Join me on my clueless up and down journey to an eco-friendly lifestyle and everything in between

Friday, October 24, 2014

An eco-sista who says there is no blueprint for green living

How long have you been eco-friendly? I would say since I was 17/18 years old, when I began appreciating my academic passion for Geography. Learning about the environment, and more specifically sustainable living from a personal/local level boosted my spirits. My parents are keen recyclers, conscious about energy use and have instilled in us a commitment to care for the earth (in effect, saving them money ha).

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I chose to be eco-friendly because it is such a beautiful lifestyle and I am continuously inspired by the increasing amount of green living blogs. I ultimately want it to become natural with everybody, the same way we take care of our bodies, we should take care of our surroundings. We should create spaces of ideas and sharing. If we choose to have kids, we want them to live in a healthy environment and to not have to for example, deal with environmental externalities that can lead to health issues. Ultimately, it will be about life- breathable air, clean water, edible food, un-compromised quality products. 

Nature sustains us, but at the current rate of consumption and mass production, we are being negligent of the limits and potential dangers. Really, do it for the love of nature, not out of the fear of it's potential consequences. That's the source of your strive.

What do you like about it? I chose this lifestyle because I also like the idea of minimalism. I read Vintage Schumacher's book called Small Is Beautiful and I fell in love instantly. It allows me to be selfless (caring, open, giving). He talks about achieving the maximum level of well-being with the least amount of resources. From the environmental movement in the 1980's to Wangari Maathai's- Green Belt Movement, caring for the environment is not exclusive to one place. We all have the ability to; it's about instilling it into our cultures. I like it because it challenges the very often-selfish nature of some humans and allows them to care for something beyond themselves- the earth.

I enjoy making things from scratch, I enjoy being organized and so I don't like much clutter. I like simplicity, and being eco-friendly allows me to explore more ways to live like this. I even applied this lifestyle to my natural hair journey and I follow some blogs on it.

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? Honestly, the challenge I face is that I feel constricted by my parents. I currently live with them and since I eat from my mother's grocery shopping list, I don't get to eat what I would love to or buy certain products etc. Although she recycles and advocates healthy eating, I haven't been able to convince her about for example, organic food. Last week I bought organic peanut butter (which is btw, so delicious) and the week after she bought standard store peanut butter. I don't want to fight lifestyles in a home that isn't mine.

Point is, although I love my parents, I need to accept that people have different beliefs on issues, including standpoints on where they stand environmentally. It's a lesson, because now I know what to look for in a life partner. I would love to share the same visions with someone I love as long as we are mutually open to learning from each other. That's the beginning of creating a livable home with bound values.

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? Do your research, and find which area of green living you are more passionate about, catches your attention, or suits your circumstances (listed below). It's much easier that way. So for example, if you are into organic eating, eco-friendly products, recycling/composting, keeping papers with blank sides in a bag for second use (I do this), socially responsible products, farmers market shopping, natural product making, barefoot living, non-car driving, natural cosmetics/make-up etc, crafts. There are so many areas in your life that you can apply environmental consciousness to (if not all). And you can see how this is overwhelming, right?

Begin at your comfort and work you way up with ease. Don't be overwhelmed. For example, I cannot afford to buy cosmetic make-up because it's expensive and I cannot shop at the farmers market because the nearest one is a train ride and three buses away. And that's okay

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? There is no absolutism in pursuing a green conscious lifestyle. Every little counts, honestly. It's a mental journey as much as it is a physical/lifestyle journey. I don't believe someone can be a "green hypocrite" since we have the free will to live how we want. Pursuing a green lifestyle is not going to be an easy ride and so we have to allow ourselves to diverge and be inconsistent at times. It's nice to set targets and personal goals, but ultimately do what is best for you based on your location in this world, your job, responsibilities, schedules, income, health status, etc.

A green lifestyle is a personal journey that needn't be publicized to everyone, it's between you and nature and therefore you must not over think it. It should be as simple as possible, and not complex. That's all that matters. Always remain conscious, even if you lose the zeal sometimes.

