Okay…so the title may sound misleading. But hear me out. The other day, one of my best friends texted me a picture of a beardless Jason Momoa, asking if he’s better with or without the beard. She knows how infatuated I am over him and thought it would brighten my day. My husband finds it amusing and has no qualms about it. Thank the Ancestors I have a secure and loving man like him! Anyway, there was discussion all over the internet on how hot he still looks without it and his reasons for doing so was to make a statement for the environment. He was promoting the use of aluminum over plastics, saying: “A change is comin’…it’s aluminum. We gotta get rid of these plastic water bottles…for my kids, for your kids, for the world. Clean up the oceans, clean up the land.” Being an advocate for the use of renewable and sustainable resources, this man was speaking my love language! He just made saving our planet sexy.
Everywhere I go, I always bring a reusable, insulated stainless steel container to make sure I stay hydrated. Our family does not buy plastic water bottles. Instead, we refill five-gallon containers with purified water at our local water store. I do agree with Jason Momoa—there is a change coming, and it’s not just aluminum. A paradigm shift in humanity is taking place as more people become more conscious of Mother Earth’s health as directly correlated to our own. For example, whenever we go to the beach, Gilbert makes it a point to go around, find trash, and dispose of it properly in a receptacle. And yes, it is sexy to see him cleaning up all the refuse—it shows me that I married someone who thinks beyond himself. He understands that if the beaches are dirty, it affects ocean life. Because the ocean is responsible for most of the oxygen we breathe, we must protect it from pollution. Pollution contributes to our oceans dying; therefore, we begin dying. We need to get the rest of humanity on board to demand the rehabilitation and preservation of our planet. It takes one person, with one choice to impact our world. But it’s up to us to find it important enough to take those little steps in cleaning up our environment and live in harmony with Mother Earth and all her inhabitants.
Since we are celebrating the Earth this week, I thought it would be appropriate to show how my family incorporates ways to save our planet. When we first started Herbalaria, I considered certifying it as a “Green Business” by the city of Los Angeles. But at that time, home-based businesses were not certifiable. Three weeks ago, I was cleaning out my desk when I saw an old application for certification. I believe it was a sign from the Divine! I jumped onto my computer and immediately began researching the possibility. Behold! “Home Office” was a sector they offered! You can imagine how excited I was. Our family has been working towards greening our home over the years. We have always believed that taking care of the earth is crucial to having a future for our children and all the generations after. Plus, it’s being in alignment with our ancestral practices of living sustainably.
To be a certified green company, there are certain criteria that need to be filled. We covered most and made the necessary adjustments, even went above and beyond with our recent home paint job with Cool Paint. From composting, reusing, switching to recycled products, and other methods of completing the loop, we achieved a milestone in our plan to becoming a certified Los Angeles Green Business.
In L.A., we have three types of waste containers—green, blue, and black. Green is for yard waste. Blue is for recyclables. Black is for all other waste that goes into the landfill. A few years back, we decided to do more than just how we separate our trash. Because I do a lot of gardening, it made sense to have a compost bin. Oh my gosh…what a difference it has made in decreasing the amount of food waste going into black container. We haven’t been able to fill it like before—always full and having to stuff it down to get everything to fit. We fill the compost brown and green yard clippings, rotten fruit and veggies, shredded paper, and other compostable materials. We make black gold—rich soil full of nutrients and worms to put back into my garden, yielding an abundance of plant medicines grown naturally and organically. Composting reduces the need for inorganic fertilizers, enriches soil health, balances soil pH, discourages weeds, prevents erosion, lowers carbon footprint and contributes to permaculture, just to name a few. We reduced our waste by up to 75%. Since we adopted the practice of composting, all my fruit trees and plants are happier and fuller.
Over a year, I had been searching for a table that would be small enough to fit in our Herbalaria kitchen for my induction stove and have space for materials I use to create my products. I’ve tried looking at Ikea and Craigslist, but to no avail. One day, we were shopping at the Glendale Galleria and saw that the GAP store was closing and selling their fixtures. As I walked in, I saw what I had been waiting for—a small solid wood table on casters, with drawers and storage space. It was lightly used and in excellent condition, available to purchase for only $75. Score! Not only did I find what I needed, it was a sweet deal. This is just an example of reusing materials. I took it off the hands of one company, and now it is serving our company.
Blue recycle bins are in both our kitchens and offices. Every effort is made to recycle plastics, aluminum cans, and non-compostable paper like magazines.
We use rechargeable batteries and have a designated container for used batteries.
We have totally switched to post-consumer recycled paper products and products containing recycled and environmentally friendly materials.
With the abundance of rains this past winter and spring, our rain barrels were filled to the brim.
Our entire home is equipped with LED lighting to help save on energy costs.
Not pictured are the low flush toilets, water-saving landscaping, energy-saving vinyl windows, weather-stripping, my favorite Pilot G-2 refillable gel pens, refillable ink toner cartridge, and so much more. Our efforts have finally paid off when we became an official Los Angeles Green Business two days after Earth Day. We are so thrilled and honored to be alongside other businesses who care for Mother Earth. We remain committed to find more ways in improving our environment, with our next goal of obtaining energy from alternate sources such as solar power.
If you could choose one way to make a difference for our land, our oceans, and future generations, what would that be? The next time you walk into a coffee shop, will you bring a reusable cup? Will you start buying 100% recycled paper towels? Or plan on doing a beach cleanup? No matter what you elect to do, I hope that this inspires you to celebrate each choice you make towards preserving our planet.