SPECIAL: San Francisco Editor
City Hippy is truly going international. In our quest to bring together a collection of real people to tell their story of how they are going green it seems that the UK tells only part of the story.
So it is with great pleasure that I announce our first non-UK city editor.
Arcadia Maximo (what an awesome name eh?) lives in San Francisco and just loved the idea of telling her tale and letting you sit on her shoulder as she greens it up in one of the greenest cities in the USA.
Arcadia runs The Goode Life blog which she says is:
my answer to all my friends who think in order to live green they have to give up meat or their cars! It's my personal quest to show others that for every conventional way of doing things there is a greener and oftentimes superior alternative.We could not agree more...very City Hippy indeed.
Arcadia also happens to be the Environment Editor at Bella Online. As usual we chucked over our intro questions and this is what Arcadia had to say:
CityHippy: Who are you, where do you come from and live?
Arcadia: I'm a former fashion stylist, who is now a general contractor who builds green! Crazy I know! I'm a big believer in the LOHAS (lifestyle of health and sustainability) philosophy. I'm an avid reader and can often times be found rearranging my furniture as I am on a perma-quest to improve my feng shui)! I was born and raised in San Francisco; but spent a great deal of my childhood in Honduras where my father is from. We lived in a very rural part of the country where growing your own food, raising cattle and pumping water from a well is not uncommon but the norm. We did not have electricity or indoor plumbing. Coming back to the US taught me that things people take for granted here would be considered luxuries over there.
I've been fortunate enough to travel to a lot of different places but I always return home to San Francisco. I love living near the water and our weather is pretty mild. Plus San Francisco is a city where pretty much anything goes. We truly believe in freedom of expression and aren't afraid to be the first to try new things. I love the city for that!
CityHippy: What inspires you to be green?
Arcadia: My childhood mostly, and I just truly believe green is better. A long time ago I suffered from a physical ailment that no medical doctor could help me with; it wasn't life threatening just uncomfortable. I went to go see a naturopathic doctor who actually gave me some options, and showed me how our environment affects our health. I've been green and healthy ever since!
CityHippy: What is the one thing you do that you are proud of doing?
Arcadia: I recycle like a mad woman!! Collecting and recycling cans was how my brother and I earned money as kids. I recycle so much I rarely need to put our garbage bins for pick up because there's nothing in them!
CityHippy: What is the one thing you wish you could do?
Arcadia: Can I say two things? 1. I am such a wannabe gardener. I live in a house that actually has a backyard and I don't tend to it. I keep telling myself I'm going to start growing my own vegetables. My aunt has a gorgeous vegetable garden that she shares with the family. I wish to grow organic vegetables to be able to donate to food banks and shelters around the city.
2. I also wish I could convince everyone that in order to be green you don't have to give up your modern day comforts and live in a yurt! That's one reason why I started my blog, to show others you can be eco and chic at the same time!
CityHippy: What is the one thing you wish everyone in the world did differently?
Arcadia: Conservation! I'm not just talking energy, but everything. We waste so much. I see it in my own industry with the amount of wood and building products that are thrown away everyday! I wish people would bring re-usable canvas bags with them when they go grocery shopping, purchase more post-consumer products, and bring your own mug from home for coffee instead of using disposable cups. It's stuff like this that is so simple but makes a big difference!
CityHippy: What is your dream job?
Arcadia: I have my dream job already. I'm so lucky to be able to be my own boss. I love building and designing homes and interiors; and the fact that I decide which products will be used for my projects makes it that much better. (Secretly I covet Kofi Annan's job in the United Nations, there hasn't been a woman in that position [yet!], and I love meeting people from all over the world.)
CityHippy: What is your favourite way to relax?
Arcadia: A good book and a glass of organic wine or a movie. I also daydream a lot!
CityHippy: Why is the world a mess? What can we do about it?
Arcadia: The world is a mess? I had no idea!.....just kidding, actually we need to get the idiots out of office, perhaps I speak for my country only! [Erm, sadly no Arcadia, the UK is full of idiots in power I assure you - CH] I truly believe in strength in numbers, just look at the ban of Coca Cola and Pepsi in parts of India, because the local people came together and said you must fully disclose your ingredients! We can't count on our elected officials to always have our best interests at heart. We must start doing it for ourselves regardless of how small it may seem. Edmund Burke once said "Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."
CityHippy: Superb stuff Arcadia, you definitely have City Hippy DNA. We look forward to your contributions.
...Ladies & Gentleman...Arcadia!!!