Thursday, July 9, 2015

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Green Light- Jenne

An eco-sista who says Go Vegan!

How long have you been eco-friendly? I became vegan about 4 and a half years ago, so I think that when I truly became eco-friendly. I gave up all animal products in my diet and stopped purchasing clothing and shoes made with them.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I originally became vegan for ethical reasons. I couldn't live a compassionate and conscious life and directly participate in the exploitation of animals. I didn't know anything about being truly eco-friendly at that time. I've always recycled, avoided plastic water bottles and bags, and tried to save water. After I became vegan I learned that animal agriculture is the number one culprit for all types of environmental degradation, and that changed my whole outlook on what it means to be eco-friendly.

I now am vegan for the animals, but also because I care deeply about how we treat the planet. Compassion is one of my most sacred values, and it definitely extends to how I treat Mother Earth. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to enjoy a healthy planet.  

What do you like about it? I like to know that I'm making positive choices that won't negatively impact the planet as much as others would. Becoming vegan changed my  life on so many levels. I have a better outlook on life. I discovered my passion and built a career around it and I am the healthiest I have ever been. I also choose to use "eco-friendly" products in my home (skincare, cleaning, etc).

I like that they don't contain scary chemicals and carcinogens. There are so many frightening things in the air we breath (especially here in NYC), so it makes me feel better to not use a lot of chemicals in my home.   

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? I love being vegan and eating this way has never been a challenge for me. When I travel to places with limited access to vegan food, I simply don't eat as much. I rely on fresh fruits, veggies, legumes, and nuts that I pick up at the grocery store. Not as fun as delicious restaurant food, but it works. The biggest challenge as an environmentally conscious vegan is shoe shopping. We simply don't have a lot of on-trend options for affordable shoes made with eco-friendly vegan materials. One of my dreams is to have a shoe company. I want it to be vegan, eco-friendly, and contribute to furthering social justice in America. 

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? Yes! Go vegan. Animal agriculture is responsible for the majority of environmental degradation on the planet. It's worst than the transportation industry and has far reaching consequences. The majority of crops grown are used to feed livestock, which is nuts because humans could be eating that food. Animal agriculture is incredibly energy intensive, water intensive, polluting, and inefficient.

That includes grass-fed and free range meat. That also includes fishing both farm raised and wild. We're destroying the planet with our appetite for animal products, yet we can all thrive without them. So that's my biggest advice for becoming eco-friendly.

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? Amen, something is definitely better than nothing at all. I talked a lot about being a vegan, BUT if you can even be vegan just for one day a week that is better than never vegan at all. That's literally the best thing you can do to be more eco-friendly. The impact of driving less or turning off the lights are negligible compared to changing our diet. Check out these amazing videos from the movie Cowspiracy. It makes it easier to understand the implications of animal agriculture. 

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? I've been natural for 4 years. Before then I relaxed my hair for 2 years, and before then I was natural for 7 years. So… 11 years total, with a break in the middle, I'm very simple with my hair. I co-wash twice a week with Trader Joe's conditioner, detangle, and twist my hair up with Jane Carter's cream. I don't use any heat because I'm too lazy to pull out a blow dryer. I trim my own ends every 6 weeks or so. That's about it.

Is there anything you like to add? On my blog Sweet Potato Soul I don't talk much about being eco-friendly so I really appreciate being able to share my thoughts on it here. If you need recipes, want to watch a great cooking show, or need healthy living tips... I'm your girl. Check it out and make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel. I'm launching a podcast in August, so sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know about that. 


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