There are no blueprint for green living, just guides. We can all share our different ways of living, exchange information, ideas, tips, etc. but there's no right or wrong, as long as you strive to be better at what you are already doing.

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? My last relaxer was in November 2012. I am in love with my homemade shea butter which keeps my hair oh so soft and moisturized. That's my holy grail. It remains in protective styles until I have achieved my goal length. Check me out on YouTube

Is there anything you like to add? Don't give into the climate change hype and the scares that are being portrayed in the media to wake people up. I believe that true internal change begins with love. Simple, love for nature. Love for that which sustains us. Love for that which feeds us and give us breathable air. Love for that which keeps us alive. Don't pursue a green lifestyle out of fear, pursue it out of love for what is to come. You will enjoy the journey much more that way. I don't believe in acting globally, thinking locally- more like, "act local, think global".

Learn more about "greenwashing" to understand how brands are re-inventing themselves so that you won't be deceived.

Be careful about natural hair products that claim to have "no parabens, sulfates, etc. (you know the list) but instead contain other harmful products other than the ones that we are well aware about. 

The term "natural" is not regulated but the term organic is. Careful reading of ingredients, labels, and marketing- the use of words such as "green", "fair", or "eco" can be misleading. With this new green consumerism, brands are still not genuine. But be hopeful, there are many genuine green brands that strive to be greener, out there!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I recently went on a camping trip and this came in very handy. As I was going over the list of things to bring, I noticed I didn't have any bug spray. Living in FL I knew it was an absolute must. I wasn't going to slather or spray some smelly toxic chemical on my body. I did what I do best! I went on La La Land to get some ideas. 

Reading is FUNdamental. While browsing I found some interesting articles on mosquitoes. Fun Facts:

-There are several different types of mosquitoes (in the thousands) 
-Male mosquitoes don't bite they feed on flower nectar
-Female mosquitoes bite humans and animals they need the protein for their eggs
-If you're a beer drinker consider yourself a new BFF  
-These 'lil creatures are the deadliest animals on earth because they carry a number of deadly diseases

What you will need:
-Spray bottle

Witch Hazel

Essential Oils (lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary)

-Add equal parts water and witch hazel to the spray bottle. 
-Then add 20 drops of each oil. 

This spray really worked and smells wonderful. Mosquitoes hate certain scents. I was sure to find a mix to keep them away. Drinking lots of water helps too. I had some leftover from the trip and I'm using it as an air freshener. Oh how I love double duty products.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm a huge seafood lover. One of my favorite fish to eat is salmon. I just love it. However, I want to try other types of fish. So I'm getting my shopping on at Trader Joe's and I spot the mahi burgers. I threw it in the cart and here's how it all went down. 

I decided to grill it instead of frying and paired it with veggie chips

-Onions (grilled)
-Shredded Cheese

*rubs hands together* 

I used sourdough english muffins as my buns

It was my first time trying Mahi-Mahi and I will be buying this again. After trying this, I look forward to more Mahi-Mahi recipes. I really liked it. It had a natural smoke flavor with a taste making me want more. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Do one thing everyday that scares you
                               -Eleanor Roosevelt 

I finally got the chance to go camping. Something I've always wanted to do but was afraid to take the steps in making it happen. I know, what's so scary about camping. Well for me, I had this crazy idea that I'd be attack by bears, deers, or panthers. Blame the news stories for that. I was like... you see that's why I don't wanna go camping.  

I knew about the opportunity earlier but decided not to go. Not because of the thought of being attacked. I just didn't have all that I needed for a camping trip. So one day I got a text asking if I'm going. I texted back- No. I received another text- Please come, I have a tent you can borrow it. 

Aww… sookie sookie now. That was a sign telling me GO! So I did and there's nothing scary about camping. You can't knock something you've never tried. Here's my clueless adventure in the great outdoors. 



Chateau De CluelessCurl

Having breakfast on this cold morning. 

