Monday, December 1, 2014

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Green Light- Lakisha

An eco-sista advocating on behalf of people who were unheard

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

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I decided to to become eco-friendly when I started advocating on behalf of Operation Free as part of the Truman National Security Foundation. Operation Free coordinates groups of veterans to go to Capital Hill and speak to both our House and the Senate legislative representatives. Operation Free's premise is that climate change is a national security issue. Since gasoline impacts the climate along with access to food and water, while enriching countries that fund terrorist groups overseas, it is a national security issue. Because we are veterans, I am a veteran of the United States Navy. We have more credibility on national security issues than civilians. 

What do you like about it? I loved that I was doing what I loved and that was advocating on behalf of people who were unheard. I also loved that I was working with my fellow veterans to make it happen. 

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? I faced several obstacles. When I was advocating for Operation Free I was usually the only woman in the room because there is a huge disparity between the number of women in the military and the U.S. population. I had to focus on unique ideas to get the attention of the person we were speaking to. While the guys focused on climate change I realized a politician's bread and butter was jobs. That grabbed their ear.

Another challenge is asking others to be considerate of our global neighbors by changing the way we eat, drive, and live. I'm a vegetarian and I take the bus most of the time because I want to reduce my carbon footprint. I also live in Memphis, TN- the BBQ capital of the world, which also happens to be one of the poorest cities in America. People look at me sideways when I tell them I don't eat meat but I understand why they do. Many of us are surrounded by food deserts and meat is cheap. My family thinks handing me a pot of greens with a piece of bacon floating in it or eating chicken is vegetarian. That part I don't really mind. 

What bothers me is that public transportation is not a priority in Memphis because the riders are usually poor, non-voters, and underemployed. So the service is horrific. Every global and green city has great transpiration. The people here still wonder why this city is poor. It is because poor people have to buy cars and pay for gas they can't afford. Public transportation saves it's users thousands of dollars every year and it's friendly to the environment. That is what is frustrating. We can change it here if we want to but many are invested in apathetic non-voters and poor underclass for cheap labor. That means we retain the same leadership and economic which is also a racial divide. 

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? Being eco-friendly is more than just recycling bottles. I want people to actually think about the food, products, and resources we consume. It is a national security issue. We can stop funding groups bent on destroying our country every time we fill our tanks with gas by simply taking the bus. It is a jobs issue because green jobs cannot be outsourced to other countries. Finally, it is a human rights issue. Climate is changing the way many in our world community are living. Countries are being swallowed by oceans including our own. Take a look at Florida and Louisiana. Water is drying up in many places and even though we here in the west live in abundance because of processed foods, many of our neighbors who's crops are impacted by seasonal changes are having trouble growing foods.

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? Yes, I do when I have to take the care because Memphis' public transpiration services, not the employees, are severely inadequate.

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? I am so a political nerd. The only thing fly about me are my sisters and brothers and my mama.

Is there anything you like to add? We are more interconnected that we think. What I do or what any of us does has an impact on another human being. Perhaps when we realize that we can truly have consideration for our global neighbors. Thank you so much for having me. 

Lakisha A. Watson-Moore is the blogger at Bougie Black Girl. She is also a wife, mom, entrepreneur, and public speaker. Known for her advocacy of Black women and her unique entrepreneurial and pop culture take- Lakisha's blog posts have been featured on numerous online publications and read world wide. Prior to blogging, she was the first African American and woman chair of the Young Democrats of America Veteran's Caucus. She has advocated for various political organizations and was a political activist for ten years. 

Lakisha's blog Bougie Black Girl was the 2014 winner of the Black Weblog Award for Best Business Blog. She's also the author of "Change Your Mind, Change Your Destiny: The lifestyle blueprint for the strategic Black woman who wants to win and master her life" which is being sold on Amazon.  


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