Tuesday, November 17, 2015

An Update from the Fort

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I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be, to inspire me and not terrify me.  Says Miss Boss, Tracee Ellis Ross

I've been really quiet on the blog for the past couple of months, and I although it appears that I'm a blogger that allows her 9 to 5 to overshadow her passion, the truth is, I've been working on Fort Negrita more than ever. Just in a rabbit hole creating something beautiful.

Here's the story.

A couple of months ago, I asked a friend of mine to take some updated photos of me for Fort Negrita, she gladly agreed, but also sat down, and in the sweetest way possible (y'all know Jess) let me know I needed to revamp the whole website.

It had been something I was contemplating to do for a long time.

'One day I'm going to redesign the website… start an online store… blog with more consistency.'

But I never focused on what that really meant.

I'm appreciative to the universe for using Jess as a vessel to tell me, 'girl, if you don't update this rusty site.'

Instead of letting me take great photos for a dated website, I was encouraged to rework the entire platform.

So there will be a relaunch in December, which will include a blog and online store for zero waste goodies (reusable bags, pop cups, sporks and feminine products). The new platform will also give me a chance to showcase the work I'm doing to make Atlanta the Seattle of the South.

With the big plans, I went through a cathartic process of defining my dream audience: What does she look like? What does she wear? What's her plans for the weekend?

It really helped me to hone in on my perfect reader, while recognizing the trends and repetitive opportunities to develop content.

Especially since I am outgrowing the idea of just being a blogger, I'm working with small businesses in Atlanta to get them to convert zero waste habits. Specifically right now I'm  working to convince 30 coffee shops in the city to go zero waste for an hour, which means plenty of emails, meetings and a whole bunch of java.

As mentioned, I am preparing to launch a store that coincides with the tips and how-tos on my blog. The store will be the perfect supplement for those that are inspired by the zero waste tips provided on Fort Negrita, and are ready to commit to some lifestyle changes. Products include feminine napkins made from salvaged sewing materials, bulk aisle bags, cloth napkins, sporks and grocery bags. I'm excited to share!

I'm also planning content; figuring out where are the gaps, which how-tos have I not shared and where do you need me most.

With all of this I've carved out a Fort Negrita manifesto, revamped the about, and sorted my content for easier use.

All of this has kept Fort Negrita on the brain day-in and day-out, and again me in the twisted abyss of a rabbit hole. But it's also made me a proud mama of how far the Fort has come and how far it will go.

Peace from the hole, I mean, the Fort,

Sunday, August 30, 2015

RSVP for The First Zero Waste Event In Atlanta

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I've been entertaining this idea in my mind for a while to start a zero waste Meetup group in Atlanta.

As if I'm some unicorn from Venus, one day I frantically asked Trapp, a staff member at Sevananda, "Are there other people like me?!" as he measured the weight of my mason jars and food containers.

He told me there were others, like the guy who brings old liquor bottles to fill up with honey, and another who solely comes to fill up on peanut butter.

It eased my mind but it also made me wonder; Who were these people? Why they started zero wasting? Where else did they shop?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Be Your Own Doctor

Since when did you become a criminal for not signing up for sub par healthcare?

Only in America.

This ObamaCare thing really has me scratching my head. If it really is healthcare for all then why must I apply? And how come in Cuba all are welcome without any type of insurance program, just show up? And what's really the deal with Western medicine anyways?

I've heard stories about how men in Medieval Europe made midwifery illegal, so that women would HAVE to go to hospitals with certified doctors (all men, probably the only people capable of education) to birth a baby.

This was certainly an attempt to grow the gynecology field, and make midwifery illegitimate practice,  because before that, women were literally throwing 'girls night in' to help their fellow queen friends give birth.

Either those men really wanted their medicine field to grow, or they were jealous of all the laughter, talking and dancing going on in the next room.

Now, let's talk about medicine, because I'm reading "Freedom" by Osho and he talks a bit about medicine. Here it goes.

"The commune should pay the doctor to keep the commune healthy, and if anybody gets sick in the commune the doctor's salary should be cut. So health is the business of the doctor, not sickness. And you can see the difference: in the West the doctor's business is called "medicine," which relates to sickness.  In the East its called "Ayurveda," which means "the science of life"- not of sickness."

When I think about my previous doctor's visits, it usually goes a little something like this. Nurse brings me into a windowless room. (Typically a) she takes my blood pressure, weight and last period. Asks if there's any specific reason I'm here today. Jots down notes, then dips. After another 15 minutes. The doctor comes in all apologetic. Grabs my manila folder and ask questions. I tell her whats going on as she jots down more notes. Follow by more in-depth notes, while the room is silent. Next, she's reaching for her good ole prescription pad. She's stamping her order for some medicine  for me to pickup and take.

It's so sad, because that's all most doctors know how to do. They spend a lot of time at universities learning anatomy and such, but don't really understand your body and circumstance well enough to offer up some real advice.

That's where you come in, yes Dr. You. You're with your body everyday. Dr. You knows what gives you heartburn, starts unstoppable hiccups and causes pain in your knees. LISTEN and self prescribe. Use the internet for suggestions on healing, and remember that food, herbs and the comfort of other humans beings are the only types of prescriptions you will need.

Peace to the Fort.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Make Zero Waste Hair Cleanser/Shampoo (VIDEO)

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Washing your hair can be a super wasteful experience. From the water usage to the plastic bottles of products and time, OH MY! It can really get trashy.

Luckily, I recently cut my hair off, so bye bye to 6-hours of wrestling with my hair, but I've also transitioned to several alternatives to traditional shampoo.

For this particular version, you will need:
Aloe Vera Leaf- Made of a protein similar to Keratin (the primary protein seen in hair)
Bentonite Clay- It's like a vacuum for you hair strands. Electrical charges in the clay act as a sponge to soak up dirt in your hair
Tea Tree Oil- Anti-fungal for scalp
Essential Oils- Smelly goods!
Non-Metal Utensils

Make Zero Waste Body Butter (VIDEO)

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This is universal gold. Hair, body, nail, hand, toe butter. Apply liberally anywhere for an automatic transition to the Egyptian pyramids, circa, ancient times.

Did I mention I get the shea butter zero waste at an Afro-Boutique in Little Five Points? Did I mention all the ingredients are zero waste? Oh...