Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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Green Light- Nia

An eco-sista who has embraced that lifestyle since 2008

How long have you been eco-friendly? Half heartedly since 2001 and whole heartedly since 2008.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? When I first became more conscious it was at the urging of my mother who is very anti-consumerist and pro-health. We've always had pets, which made her think of household cleaning, yard, and lawn care differently long ago. Our family has also been plagued by cancers and common American illnesses which she has always sought alternatives to combat and prevent. In 2001, I began seeking eco and health friendly hair and body products, and in 2008 a health diagnosis of my own made me think of what I was consuming and producing. 

What do you like about it? I feel much better about the chemicals leaving my house and being added to the soil in my yard and garden. I'm an organic gardener, and the veggies far surpass those from the store. By switching to homemade cleansers and body products I also feel cleaner and more likely to do the cleaning in the first place. Those chemical smells and the process to replenish the skin and body after using harsh detergents was daunting. 

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? Many organic and natural cleansers are more expensive. Thus making them at home is the better option, but that takes extra work. I have also had a few battles with critters such as slugs outside that had me very tempted to toss a chemical at them and be done with it. But patience and diligence pays off in the long run. 

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? The easy lifts are buying alternative brands in the store, like Method. Myers, and Dr. Bronners. Baking soda and vinegar also have a ton of uses and can replace most of the toxic chemicals in the house. To take that one step further look into alternative health care practices such as oil cleansing, bentonite clay cleansing, replacing disposable items like paper towels with hand towels, and plastic shower curtains with cloth. Re-using containers to make your own products and using common ingredients to make powerful alternative products will change the way you shop and spend money while leaving a much kinder foot print.

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? Sure! I can't always afford organic or green products, and I'm a meat eater so I aim for grass/grain fed, free range chicken and beef, but that's not always what I make it home with. I'm sure I'm not recycling everything that I can either... But we have to pick and choose our battles. What good is it to clean with natural products with the heat on 80 in winter and all the lights on in the house? We all just have to try to be aware of the choices we make and the "luxuries" we can live without. most things we consume aren't made with our well being in mind, but rather profit margins. So the cheapest working agent is often the one used. 

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? Ha! I got my last relaxer in April of 2001, and big chopped for the first time in the fall of 2001. It's been a meandering journey ever since. The best way I know to keep it fly is to stay true to your own assets and sense of style. Mimicking pop-culture and fads will only get you to the closet approximation that YOU can pull off. It's much easier and flattering to start with YOU and be the best authentic version of yourself.

Is there anything you like to add? I encourage everyone to invest in your health. The expense of taking top notch care of yourself now will pay off many times down the road in health expenses and productivity as you age. The cost of green smoothies and natural supplements pales in comparison to the cost of "forever" prescription and sick days!


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