Thursday, February 27, 2014

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Green Light- Courtney

An eco-sista who says living eco-friendly is very economical

How long have you been eco-friendly? I've been eco-friendly for maybe 3 going on 4 years now.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? Becoming eco-friendly initially was something that I just fell into as I lived with a very eco-conscious housemate in college. Since she owned the house, she was very particular about reusing things, recycling, and using eco-friendly products. At first I thought it was really strange and I kind of resented having to change my habits just to live there. Remembering not to throw recyclables away in the trash was really hard for me! Over time however, her eco-friendly habits slowly became my own.

I didn't realize how much of an influence she had on me until I graduated from college and moved into my own apartment. As I made decisions about paper vs plastic, natural cleaners vs chemical ones, throwing away plastic sandwich bags vs reusing them, etc. I realized that eco-friendly living was healthier and at times, more economical so it just made sense to do it. Plus, as I learned to manage my own house, I grew very resistant to wasting things as it seemed like such a frivolous thing to do. Things that I used to waste or had no problem throwing away when I was younger seem crazy for me to do now.

What do you like about it? To me, being eco-friendly is not so much about buying the "right" products (though there are some good ones out there) but rather a mindset you have to just be a good stewart of all that you have. With that mindset, I've found that eco-friendly living is very economical. I don't waste nearly as much as I used to. I reuse and repurpose things all the time and I actually enjoy buying gentle used things versus buying brand new. I also feel that eco living has improved my living space, as it's helped me reduce both clutter and the presence of harsh chemicals from my home.

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? Oh of course! When it comes to buying ready-made eco friendly products like cleaners and personal care products, sometimes it can feel hard to justify the extra expense when there are cheaper but less eco-friendly products right there on the same shelf. I also understand what my old housemate was going through in terms of trying to get others you live with on board with eco-friendly habits. I just got married and I am now getting a taste of my own medicine now that I live with my husband!

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly?As I mentioned before, think of it in terms of being a good steward versus looking for the "right" products to buy. Also have fun with it and start where you can. Vintage and thrift shopping is eco-friendly--try that instead of buying new all the time. Experiment with creating your own cleaning products (baking soda, apple cider vinegar, etc). Before you throw something away brainstorm creative ways you can reuse it. Take a nice walk to the store up the street instead of driving. There are all kinds of things you can do to get started.

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? Oh of course! I think the key is to acknowledge that due to society's modern lifestyle, it's impossible to live a perfectly "green" existence. Unless you are going to move to a rural area, grow your own food, and make everything from scratch, the thing you do during the normal course of living will have some kind of impact. The key is to be a good steward of the things that you use and to do something, rather than nothing at all, as you mentioned. It's no different than eating healthy. You try the best you can and you make a lifestyle out of it, but if you slip up here and there for whatever reason, don't beat yourself up about it.

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? Haha! Thank you! I've been natural for 10 years now! That's like forever in the natural hair community I know. For me, keeping it fly has been about identifying the handful of products that really work for my hair and developing a simple, uncomplicated routine that showcases my textures natural beauty. I try hard to make the best of my own head of hair and not focus so much on what other people are doing anymore. You can read about my most recent hair regimen here

Is there anything you like to add? Thanks Maggi for featuring me! I can be found on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and Instagram.


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