you’re aware that the “green collar” economy has become a hot-button issue: “You know, take a country like Germany,” said Senator Hillary Clinton. “They made a big bet on solar power. They have a smaller economy and population than ours. They've created several hundred thousand new jobs, and these are jobs that can't be outsourced.”
At Consumer Reports, we’re interested in environmental issues, whether we’re providing you with ways to save energy, testing compact fluorescent lighbulbs, looking at the levels of volatile organic compounds in interior paint, or clocking the energy consumption of washing machines. Or goal isn’t to influence you politically but to help you get the best products and save money by buying energy-efficient appliances.—Daniel DiClerico
Essential information: Plan to host an EcoMom party? Share these 10 easy ways to save hundreds of dollars on energy costs at your home.