Friday, March 4, 2011

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Green Light- Maria


                                   An eco-sista who loves everything about being green


How long have you been eco-friendly?  I would say about 15 years. I took an environmental science class in high school and it all started there. I came home from school and put food coloring in the toilet to show my parents they were wasting water. Yes they thought I was crazy, but I was changed forever.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I saw how little things could make a big difference. In high school I became a vegetarian after seeing a documentary on slaughter houses. Then in college I majored in environmental science. It has been a progressive change for me from recycling to changing my eating habits to how I clean my home. I am just trying to be conscious of what I put in and on by body.

What do you like about it? Everything. I feel better. My skin and hair look better. I feel healthier. Also, while many people believe being eco-friendly is more costly, I actually find it to be cheaper. I use the same products for cleaning my home and doing laundry. Most of the hair products I use can be found in the kitchen. I love the fact that one product has a multitude of uses.

Did you face any challenges? If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? My biggest obstacle was learning to understand MY hair. I would visit forums and try so many products that other people were using and I was not getting the results I wanted. I was frustrated, but I was not willing to give up. It took me years to realize my hair is extremely protein sensitive. That realization has been a Godsend. My hair has grown longer than I ever believed possible and it is healthier than it has ever been.
With other aspects of an eco-friendly lifestyle I have gotten resistance from some family members. My mother was very supportive when I decided to become a vegetarian, but others were not so open to it. They took the attitude of how could I say I didn't want to eat meat. Now that I am married, my husband has not fully embraced the eco lifestyle. He is trying, but it is a big change for him. I just try to be patient. I have to understand that I have been doing this for years and he is just starting. I have to give him credit for what he has done though :)


 Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? Do what you can do. Trust me, there are some aspects of my life where I am not the most eco-friendly. Make small changes and go from there. Also, do not be afraid to educate yourself. There is so much information available. In this case, Google is your friend. That is the reason I started my blog. When I would talk to my family, friends, co-workers about the changes I was making in my lifestyle most of what I was saying was foreign to them. Many people believe that if it is in the store it is safe. That the food now is the same as when they were kids and before. So much has changed in the way things are processed and in this case what you don't know can hurt you. This is not just food. It includes cleaning products and beauty products. The list goes on and on. Education is power.

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? Sometimes, like I said before I am not perfect in any aspect. I just do my best. For example, I am actively trying to reduce my water usage, but I loooove me some long, hot showers. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite, but I know that in other areas I am making great strides. So I am just doing what I can and that is all anyone can do.

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? I have been natural since 2003. I think my hair is far from fly, but its me. Learning how MY hair operates has been key. The first several years were not that great. It was a lot of using the wrong products for my hair which resulted in a lot of ponytails. Now during the week I usually keep my hair twisted and let it go on the weekends. I also wear my hair out more in the winter. I know that seems backwards, but the humidity in the summer makes my hair crazy. In the winter I can control it better. I also know that for me less is more. In the beginning I was such a product junkie, now I have 4 or 5 staples that I always use from washing, conditioning, to styling. I may once in a while try a new product, but I love my routine.

Is there anything you like to add? Thanks for this feature. I am truly honored. I would just like to remind people that little steps can make a big impact. Start where you can and grow from there.


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