Stephanie Says

BNG Spotlight On…Briland

Pink sands, clear water, blue sky, and gorgeous people – let me tell you about the most beautiful island in the world: Briland. (Harbour Island – if you don’t know, you better ask somebody.)

Want to know how this Bahamian island paradise puts the ‘b‘ in bthenewgreen?  Three words: old school rules. No cars clogging the roads and no major manufacturing with carbon emissions every three steps. And there is virtually no littering.  If anybody sees you dropping trash where it doesn’t belong, they know who you are.  Or, conversely, they know they don’t know who you are.  In which case, who do you think you are dropping your shit on the ground?  Either way, they will tell you about yourself.

Have I mentioned the electricity goes out regularly (although unpredictably)?  It’s counterintuitive, but this is actually a plus and not inconvenient at all (unless you just ordered food from the shack.).  This charming byproduct of being island life discourages reliance on manmade energy and the need to control everything while encouraging relaxation and camaraderie amongst your neighbors.  And that’s always in style.

So you think you’re ready to experience paradise? See below:

Briland Rules to Chill By:
1.  Don’t Trip: Leave your drama and your attitude in the States.  And be careful about who you bring as your guest.  It doesn’t matter if you’re cool but your boo is trippin’ – you will both be voted off the island.

2. Don’t Get it Twisted: What happens in Briland doesn’t automatically stay in Briland.  Act a fool and you will be ridiculed.  Repeatedly. But if you are an official Briland Ballah, we will keep that shit tighter than tight.

When visiting Briland, you must stay at The Royal Palm Hotel (www.royalpalmhotel.com).  I’m telling you – there is no better place to stay. And it’s the first step to becoming a Ballah.  (Shhhhh, don’t ask questions – we’ll tell you how many steps there are when you get there.)

Keep ballin’ y’all,
Diva Ø
Catch my chic.

Don’t Mess with a Diva

That new Brawny commercial has been bugging me from the moment I saw it. Have you seen that shit? Is it just me?!? At first I thought it was just the creepy animated lumberjack singing “Lean On Me”. I mean, what kind of song is that to sell some paper towels? Turns out it was more than the kitsch that was bothering me – it was my Diva psychicness kicking in (Yes, I said psychicness). I investigated my hunch and found out that Georgia-Pacific is Brawny’s parent company. They have been pissing me off for a while now.

Last winter, Dixie started advertising their new line of disposable paper coffee cups. Really?!? That’s the hot new product you want to trot out when everybody knows that the hottest thing you can do is bthenewgreen? I’ll give you one guess as to which dumb-ass company is behind that stroke of genius. Yep – good ol’ GP. Well Diva Ø is taking it personally and you should too. Not just because using your own reusable mugs and cups is one of the easiest, most cost-effective and chic things you can do for the environment and GP is actively opposing your steeze. Not just because there are so many viable alternatives and the unnecessary use of paper products is stupid and wasteful. Not even just because I said so (and if I’m saying that then you know its deep). Here’s why you should take it personally: Georgia-Pacific is insulting you.

It may seem to be a remote exercise at first – you know our first thought is always “what’s that got to do with me?” Well, GP might as well be in all up in your face, snappin’ on yo mama – it’s that serious. I don’t know about you, but nobody talks about my mama and gets away with it! GP is insulting our intelligence by attempting to mask their blatant disregard for the environment with platitudes and eco-buzzwords. They state on their website that “Georgia-Pacific works to create products that improve people’s lives, to use resources wisely, actively engage in our communities, and contribute to society by being a prosperous business. We call it being sustainable.” Well, I call it being out for self. And that’s okay, but not at any cost. And if all you care about is profit, fine. Just don’t call it sustainability.

They actually have the nerve to have a “Sustainability Report,” which includes their philosophy: “We recognize that sustainability means different things to different people.” So to clarify, they give us their definition of sustainability: “Georgia-Pacific defines sustainability as ‘meeting the needs of society today without jeopardizing our ability to do so in the future’.” Translation: “We don’t give a shit what happens as long as we are able to make money now and are still making money later.” Luckily I had my dickhead to Diva dictionary handy. Listen – sustainability does not mean different things to different people. It means what it means. It is the capability to endure and the ability to survive and thrive in perpetuity. You either commit to doing your best to contribute positively to that or you don’t. Georgia-Pacific doesn’t. And the fact that they are perpetratin’ really sticks in my craw.

GP makes a lot of products, but for the individual consumer their brands include: Angel Soft Toilet Paper, Brawny Paper Towels, Dixie Cups & Tableware, Quilted Northern Toilet Paper, Sparkle Paper Towels and Vanity Fair Napkins. There is so much more these fools have to say that insults our collective intelligence – take a look at their website for yourself and tell me what you think. In the meantime……….I declare a BOYCOTT. Join me, won’t you?

This ain’t over,
Diva Ø
Catch my chic.

Go Shorty, It’s Your Earth Day…

Today is Earth Day (Forty and Fabulous) but by now I should not be telling you anything you don’t already know. And actually (you should already know this too) April is Earth Month, but like Black History Month – why acknowledge it for just a month when it affects your entire life?

Black is the New Green is a lifestyle and we need to make some lasting changes. If I know you – and I’m pretty sure I do – you are still being hard-headed and asking what being green can do for you. Well we have established that you can be madsexycool like Diva Ø once you decide to bthenewgreen. Even better than that, you can save cash, be healthier, and save natural resources.

If you reduce your use of paper, electricity and gasoline of course you are going to save money – duh! But when you start thinking that recycling is a pain in the ass, think about this – there is only so much room in a landfill. When landfills get full of your trash, new ones have to be built and guess who pays for that? You, the taxpayer. And not even Barack can help us get around that one. (Yeah, I call him Barack. We go way back – that’s how we roll…)

Not convinced? Still think recycling is a pain in the ass? Ok then, precycle. It’s easy – don’t buy things you don’t need, don’t buy things that can’t be used for a long time and don’t buy things that come in a lot of packaging. And while we’re at it, don’t buy things you can’t afford. That ought to take care of most of the problem right there. So now you’ve helped the environment and your wallet. Bonus: If the bank doesn’t have to send you those pesky overdraft notices, you’ll save even more paper from being wasted!

If you know me (and a lucky few actually do), you know I am no leaf-eating, tree-hugging health nut. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But being healthy and living green doesn’t mean you have to grow your own food and live in a tree. All of the noxious elements you allow into your home – and subsequently into your body – via toxic cleaning supplies, pesticides on (and in) your food, and chemicals in your beauty products, all affect your overall health. And I don’t know about y’all, but Diva Ø needs her strength for kicking ass.

Now let’s talk about saving natural resources. Why should we do that? Do it for the kids! The concept of legacy is central to the African American experience. Our history is rife with conflict, tragedy and, most importantly, triumph. From enduring slavery to overcoming it, from discrimination, degradation and segregation to taking our rightful, equal place in society, our ancestors have always fought so that we all could have a better life. People died so that you could be free, get an education, and vote. All I’m saying is that the least you can do is reduce your carbon footprint so that those who come after you can enjoy the Earth too. Do it to keep your Black card.

There are plenty more incentives (and trust me dolls, we will eventually get to all of them) but the bottom line is this: If you are at all fond of breathing freely and having access to clean water, you need to bthenewgreen.

Speaking of what green can do for you, go to http://green.yahoo.com/blog/greenpicks/278/earth-day-deals.html for freebies and coupons – most deals are good through the end of the month. Get your free stuff and then celebrate by committing to bthenewgreen.

Happy Earth Day, people.

Go ‘head and party,
Diva Ø

Catch my chic.