Saturday, August 15, 2015

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Green Light- Ama

We are the original environmentalists says this eco-sista


How long have you been eco-friendly? Maybe all my life? I can't really think of a specific time that I would say I "became" eco-friendly. I grew up in the 60s and 70s when the environmental movement was starting to get popular here in the US. As I have grown older, being eco-friendly has changed as my consciousness about what that really means has deepened.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I grew up in an eco-friendly family. As a child I spent a lot of time out in the country. My grandparents on both sides had homes in the country and I loved being there. My favorite aunt had horses and I hung around her whenever I could. Keeping those spaces natural and clean was always a priority.

I have always wanted to do what I can to help make the world better so being eco-friendly has always been a priority for me.

What do you like about it? For me, being eco-friendly is a profoundly spiritual act. The magic and wonder of nature is a great gift from the divine. Nothing people create or invent can come close to what God/Spirit/Oludumare has created.

Caring about the earth and about our relationship and responsibility to others has been important traditionally for the black and brown people of this earth for thousands of years. It is portrayed as a "white" thing but we are the original environmentalists.

Is is also a revolutionary act. We are also the people most negatively impacted by the environmental damage that is and has been happening. It is our communities around the globe that are hit hardest by the destruction of our traditional way of life, our natural habitat, and by the toxic pollution of our modern lifestyles.

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? The constant bombardment of the commercials and the messages that we "need" this or that to be cool, good, beautiful, etc. makes it hard not to buy into the unhealthy, UNeco-friendly, consumeristic way of life. My cable TV was always reminding me just how deficient or defective I was. I felt this especially around the holidays. It finally hit me I was PAYING THEM to let them brain wash me. I canceled my service. Now I don't even have a TV. It's the matrix! Unplug! 

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? I think it is important for folks to realize that what we eat has a profound impact on the environment. When you eliminate meat and animal products from your diet you are doing more for reducing your contribution to pollution and destruction of the environment that most any other thing you can do. It's better for your health, for the animals, for your community, and for the environment.

Also, do your research. "Green" is now a popular marketing tactic. Not all green or eco-friendly products live up to their claims. Greedy corporations will use and do what they can to tap into the growing demand for eco-friendly products. Look to sites like the Environmental Working Group to find out more about the products and companies you use.

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? I do. I know I could be doing better. As I learn more I expand what I do. It is a journey, a process. You never arrive, you only take the next step.

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? I started my locs in the summer of 2004, so 11 years now. It was incredibly freeing. I always hated my hair because I couldn't get it to do what I wanted. It was too curly, too straight, too dry, or SOMETHING. No matter what I tried I struggled. Plus I HATE fussing with hair, makeup, all that stuff.

Now I love my hair. I really don't do much at all. I wash it with Aveda Brilliance shampoo every 2-3 weeks. I don't condition it or put anything else on it. I did at first but I have found that the less I do to it the happier it is. I usually braid my wet locs or curl them on pipe cleaner curlers. Then I have great curls and waves for weeks. That's it! I don't really worry about covering them at night or anything. Like I said I HATE fuss! 

Is there anything you like to add? Come find me over at Food For The Soul for recipes and inspiration to make your vegetarian lifestyle work for your real world life.

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