Friday, January 21, 2011

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Green Light- Lola

                                 An eco-mama who re-evaluated personal habits to live greener      


                                         

How long have you been eco-friendly? I have been eco-friendly for about 3 years.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I've been in the design and building industry, which is globally responsible for 40% carbon emissions, for nearly 15 years. So for quite some time, I've been a part of the largest systematic impact to the environment. I wanted to make a difference so I shifted my career focus to sustainability within the built-environment, and at the community scale.

Likewise, I've focused on how my family and I can live more sustainably. I've always been a stickler for waste, but when I became a mom (2 girls, 7 and 8 years old) I really began to think about the world they, and their children will live in long after I'm gone. So I re-evaluated my personal habits to find ways to live greener.

What do you like about it? What I like about living more sustainably is that in most cases, it saves money. Sometimes the easiest way to be greener is to simply consume less, which in turn saves money.

Did you face any challenges? If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? My family was very supportive. My husband is basically cheap, so he was open to any changes that would save money. Two years ago,  we started a vegetable garden. Of course this is wonderful for our health, but also reduces our carbon footprint- the closer the food you consume is grown to your home, the better. My girls love to garden and eat veggies right off the vine.
                                                         
Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? My advice is to keep it simple. When I first decided to go "green" I was very overwhelmed. It seemed that even the smallest of everyday actions was an impact to the environment. So I decided to first find the low-hanging fruit, the small ways, I could make a difference. For example, we use compact fluorescent light bulbs. We also turn the lights off and use natural daylight whenever possible. We stopped buying bottled water, and started washing our laundry in cold water. These changes required very little lifestyle adjustment, but save our household money.

Going green can be complex. This 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 sometimes feel like a hypocrite. I know that I can do better about driving my car less, and using public transit or carpooling more often, for example. But at the end of the day, like most things in life balance is the key. I telecommute a couple of days out of the work week. I also love to frequent thrift stores and yard sales for cool second-hand clothing. But on the other hand, I will sometimes indulge in a very long, hot shower. It's also about balance.

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? I have been natural for ten years, quite by accident actually. Relaxers burned my scalp so badly, that I would put off going to the salon for a touch-up. It was also a challenge for me to sit still and spend hours on end in the salon. I looked for every reason not to go. Before I knew it, months had gone by without relaxing. I began having my stylist press the new growth and gradually trim away the relaxed hair.

It was only about 18 months ago that I stopped straightening my hair. I am chronically hair-lazy so this has worked out very well for me. I did a series of small chops until the heat damaged hair was completely gone. I love my hair to pieces, but in real life, it's not that fly. Again, I'm hair-lazy, so I rely on two do's- Wash 'N Go or a Twist-out if I'm feeling adventurous. I haven't been to a salon in three years. I have two other natural heads of hair to manage (my 2 girls), so that's how I spend most of my extra-curricular hair time.

Is there anything you like to add? I'd just like to shamelessly plug my newly launched website Lola'sGreenHair.com , an online resource for buying and selling nearly new or gently used hair care products. "Good" hair doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. List your products for FREE through March 2011. SHOP, SELL, SAVE!

                                                      

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