Monday, November 29, 2010

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Green Light- Natasha

                   An eco-mama who learned at an early age about preserving the environment.

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How long have you been eco-friendly? I have been doing my best to reduce my carbon footprint for about 8 years now.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I chose to "go green" because of my children. What would be the quality of the planet my generation would leave behind for my children? I started off slowly, and the whole process just evolved. Growing up in California (I live in Georgia now) we were taught in school about preserving the environment. When I started my family, I knew I wanted the best for my children. It started with breastfeeding and changing my diet. Then I read an article stating that a baby wearing disposable diapers creates two tons of trash (poo wrapped in plastic), and by the time they graduate from high school, all those diapers are still sitting in a landfill somewhere. So I switched to cotton diapers. I found another article about a study showing links in the chemicals that are in disposable diapers linking to ovarian cancer, testicular cancer and infertility. That racked my brain and I got rid off all of the chemicals in my home. The more research I did, I couldn't believe the USDA and FDA allowed Americans to have these items in our homes!
My son was also diagnosed with ADHD. A friend recommended that I try the Feingold Diet since I am against medication and their mile long list of side effects (some which include suicide!!!). I tried it out and found that my son was actually allergic to artificial dyes and bleach. Our entire diets changed for the better that week.
That being said, I have very simple routines, and the change can be an easy one. There are several companies that make eco friendly household cleaning supplies, and making your own is easy too. You can actually clean your entire house with vinegar and baking soda. When I go to the grocery store, I carry my own bags, and let me tell you when I started that about 6 years ago cashiers gave me a "are you crazy lady?" look, lol. We practice the 3Rs in our home. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Everyone knows what goes in the recycle bin, it's right next to the trash can, so that makes it simple.
I make sure we eat well and don't pollute our bodies with processed food as well. I shop at an International Farmers Market, and Trader Joe's. I can pick up the same types of foods everyone else gets, cereal, spaghetti, soups, meats, veggies, but I know they are higher quality, natural and organic. 

What do you like about it? I know the integrity of the things in my home in what I give my children. I know what we eat is safe, and when I'm scrubbing my bathroom, I won't get cancer years from now from inhaling bleach and the like. I like that what I purchase supports local farmers from contaminating our earth with pesticides and other chemicals.

Did you face any challenges? If so, what was/is your biggest obstacle(s)? Yes, in the beginning just finding places to shop and good products was difficult, but they are much more accessible now.

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco- friendly? Start small so you don't overwhelm yourself. Every little bit helps! You could start saving trees just by having all e-bills instead of paper.

Going green can be complex. Which discourages a lot of people. There's really no "right" way it's basically trying to do something than nothing at all. I sometimes feel like a green hypocrite. Do you feel that way sometimes? I do, especially where school is concerned. I'm a full time college student and I go through miles of paper for note taking, test preparation, and research papers. I yearn for the day that I can get all my school books on a Kindle! Oh, and when I paint my nails, that is the last chemical in my house, nail polish and nail polish remover. :-(

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY?  I actually had my last relaxer in July 2009, and BC'd in June 2010. I couldn't believe after watching the movie "Good Hair" that the last thing I thought about removing from my house was a relaxer! I'm free of it now, and I love doing my hair. I usually rock coil outs, twist outs and wash-n-gos.

Is there anything you like to add? Just that going green can also be very economical. My friends didn't believe me, until I took them shopping with me. I spend much less than they do. Recycled products like sandwich bags, trash bags and toilette paper are marginally cheaper than the alternatives. Organic and natural foods are cheaper than shopping at Krogers/Publix/Safeways if you go to farmers markets. Cleaning your home with vinegar/baking soda/Dr. Bronner's is much cheaper and safer than the chemical alternatives!

2 comments:

  1. great tip on starting small from her every little it helps. That's what I am doing... reusable shopping bag, recycling printed paper, using plastic bags from stores as steam caps etc...

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  2. Yeap, that's how I'm getting started as well. It's all about keeping it simple and go from there.

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