MEET AMERICA: FLORIDA

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Here in Massachusetts, it’s only during our harsh winters that we get a little jealous of Florida.  But it’s summer, baby!  My New England body temp would melt in the Sunshine State.   It takes a warm spirit to be a Floridian; like Jennifer!  Jennifer owns a gorgeous boutique in Tampa, FL where she resides.  She has mastered living an eco-friendly life and can help you master it, too, by reading her blog!  Let’s get the low-down from my fellow east-coaster.
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A:  Jennifer, tell us how living in Florida is different from other states.
 

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J:  Florida is definitely different from any other state as our “winters” are gorgeous and we never have to shovel snow.  Can you go to the beach on Christmas Day anywhere else?  [It] may not be everyone’s idea of Christmas, but I love it!  Florida can also be a very transient state, which definitely attracts the crazy.  You might notice us in the news a lot for ridiculous stories, but what can you do, there is crazy everywhere!
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A:  Oh, I know.  Up here in Mass we have plenty of it!  In your eyes, describe a perfect Florida day.
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217024_593793337306054_857625355_n J:  I love Tampa.  It’s such a sweet little gem!  I live right near Bayshore, which is about a 5 mile walk along the bay where you will always find many people running, riding bikes, walking their pup (you can always catch my pup Tika and I out there) and just enjoying the outdoors.  If you live in Florida, chances are you enjoy the beach.  To be able to head over to St. Pete or Clearwater in 20 minutes and spend my weekend where people from all over the world come to vacation, see our gorgeous beaches and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico, is pretty sweet!  It’s a great
vibe here.  I love my city and I love my state. 🙂
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A:  Jennifer, you are such a busy-bee who has a lot going on!  But before we get to that, I’d love to hear about your blog and green outlook on life.
970964_596808917004496_1241705294_nJ:  My blog, Arjuna Boutique, is where I like to share any helpful product and skin care information for my clients and readers.  I am actually hoping to expand [it] to more of a lifestyle blog so I can include skincare tips as well as green lifestyle tips, style tips, etc.  Some people consider my lifestyle “extremely green”, but it is such a part of who I am and so normal for me, that I couldn’t imagine living any other way.  Living a greener and more sustainable lifestyle… gives you time to focus more on what matters in life.  I never get sick, I’m always full of energy and I know that by being conscious of what I consume and how I live will leave a smaller carbon footprint than most.  Some people like to taunt me with the whole “well, the world is going to shit” theory, but what can I say, I’m an optimist.  I live the lifestyle because it makes me feel good internally and externally, not because of what is trendy or hot at the moment. 
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A:  There are more optimists than you think!  We should stick together.  So, I 
have fallen in love with every item in your boutique, tell us how it got started.

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J:  My boutique, 
Arjuna Living, was started when I relocated here to Tampa.  I always knew I would have my own business someday, as I come from a father with an insane work ethic.  [He] is the most successful, self-made man I know.  I’m a busy body [who] actually enjoys working and can’t stand to be bored.  I decide what to bring in [to the boutique] by the style here in Tampa, which is very pretty, flowy, relaxed and beachy.  All the skin care, perfumes, make-up, etc, are always tested by me first and then decided on according to the ingredients, ethics, image and overall philosophy of the company.  My biggest philosophy here is shopping with purpose.  Pretty, meaningful and unique finds for you and your loved ones!
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A:  For curvy ladies, like myself, is Arjuna Boutique thinking of carrying plus sizes?
 
J:  Certainly! Plus sizes are definitely something I have actually started looking into, so stay tuned!
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A:  It’s that time: the most important question in the world.  What’s your favorite movie?
 
J:  My favorite movie is Boondock Saints.  Not only do I love the plot, but you certainly can’t beat the eye candy.  I love bad boys.
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A:  Boondock Saints is also one of my favorites!  (Rocco in particular). Haha!  Jennifer, it’s been a blast.  I wish you the best of luck with your business.
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Don’t forget to check out Arjuna Living and like it on Facebook!
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GEORGIA is right around the corner!
In case you missed them…
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Going Green Isn’t THAT Hard!

I’m no Green Expert, but since I began college I’ve tried to expand my knowledge on it–that was 4 years ago! What have I learned?!

Well, 4 years of being a college student in the city–my beautiful Boston–taught me that school didn’t  leave much time for finding the one recycling can in town or rallying in the streets for more of them. Therefore, I did some quick research on my down-time to find easy ways to, yes, better Mother Earth, but more importantly to save on MY bills and boost my pride and Egosystem. Lame eco-system pun intended.

So, I made a list for all of the college student-, project doing-, busy parent-, couch potato-, Cheeto eating-people out there. I titled it…

15 ways TO BE GREEN WHEN YOU’RE LAZY:

  1. Buy the $1 reusable grocery bag! They hold WAY more and they won’t break on the way back to your apartment.
  2. Can’t swing the $1 bag? Really, now? Well, when I didn’t have one, I’d save all my plastic Shaw’s bags. They make good trash bags for little waste baskets and help contain the germs from mounds of used Kleenex when I’m sick. Also, almost every grocery store has a box for recycling those bags, so bring them back.
  3. When you’re home and watching TV or just relaxing, keep the lights off! We all know you’re too lazy to get up and turn them on anyway. Plus, candles are way sexier.
  4. Even if something isn’t in use (i.e. coffee pot, computer, lamp, etc) it’s still using tiny amounts of electricity. Unplug things when you go to work or school for the day. And don’t you dare say, “That’s so annoying!” Hush. I’m not asking you to scale a mountain!
  5. If it’s plastic, recycle it! Some states only recycle numbers 1-3, but my state recycles ALL plastic (#1-8) Have a bin dedicated to recyclables in your home. (Saves room in your regular trash, too)
  6. Eco-friendly light bulbs really do last forever. Buy some!
  7. Don’t throw batteries away. Actually, in some states, throwing batteries away is illegal. Find a local store that will recycle them.
  8. Donate or recycle old electronics. Or sell the them on Ebay–cash monayyyyy!
  9. Support your local farms! Yes, even in the middle of the city there is some hippy somewhere with a garden open to the public…..did that sound mean? Nah, we love hippies.
  10. Are you a bookworm? Buy a book online and read it on your computer. Or, I personally like to have a book physically in my hand, so I go to my local used book store when purchasing a new paperback.
  11. Print on both sides of paper. You’re saving a tree and it’ll last longer before you have to buy more paper. And after that, recycle your paper!
  12. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. This one my mother has been telling me since I was 4.
  13. When your paycheck permits, try to buy organic. Yes, it costs more, but that’s because many of these farms are in need of more money just to say open!
  14. Sometimes you just need a HOT shower. But, it turns out that not only does it cost more to use hot water, but it’s also bad for your skin. Warm will do just fine.
  15. Cold outside today? Open the blinds, let the sunshine in and put on a sweater! As long as the sweater is not Cosby-esque.  And when it’s hot out, keep the blinds closed and the lights off. The room will be much cooler.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? I’m really starting to think that I could make lists for a living.

I hope some of these tips will stick with you. They’re easy enough and CAN make a difference, no matter how small they seem. Oh, and some of you are saying that your building doesn’t have trash dedicated to recyclables–just find a neighbor who does and in they go!…Just kidding, I don’t condone illegal disposal of recyclables. (or do I….it’s for Mother Earth!)

Keep on reading and keep on keeping on.

Love,

Your tree-hugger…the cool kind,

Alessandra