The first night of camping was Brrr!!! But once I got in my sleeping bag my body heat kept me warm. I slept like a baby until…. You wanna know the scary part about camping? Being awaken in the middle of the night by snoring, farting, and people who just won't go to sleep.

Beautiful lake view

Enjoying the view on the "porch"


Camping is not complete without a campfire and s'mores

If Big Foot can do it so can I. The day came to go home. Before doing so I made sure to keep the site the way I found it. I was a guest and didn't want to trash the place. When you respect nature it will respect you. 

It was fun and exciting getting there and enjoying the activities. But the take down... oh my goodness. The tent was wet and it wasn't even raining. It was because of the dew points. So, it was a bit messy taking the tent down. But overall I enjoyed my camping experience. 

This trip taught me to appreciate what I have even more. The things we take for granted. Water and light truly was a must on this trip. I also learned that freshwater fish like hot dogs. I thought worms were the only bait. 

It also felt good not being online for a few days. Only because I couldn't get a connection. But seriously I was not bothered and was soaking in nature. This experience inspired me to want to get an RV and drive cross country (except for Hawaii, I'll have to fly) seeing all 50 states. It will happen one day. It's on my bucket list.

Have you been camping? What was your experience like?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Another month of my shenanigans. See what I'm up to.

It's pumpkin carving season

Not my favorite but it was ok

I'm getting my reading on

Keepin' up with my veggie intake

I'm trying just about every new cereal that catches my eye

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

An eco-sista who loves her new found relationship with nature

How long have you been eco-friendly? I am ashamed to say that I started being eco-friendly when I met my husband 3 years ago. He taught me everything there is about the benefits of helping the environment.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I love plants and animals which is why I'm a vegetarian (pescatarian on family outings) because without plants and animals, our planet would not survive. I also use eco-friendly materials to improve the health of the environment.

What do you like about it? I love my new found relationship with nature! I also love that I am protecting the environment while also providing new jobs for eco-friendly emerging industries. It's a win-win situation for me.

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? I would say the only challenge or obstacle I face is convincing my family to do some eco-friendly practices. They don't understand why my husband and I take the environment so seriously because they don't see how one person can make a difference.

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? Please, please, please read more about the environment to be more aware about the earths natural systems. You will have much of a better understanding of the importance and benefits of being eco-friendly. Try to second guess what you are about to throw away and see if there is another use for it! This is how I started to be eco-friendly, one step at a time.

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? Going green is definitely challenging some days for me when I'm in a hurry! For example: I could be running late for work and I'm already walking out the door when I realize I left the bathroom light on. I am guilty of leaving it on and calling my husband to turn off the light since he will be home before me. Kids, don't try this at home.

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? I have been natural 1 year and about 10 months. I actually maintain my hair everyday to keep it in a healthy stage. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but once you get into a groove, it's like making sure you have breakfast in the morning. However, I do have my lazy days.

Is there anything you like to add? You can be eco-friendly in the natural hair community too. I have bought all my makeup brushes from Eco-Tools for starters because they support the environment. If you haven't tried them, check them out! They have wonderful products. Thank you so much! <3

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Race #10

Let's do this!

I'm ready 

After the race I went to the pavilion to get some snack and a guy came up to me and said Thank You! Of course I had a confused look on my face and I asked what for? Pacing. Oh yes! I remember, We were side by side pacing the first mile of the race. Then I lost him or maybe he lost me. :)

Anyways, running at that pace helped me to crossed the finish line with a new personal best. That also led me to coming in 3rd place again for my age group. 

2 more to go!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I've been having too much fun with these scarves. I just bought one recently that was on clearance. My drawer wasn't happy with me. This last one added more fuel to the fire. I kept stuffing it down and promising this is the last one. Yeah right! 

So off to La La Land I go and I found a very easy to do DIY. There were so many different ways to do an organizer. But, I took the one that wouldn't cost much. The only thing I bought were shower curtain rings that didn't cost much at all. Yay! Off to go buy more scarves.

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