'G Word' host: It's easy being green
During her years at MTV News, SuChin Pak would wrangle celebrities in the green room. Now, she wrangles regular folks into living greener as cohost of the Planet Green network's eco-hip news program, "G Word." She chatted recently about ways to be environmentally conscious yet edgy.
Q. "G Word" seems to pride itself on being both hip and eco-friendly.
A. Being green doesn't look like what it used to. The conversation is so different than it was in our parents' or grandparents' generations. In the past, it was about hippies and love children. Now, it's not about having a different lifestyle. People don't realize that being eco-friendly doesn't require radical changes. It's not an all-or-nothing thing. Really, it's about very simple, little changes you can make. You can still be into fashion, care about what your skin looks like, or think about what bag you're going to carry that day. You just learn to incorporate better choices.
Q. Were you always so eco-aware?
A. It's funny, being green to me was ingrained because my parents were always trying to save money, save water, turn off the lights, or arrange a carpool. I don't think my parents even know what it means to be green, but they were.
Q. So, being green can be about living more simply and economically?
A. Some of the most green people in our lives are our parents and grandparents, who always bought locally and carefully. I remember my grandmother would buy a jar of cream and make it last for a long time. To me, that is just as green as something with an expensive, eco-savvy label on it.
Q. What's the one change you wish everyone would make?
A. The easiest place you can go green is in your refrigerator. We buy so much that we just never eat, and it goes to a landfill. And landfills are so compacted at this point that food just doesn't rot. If we just plan our food purchases a little better, it could eliminate so much waste.
Q. What other things should people pay more attention to?
A. Just as you would if you wanted to eat healthier or take better care of your skin, the most important thing you can do when buying something is to turn over the bottle and get informed about the ingredients. Many items we use daily are full of unpronounceable chemicals. If I'm at a friend's house, I'll go through the medicine cabinets and pull out products. I'll ask them, "What is this? Do you know what these parabens do to your endocrine system? Are you crazy?" Even if they just use a little bit every day, it adds up over time.
Q. Are there eco-products you love?
A. Dr. Woods peppermint soap ($4, www.vitapal.com). . . . It's an amazing all-natural, all-purpose soap. I do absolutely everything with it, including washing both my hair and the floors.