Monday, February 14, 2011

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Green Light- Netta

                       This eco-mama been promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle since she was a teen.

How long have you been eco-friedly? Well, I slowly began learning how to take care of our environment at a young age. I was lucky enough to be in various clubs (Beta Club, 4-H club, etc) as a youth that encouraged building knowledge and taking care of the environment. I was such a goody two-shoe. If the rule was "Don't litter"; then I didn't litter. If another rule said, "Recycle", then I did. I remember that I volunteered at a recycling center every Saturday for 3 months when I was 11 as part of community service for the Beta Club. That was a tough assignment, but I was inspired by all the people from various walks of life coming together to conserve our natural resources, save energy, clean up our lakes, rivers, oceans, and to promote cleaner air. The greatest benefit was that my family began recycling at home by turning off lights in empty rooms, reducing the amount of water in the tub, etc.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I began to get more serious in promoting a more eco-friendly lifestyle as a teenager. I remember things like the Exxon Valdez spill in '89, survived Hurricane Andrew in '92, and went through so many health issues/hospitalizations as a child growing up in a small Louisiana town stemming from pollution from sugarcane factories, burning of crops, and bi-weekly mosquito-eradications sprays from the city, etc. I realized that as I decided to eat better, exercise, and attempt to lead a cleaner lifestyle, my health improved. As I became a mother, I decided to promote a cleaner lifestlye for my family by instilling a foundation of health, service, energy conservation, habitat restoration, etc, in them that will not only positively impact themselves, but animals and nature here in the present and the hopefully the future.

What do you like about it? I like that my family has a routine going on in our home. We still have obstacles, but we're not total couch potatoes of the environment. I enjoyed planted a nectarine tree a few years ago with my daughter and was excited when I gave us fruit this year! I try to plant as many trees as possible in my yard. I just planted 2 pomegranate trees this year and had a garden filled with bell peppers, tomatoes, and watermelon as well.

Did you face any challenges? If so what was/is your biggest obstacle(s)? Well, there are always obstacles. I live in a big city and it is so easy to get caught up in the hurried pace of it. I drive real far distances in a day, I eat fast food sometimes, and I don't always have an outlet to recycle when I'm on the go. Also, there is little knowledge or acceptance for eco-friendly use in lower socioeconomic environments. From 2005-2007, I decided to be a part of the community service group, Americorps, in college. I remember volunteering in certain needy neighborhoods by cleaning up parks, streets, removing grafitti from walls, and going door-to-door to get citizens to assist in the clean-ups with very little success.

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? Start slow and educate yourself about the benefits of taking care of ourselves and our planet because I believe that we co-exist by depending on each other. In my opinion, one would not survive long without the other. Our planet is already taking a beating and the affects from those incidents will affect the human,and animal population for several years to come.

Going green is complex. This discourages alot of people. There is no "right" way to go green 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 don't feel hypocritical at all because I am continuing to educate myself about ways we can improve rather than just sitting and doing nothing.

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how so you keep it so FLY? I'm a newbie for sure. My children are natural, but I've only been relaxer free for almost 10 months, and post BC for almost 5 months. I try to keep it simple. I was always very simplistic with my hair. I had product junkie fever, but then I realized that if I overwhelm myself with too much, I'll be discouraged. So I don't follow trends/bandwagons, and I try to use less instead of more.

Is there anything you like to add? Yes! Help keep our planet and its habitats healthy. As the great Captain Planet would often say, "The Power Is Yours!" LOL.


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