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As of late I have become a documentary junkie.  Give me a good turn-what-you-thought-about-the-world-on-its-ear story and I’m hooked.  Inspired to act.  I’ve hopped on the Food, Inc. bandwagon (and if you haven’t hopped on, it’s totally worth the ride) and seen a smattering of films that beg my eco-consciousness to broaden (check out No Impact Man).  I’ve watched films that bring you into the heart of the less fortunate. Pulling you in, for just a moment, to their world.  At which point you see, we are all human and whether we wear a suit or a hole-ridden t-shirt that hasn’t see a laundry machine in weeks, we have the same basic needs.

For those films, I’ve been the student.  Arriving to class, in my living room, awaiting the professor’s well thought out finished product.

Through the instant community of social media and the internet, I’ve had the good fortune to met one of my neighbors.  An aspiring professor in the documentary university.  Someone who is at the precipice of exposing sustainable hope in Haiti.

My neighbor is embarking on the journey to bring a project called Hands That Feed to life.  It is a documentary that aims to highlight the hope that exists in Haiti.  Human ingenuity that will break the cycle of the past through young people who have a fire of hope in their chest.

Through a random meeting with a neighbor in this digital community, I can impact lives a world away.  Join me as I spread the word that assistance comes when we partner with our brothers and sisters.  A partnership that doesn’t start and stop with aid, but transforms lives, expects much, and empowers.

Learn about the project.  Spread the word.  Support the effort.  Be inspired to act.

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Stewardship is a tricky thing.  For some good stewardship immediately brings to mind use of our natural resources in a way that isn’t wasteful or greedy.  For others a notion of the way in which we spend, or save, our money is the picture of good stewardship.  For me it’s both.  As of late the stewardship of my money has given me pause on my daily eco ambitions.

What happens when I can’t justify the all natural organic shampoo, when I see that Walmart (or insert any other all-in-one mega store)  has the run-of-the-mill chemical laden kind on sale?  Particularly when that store is just down the street and my local Whole Foods is nearly 30 minutes away?

Making the decision to “go green” can start with an organic, all natural, altruistic bang.   No matter the price, no matter the distance, ordinary products will no longer do.  But as situations change, as they have for many of us this year, how do you keep that focus?

There are do-it-yourself cleaners, local farmers markets, and other ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle that cares for our earth without the need for a bailout on your wallet.  The most important aspect of this quest is balance.   At the heart of good stewardship of resources (natural, finances, etc.) is balance.  Putting yourself in financial peril just to get organic shampoo may not be the right move.  So, what practical steps can you take to protect the environment, your body, and your wallet?  Try these:

  • There are lots of free resources out there with great tips of how to live a greener lifestyle.  Try some of my favorites – Taiga Company, Treehugger, Planet Green, SocialYell.
  • Jump into the conversation!  Get on Twitter, Facebook, or the social media du jour and start a conversation with those who are passionate about eco issues.  You will connect with a great group of people who will be eager to share tips and ideas with you.
  • Be choosy and do your research.  The imported uber-fancy organic (really expensive) face wash might have pretty packaging… but the organic store brand works just as well.  Ask about return policies at the store.  Many stores will offer you a refund on products you purchased if you don’t like them.

What do you do to keep balance in your quest to be green?  Do you feel guilty buying items that aren’t outright eco friendly?  I’d love to hear your comments!  Hit me up on twitter to keep the conversation going – @mjnesta.

Here’s to being green and practical!

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