Climate Change

As some of you may know, the Amazon rainforest has been on fire for several weeks. This is important, not just because it is the only rainforest left of its size and diversity, but because it is invaluable to humans. Plants reverse the CO2 humans put into the air. Plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and produce oxygen. Without the rainforest, CO2 stays in the atmosphere and oxygen levels decrease. I don’t know how familiar you are with breathing, but I kinda like it……

When trees burn excess CO2 also leaks into an atmosphere already at its maximum. Considering the growing population of Earth, without the rainforest and other highly forested regions, humans will not have enough oxygen in the atmosphere to sustain our breathing.

However, the burning of the Amazon rainforest is not our only cause for concern (e.g., cruise ships, cattle, over-fishing, etc.). The temperature of the Earth continues to rise (for more information see the IPCC special report on impacts of an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius) and our environment continues to degrade. During the Climate Action Summit, 19 countries (not including the United States) focused on ways to address climate change concerns. Just because the United States is not included does NOT mean we cannot do our part in saving our environment!

Below are 5 simple ways you can help save our planet by making quick cost-effective lifestyle changes:

  1. Close knowledge gaps
    • Start talking: Many people are unaware of just how close to home climate change effects really are. By talking about these issues more often and with examples that apply to those we know, we can help others better understand the predicament we have created.
      • For example: Many believe, if brought back, the coal industry is a reliable source of jobs. However, the negative impact of coal on the environment and human health contradict the possible positive outcomes. It is less widely known that the coal industry is in a decline due to alternative types of energy, such as natural gas. Its revival is not foreseen anytime soon. Jobs can be created by land restoration/reforestation, as well as hydroelectric dams and solar energy farms.
  2. Use renewable energy when accessible. Below are the most easily accessible renewable energy sources
    • Solar energy – A once unaffordable alternative, now made more affordable with increased demand
    • Wind energy – If available in your area, there are steps to help identify if this source of energy is best for you
  3. Eat fewer animal products
    • Documentaries, such as Cowspiracy, give factual evidence on the effects of the overconsumption of animal products. Now, being mostly plant-based for almost four years now, I am obviously biased towards a plant-based diet. However, the facts are that we are running out of space for livestock. We are running out of fish in the oceans. And the greenhouse gases emitted from animal agriculture are contributing heavily to global warming. What I am not asking you to do is stop eating all animal products, but research suggests the consumption of fewer animal products. Additionally, consuming fewer animal products can result in incredible positive health outcomes. There is plenty of research out there to corroborate my claims, but you could also check out some of these documentaries:
      • What the Health
      • Forks Over Knives
      • Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
      • Food Choices
  4. Use fewer resources
    • Water
      • Clean water is at a shortage right now. Most of Earth’s water is saltwater and what remains of freshwater is in short supply due to wastefulness and Earth’s increasing population.
    • Reusable containers
      • Using reusable water bottles, utensils, dishes, and containers helps consolidate waste from non-degradable materials
    • Recycle
      • Reduces landfill waste
      • Reduces energy use for reproduction
      • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
    • Use public transportation/ride a bike
      • Saves money
      • Reduces pollution
      • Health benefits of physical exercise
      • Less erosion of road surfaces
  5. Do more
    • Buy more plants
      • Decreases CO2 in the atmosphere
      • Increases oxygen in the atmosphere
    • Eco-buying when you must make purchases
      • Eco-brands reduce water usage, use of hazardous chemicals, and produce less waste
      • Good on You can pair you with eco-friendly clothing brands
    • Turn off electric appliances when not in use
      • Saves money
      • Saves energy
    • Line drying
      • Saves energy
      • Saves money
    • Tap water drinking
      • Saves money
      • Saves waste from plastic bottles
    • Donating unused materials
      • Recycle clothes, shoes, household items, etc. – Making new use of old materials creates less waste
    • Carpooling
    • Low emission buying
      • Cars that run on non-renewable energy emit substantial amounts of CO2 and greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming
      • Buying fewer, more eco-friendly vehicles, creates less waste and lowers greenhouse gas emissions
      • Table of renewable energy vehicles by energy source
Renewable EnergyBrand of Vehicles
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Land Rover
Natural GasAudi

Kinky Curly Natural Hair Routine

How to Maintain Natural Hair in a Healthy Way

If you’ve seen my Instagram (@mini_vegan) or visited this blog before, then you’ve probably seen my kinky curly dark brown hair. It’s been almost ten years since I went natural and taking care of my hair has been mostly trial and error.

How often do I put oil in it? What types of oils? How often do I wash it? How often should I deep condition?

Hair Maintenance

In answering these questions it’s very important that you remember that curly hair, especially African American hair, produces fewer natural oils than a straighter or looser curl texture. For this reason, those with very curly hair types need to have external oils ready to apply regularly to both the hair and scalp. Now, I understand no one wants their hair to feel or look greasy and that’s why trial and error is such a big deal when choosing the proper hair products. Lucky for you all, I’ve done the bulk of the trial and error for you!

My Very Favorites:

  1. Cantu hair moisturizer (shea butter – Grow Strong – strengthening treatment)
    1. I recommend this for all curl types: relaxed, natural, and color-treated
    2. For curly hair, start at your ends and work your way to the roots and scalp. Do thoroughly after washing and as a touch-up to dry spots each day as well as your ends.

For all hair textures it’s important to pay close attention to the health of your ends as they are the farthest away from the root and the least likely to receive all the natural oils, vitamins, and minerals your body provides.

For dry scalps that prefer to use a lathering shampoo, like Head and Shoulders, please try to follow with a non-lathering conditioner. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir and all of you have heard of the harmful effects of lathering shampoos and conditioners on hair, so for all hair types please shy away from the bubbles. I know you feel like it’s working when you get lots of suds, but what you’re really doing is removing the natural hair care products your body produces from your hair, roots, and scalp.

  1. DevaCurl Conditioning cleanser and Conditioner are great for washing curly hair.
    1. When you condition your hair, if you are not planning to use a deep conditioner afterwards, be sure to rinse your hair lightly to keep some of the conditioner in your hair to continue moisturizing throughout the week, or two.
    2. DevaCurl Gel is great for styling
  2. Use a moisturizer on the hair, after washing
    1. Section and apply moisturizer and oil to the hair and scalp
      1. Recommendations: Beautiful Curls – Hydrating Oil, Cantu (mentioned above)
  3. Gel is recommended for all curly hair types to lock in the moisture and curl, after moisturizer has been applied

Going natural is the sure way to the healthiest head of hair! Your natural hair is at it’s softest and most strong when you let it grow and treat it with care. Allowing this process to happen also clears a path for great results when dying your hair. Don’t worry, as the Queen of Color, I’m here to help you natural people go safely through this transition!



*I am not a licensed beautician or professional. I am a fellow member of the natural hair community with useful advice. I am not liable for any advice I give that does not receive equal results or produces damage, injury, or otherwise.*