How to be a Green Latina
Can you green a Latina birthday fiesta? Más o menos…
I recently celebrated my treintañera – my 30th birthday! No longer a twenty-something chica full of indecisiveness, I seek to embrace my 30s as if they were an old cobijita. A greener blanket, of course.
Although I call myself “a person who supports sustainability,” others may categorize me as “green.” Regardless of labels, I just try to be considerate of the environment and the planet by changing certain consumer choices.
I seem to live my life through a modified “conscious consumerism” attitude of organic beauty products, locally grown food and non-toxic cleaning supplies whenever I can. This behavior has extended into buying eco-friendly party supplies for get-togethers.
While planning my barbecue celebration, I made the choice to purchase eco-friendly cups, forks and plates – all fully biodegradable. Most of my guests didn’t notice these utensils until the cups started melting in the sun. When they started to poke fun of the “expensive” melting cups, I half-jokingly replied: “It’s my party and I’ll be ‘green’ if I want to!”
Besides Manuel, one of my best friends who owns a fashionable, biodegradable tote business (projectgreenbag.com), I don’t think anyone noticed my attempts at being “green.”
You see, I live in San Francisco, where we are surrounded by sustainable, eco-friendly goods at most social events. Basically, we have become accustomed to “tree hugger” forks while we eat our organic salad – the only difference is, this was a taquiza (taco cart barbecue) organized by me, not by a liberal dot com trying to change the world.
That being said, in a group of about 50, no one had a lighter to light the candles. (Cigarettes? Who smokes?). It’s proof of how health-conscious and San Franciscan we are — even if most of the attendees were born in Latin America.
In the end, no one applauded my small action in sustainability – my cups were compostable, by the way – but that’s because they were too busy drinking the home-brewed beer courtesy of my dear friend, Christopher.
Someone brought red, plastic cups to the after-party, but I quickly put them away and took out my half-melted, eco-friendly cups instead. No one seemed to mind, as they were too busy chugging cuba libres as if they were in La Habana.
But, the next time someone compliments my awesome idea of a catered taco treintañera feast, I also will point out that everything was served in eco-friendly plates and recommend the party supply warehouse where I bought them.
Are you a Green Latina?
Laura I. Gómez, is a Latina of Mexican origin, living in San Francisco. She works for a green media company and as an independent global consultant specializing in ad networks, video advertising and social media. You can find her at Latina Geek and La Vida EcoLoca.