Friday, February 26, 2016

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Green Light- Florine

An eco-sista who says there's something immensely satisfying in sustainability

How long have you been eco-friendly? For me being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle has always been a priority. Since my mom is a health instructor, she raised me to be aware of what I put in my body and I have always made it a point to buy organic food and cosmetics.

When I started living a Zero Waste lifestyle where I try not to produce trash that goes into landfills about a year ago, I consciously decided to live an eco-friendly lifestyle paying attention to where the clothes I buy come from and make an effort to always choose the greener alternative. 

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? The funny thing is that I have never really been the typical environmentalist. But ever since I moved out of home when I started law school, I became aware of the amount of trash I was producing and how much paper I was wasting.

I live for efficiency and it just didn't make sense to me to buy a grapefruit wrapped in plastic. Once I started reading about the dangers of plastic, toxins that are put in cosmetics, and the fact that a lot of ingredients put in cleaning products don't even have to be listed on the packaging, I decided to stop participating in the production of such toxic products and stop purchasing the things that could potentially make me sick. I now live by the thought that you vote with what you buy.

Another reason I started living an eco-friendly lifestyle is that I am intrigued by the aesthetic of simplicity and the joys you can find by putting your focus on something other than material goods and ordinary "happiness fillers" that we won't value in a year.

What do you like about it? There is something immensely satisfying in sustainability and the knowledge that everything you own has a meaning, a purpose, and is something that you genuinely love.

Did you face any challenges? If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? The biggest obstacle is the social aspect that can be difficult when doing things differently. But to be honest, I sometimes put more pressure on myself then I had to. I have received nothing but positive response and curiosity so far. I also had to learn that just because I live this lifestyle now, it doesn't mean that others have to and trying to convince people doesn't do anyone any good. 

For me it has been a bit of a struggle accepting that my close friends and loved ones might not jump on that bandwagon. I know now that I can only share my experiences living a Zero Waste lifestyle, but whether it is the right lifestyle for someone else lies in the eye of the beholder. 

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? Yes, lots! As a matter of fact that is the exact reason why I started The Capital F. I wanted to document everything I have found out and have tried and loved. I wanted to share not just a Zero Waste lifestyle but also wanted to show people that living this way doesn't have to be expensive, isolating, or life consuming but can be fun, exciting, glamorous, and incredibly rewarding.

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 used to feel like that when I started living a Zero Waste lifestyle and realized that sometimes there is just no way to avoid this piece of trash (yet). Some activities like flying involve producing trash, whether you want it or not. And sometimes you just lack energy to have yet another argument with someone who doesn't want to understand your lifestyle choices. I don't feel like a hypocrite anymore because living an eco-friendly and zero waste lifestyle is something that doesn't just happen overnight. It is a process. 

I learn more and more everyday and I make mistakes. But I know that I am trying my best which is why I don't see a reason to feel bad about the problems I have not yet managed to conquer. 

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? I have been natural all my life. I had a weave maybe 4 times in my life but never really liked it. I love my natural  hair and have alway embraced the texture and natural bounciness. Because I grew up in a small town in Germany, I never had access to any hair products for my hair texture, so I had to rely on natural remedies to treat my hair. 

I wash my hair with a homemade shampoo (you can find the recipe on my blog). I comb it with a wooden comb while I am in the shower and make sure it is well combed through. That way I get very defined curls, which are easier to manage, braid, or straighten. Once I get out of the shower, I gently dry my hair with a towel (no rubbing) and apply some coconut or argan oil to my hair, which makes it very soft and bouncy. I let it dry naturally and usually wear it open or in a top bun. 

If I want to add some extra shine to my hair I will rinse it with 4 tbsp of white vinegar mixed with 1/2 cup of water. In my opinion it works better than a conditioner. For dry shampoo I simply mix baking soda and coconut oil works like a charm.

Is there anything you like to add? I would like to encourage everybody who wants to live a healthier and more eco-friendly lifestyle not to get discouraged by people who don't understand why living that kind of lifestyle would be a choice someone makes. I think the key is positivity and kindness. I have not once regretted the day I decided to go on this journey and have had the best experiences because of it. 

You don't have to be a designated nature and/or animal lover to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. You don't have to be alternative or extreme in any way. But since you are reading this blog, I assume that you're looking for something more, something fulfilling, something with depth, and purpose. My journey might just be your journey too. 


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