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Summer Break

 

Beach

 

Hi.  It’s been quite a while since I have posted.   I have been busy but also not terrifically inspired to blog about anything in particular.  I have decided to take a bit of a break for the summer – spend time with my family and relax on this awesome beach in town.  

So, I’m still around.  Check out my facebook page, pinterest, etc.  I’ll still post from time to time when something interesting strikes me.  If you have ideas on what you’d like to see posts on, please let me know!  

 

Have a great summer!

 

 

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Did You See Me On The Queen Latifah Show for Earth Day?!?!?!

Did you see me on The Queem Latifah Show?!?!  TheGreeningOfWestford.com} #qlshow #dannyjseo

 

This was one of the most amazing experiences ever!  It is still sinking in.  But let me back up, the road  getting here wasn’t always clear – at least to me.

It started on a Monday night with an email.  A woman named Emily who claimed she worked at The Queen Latifah Show wanted to “chat about my story”.  They were filming their Earth Day show and wanted to “highlight women who are making a difference in their community”. 

Sounds cool!  But me!?  Really?  They are probably emailing TONS of women, I bet they didn’t even read my blog, just saw a few keys words and shot off an email to see who’d respond first.  I let the email sit for a day.  I asked some of my Green Sisters if they’d gotten similar requests.  No one had.  Hmm.  OK I’ll bite.  So I emailed her back. 

We spoke on Thursday afternoon.  She asked me how I got started, what prompted me to start Upcycle It!, that kind of thing.  She told me again, that they were highlighting women making a difference, that she was speaking to a few other people and she’d let me know later that day.  OK, whatever, we’ll see.  I’m a little more convinced she’s for real, but still feel like I won’t get picked.  At one point she asked what other “green” things we do around the house.  We recycle, compost, use cloth napkins.  Then she asked if we had an electric car.  Oh no, she’s not going to think I’m “green” enough.  You don’t need an electric car to be green, there are tons of other things you can do.    I had to convince her I was committed even though I drive a minivan that gets a pathetic 20 MPG, if I’m lucky!   I talked about why my husband and I didn’t have an electric car –we have 3 kids and a dog and I’m constantly driving them and a friend or two places, so we really need a larger vehicle and the electric vehicles out there at the time just didn’t work for us.  But I’d love to have one.  Did I convince her? I hoped so.

 Two hours later the phone rang again.  It was her asking if I could come out there Sunday to tape the show Monday.  I screamed when I got off the phone!  I couldn’t believe it!  My kids were so excited!  My 12 year old is very into fashion, makeup and being on TV or movies.  She kept calling me a movie star.  Yea, I’m a cool mom!

As I started telling people, I started to wonder if this was a scam.  I know, how paranoid am I?  But I had recently read an article about a female reporter who was almost lured to Russia under the guise of reporting the Olympics only to discover last minute that it was a human trafficking scam!  OK, I need to do some checking on this.  I double checked the email domain name. Yup looks like the same one they use on the QL website.  But scammers can fake that.  OK, what to do….  I couldn’t find a phone number, so I emailed the generic “contact us” address of the show and asked if this was legitimate.  I figured I might not get a response since I’m sure they get 100’s of emails daily but it was worth a shot.  Well, within about a ½ hour, I had a response.  This was for real!  OMG!

The next few days were a whirlwind of getting ready to be gone for a few days, my amazing Mother-in-law came up and help with the kids, and the most important thing – figuring out what to wear!  So I’m doing all this and I still am not really sure what’s going to go on.  I emailed my contact and asked if I’d be interviewed so I could prepare.  She told me that they were honoring a few people, that I’d be in the audience, Queen Latifah  would point me out and might ask me a quick question.  Oh, OK.  Honestly, I was a little disappointed.  All this traveling across the country for 2 days and like 10 seconds on camera.  But she said that they’d be able to mention my blog name and hopefully get me a bunch of traffic.  Woo Hoo!  What every blogger wants!  Plus how cool to be flown out to LA for all the work I’ve been doing for the last 4 years. 

