I am a “retired” Chiropractor-turned-green-living-consultant and a blogger.
My chiropractic background helps me to “connect the dots” in seeing the correlation between the our environment and our health. And although I have always been conscientious about how wasteful we are and how much we abuse our natural resources, I don’t view myself as an environmentalist, in the traditional sense of the word. But it does really bother me that we live in a disposable and “we-wanted-it-yesterday” society and that “quick and convenience” takes priority over the environment. I’m guilty of that sometimes too but I am trying to change in a fun and simple way, without being too radical. I don’t want to be preachy or rigid about green living. I definitely believe in the 80/20 rule. This way, if I do get lazy one day, I won’t feel too guilty.
I’m turning into my Mother!
Well, it’s true and I am proud to admit it! (Shhhh…don’t tell her though) - and a little bit of my mother-in-law too. They have been the ecological savvy matrons for years without even realizing it. They always reused ice cream tubs, yogurt cups, and take-out containers. They never bought new plastic containers…until the recent studies showed that plastic containers may leak chemicals into foods. Yikes! Now, they store non-food items in them. (There goes their hobby of trying to match up plastic tub lids to the bottoms without losing their minds.) They also have been reusing glass jars even before recycling became a household word and even now, they rarely put glass jars out for recycling because they reuse them. If everyone was like them, Tupperware and Glad companies would go out of business. Imagine that!!?!! No more plastic! No more dependence on petroleum. What a concept.
Now, I – the one who always complained that we had too many empty glass jars and plastic containers in the pantry – am filling my own pantry with glass jars and non-recyclable plastic containers. I am also looking at ways to reduce buying “want” items and just buying the “need” items…call it frugal or environmentally conscientious but I am starting to really dislike clutter and waste. Also, mass produced imported goods, especially from China, (and don’t get me started on that – that’s another blog in itself.) were starting to turn me off. So while I didn’t make a conscious plan start on the green journey, it was part of my upbringing. But it wasn’t until I started selling some of my eco-goodies that I started writing about green living. It sorta felt weird, talking about it since it was what I was already doing.
ecokaren, the Etsy Shop
When I decided to sell my chiropractic practice and stay home until my teenagers are no longer in need of a “chauffeur”, (I have other roles but I won’t bore with the job description) I started to knit and crochet with organic yarns while waiting for them to finish their after school activities. (It’s ironic that chiropractic means “done by hand” in Greek and I end up still using my hands even when I’m not practicing chiropractic.) I gave away quite a few of my eco-friendly creations as gifts and some people suggested that I should sell my ever-growing selection of handmade eco-goodies. Frankly, I think they were getting tired of getting scarves and washcloths as gifts.
In addition, I started making whimsical magnets out of plastic bottle caps to sell. How did I get the idea? While reading my town’s Sanitation Department Information booklet (I’m sure your town has one too. You should read it. You’ll be amazed what you learn from the little booklet.) about the new year recycling schedule, I was shocked to learn I knew nothing about recycling. I didn’t know that I was supposed to take off the caps on plastic bottles before recycling them! So I started collecting them, in fear that if I threw them out, they’d sit in landfills or be incinerated, spewing out toxins out into the air. So I made these birds’ nest magnets and started selling in my first shop, ecogeneration on Etsy, along with organic reusable makeup removers and washcloths.
Since then, my business evolved and currently, I’m upcycling NYC maps, vintage books and musc scores to make one of a kind necklaces.
ecokaren, the Blog
Being the doctor (first definition is to ‘teach’) in me, I love to educate people and send out a message that we can all reduce, renew, and recycle easily. I share green tips, tutorials, reviews, and eco-news regularly. I also feature Etsy Eco-sellers who are creating artistic and creative goodies with ecology in mind. In doing so, I hope to help these eco-minded indie artists to get their message out. My philosophy is that you don’t have to be too drastic or radical but try to do one ecologically responsible thing each day. And what’s better? You’ll save money in the long run and feel great while doing it.
From years of blogging about the environment, I met some incredibly passionate bloggers. And one of them is Anna from Green Talk. We talked incessantly about how if all the green bloggers we knew joined forces, we can be a formidable strength in numbers. So we co-founded a network called Green Sisterhood. As you can imagine from the name, we are bloggers with a mission of educating our readers about green companies and which ones are “real” and which ones are just “greenwashing”. You can read more about it HERE.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been asked to write for the following blogs. Not in any particular order.
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Thank you for reading and I hope come back often and leave me a comment or two when you visit; I would love to know that you stopped by.
Any questions? You can e-mail me. I will try to answer within 24 hours, barring any “severe” global warming related weather conditions.
Thanks for keeping it green!