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 Sunday morning.  Oh did I mention that the night before my flight I slept on the floor of a mall?  Yes, I was at a girl scout Pajama Palooza with my 12 year old.  It was a lot of fun, but needless to say I did not get much sleep.  I came home, showered, changed and  headed to the airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I got to the studio the next morning, they brought me to where the audience waits. Watching the taping of the show was fun.  I’d never seen a show filmed before. Someone was supposed to come get me after the first segment or 2, but there I was 3 – 4 segments later.  Did they forget about me?  They changed their minds.  Ugh, they are running out of time and I’m not even going to be on TV at all.  I’m starting to get a bit down.  Finally, someone came to get me and took me to hair and makeup.  VERY COOL!  What they can do with makeup and hair is amazing! 

I spoke with the associate producer who told me that Queen Latifah would be saying a few words about Upcycle It! and might ask me why I started it. So I was fitted for a microphone.  OMG, I’ll get to talk.  Please don’t sound foolish.  She then told me that sometimes Queen Latifah likes to give her guests something.  If that happens make sure I really react.  That on TV it may not look like people are reacting so go big.  Got it.   So back to the audience we go.  

Then Queen Latifah starts to talk about me, “We have someone in the audience…” then I sort of blanked out.  I have no idea what she actually said.  My brain completely slowed down and I could only process one thing at a time.  Am I smiling? Smile. Where is the camera? Is it on me? Should I wave? Don’t forget to breath.  Oh God, what is she saying about me? You need to listen and smile at the same time!  All I heard were a few words – “Kristina…”   “started a program in her school district…”  “Let’s bring her on stage”.   OK, I have to get up and walk.  So I hear, “bring her down” and I get up.  Please don’t fall please don’t fall…. 

I am directed to the stage and I step in between Danny Seo and Queen Latifah.  She then asks why I started this program.  I start to say that I have 3 children, say their names, then I have no idea how I answered the question.  Again, hoping I made some sense but I’m really thinking I said the Beauty Pageant equivalent of “End World Hunger”.  She then asks how it feels knowing that I’m making a difference.  It feels great.  At some point in there I tell her that it’s easier than you might think.  And she looks at me and says “Really?” I say “Yes it is.”  When did I say that, did it make sense?  I have no idea now.  So then she says that someone else noticed what I was doing, again I’m totally paraphrasing here since I was totally in a fog at this point just trying to remember to smile, breath and not fall over!  She tells me that Ford wants to give me a home electric charging stations.  Great?  What am I going to do with this. This is weird. What’s going on?  But I’m on TV, big reaction.  Great!   She asks,  “Do you own an electric car?”  “No”, I say, “but it’s still cool.”  Then I’m thinking, wait a minute… 

The next thing I hear is  “You do now!” and out rolls a gorgeous red Ford CMAX Energi    I about died.  So surreal I can’t even explain it.     Like an out of body experience. We walk over to my ….. MY car!!!    And I’m gushing about the color –  it’s my favorite gorgeous deep red.  Now tears are forming.  I get in and I’m saying how comfy it is.  Danny is saying something about how great the mpg’s are.  The audience is going nuts.  I just comment on how comfortable and nice it was and how I loved the color.  I just could not express how incredible this was.

My new Ford CMAX Energi!  #qlshow  #dannyjseo

 I am still speechless.  To be noticed and recognized in such an amazing way for what I have been trying to accomplish for years, there are no words.  There are times when I think to myself, “What the heck am I doing sorting trash in my garage!”  Volunteering hours of my time.  Am I making a difference?  Does anyone notice and care?  I guess they do!  When I told people I was going to be on the show, they were truly happy for me and said how hard I work and how much I deserved it.  I’m tearing up again.  I don’t do this for the recognition, but I do hope that people notice and that I am making a difference.

And can we just talk about an electric car!!!!!!  YEAH!  So happy to be able to use this new technology. I can’t wait to test it out and see how long I can go without going to a gas station!

Thank you Queen Latifah!!!  Thank you Danny Seo!!!  Thank you Ford!!

 

Just in case you missed the show, you can watch clips of it here.

Top and Bottom photos courtesy of The Queen Latifah Show

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The Greening of Westford Has a New Address

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Did you see the change?!?!  No more .blogspot in my URL.  I’m all official and stuff now!

I have really loved blogging over the past few years and finally decided to take the plunge and get even more serious about it.  After speaking with several awesome high powered  bloggers, I decided to take the plunge and buy my own domain name.  I’ve also made some changes beneath the hood.  You may not notice them, but they will give me more power!

So, you shouldn’t have to change much, but if you use an RSS reader (especially Google Reader which went kaput July 1) just double check that you are still getting my most current feed.  You should since I carefully made sure to use the same one. But never hurts to double check.

If you have any old links (with .blogspot) anywhere they should still work.  If they don’t, please let me know or remove the .blogspot and try again.

I would LOVE to know what you want to see.  Any burning questions?  Things you want to learn more about?  Please leave a comment.

 

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Thank You for a Great 2012

greening of westford helpful tips

As 2012 comes to a close, I just wanted to thank everyone who reads my posts and Facebook messages.  I hope you find them helpful.  I started this blog and Facebook page a couple years ago in hopes that I could inspire and help people.  I have throughly enjoyed it and have learned from all of you as well!    It can take a lot of work, education, research and searching to “go green”.   Plus there is the added hurdle – most people don’t even know the full story on products we use, eat, the air we breathe and more.  I remember how deceived I felt when I discovered that apples are one of the most pesticide laden fruits.  I used to give my son (3 years old at the time) an apple almost daily as a snack.  Granted, this was a much better snack than chips or other processed snack, but I had no idea I needed to be careful about pesticides in food.  My hope is to open people’s eyes and give them practical, workable alternatives.

 

I firmly believe you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.  I hate doing work twice!  That has always been a thing with me.  As an engineer, I always checked to see if someone had already solved whatever problem I was presented with.  9 times out of 10, someone had.  Their solution may not have worked 100% of the time, but I usually came out ahead by learning from it. 

I’m not one for making New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I would like to concentrate on a few things:

Eating less meat
Reducing our food waste
Reducing the clutter in my house

That last one seems to be a never ending battle!

I would like to know what you are interested in learning about.  Please let me know!  Leave comments here or on Facebook or email me at thegreeningofwestford at gmail dot com.

Happy 2013!

Photo taken by Stephen Gunby used under Creative Commons license via Flickr

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The Meaning Behind My Blog’s Name

Throughout the summer, I am participating in a Summer Blog Challenge hosted by Going Green with the Grizls.  The idea is to blog once a day.  I have no hope of keeping up with that!  But from time to time I will be blogging along.

So, The Greening Of Westford…..  A few years ago, I started going green.  What I found was that, for the most part, it was easier than I thought and often saved me money.  What I found difficult was doing all the research to figure out what to do, how to do it and why!  I loved finding out about a “hard to recycle center” in Boulder, Colorado, but that didn’t help me here in Massachusetts.  So I started researching and amassing a list of how to recycle this or that, recipes for homemade cleaners, lists of companies to contact to get off their mailing lists, etc.

Time went by and I really wanted to let people in on the secrets I had found.  In March 2010, I took the plunge and started a Facebook page.  I am not an outgoing person, so this was a big step for me.  But what to name it…  I had been talking to friend of mine about all of the greening I had been doing and she mentioned a film called “The Greening of Southie.”  I really liked the name.  So, The Greening of Westford was born.

Originally I wanted people in and around Westford, Massachusetts know where they could recycle plastic bags or that aluminum foil can be thrown into our recycling bins.  It has since expanded to include the greater area and be just a more practical guide to getting the information we all need.  I still do the extra research to find out where to do or get something in this area and alert people to things going on in this area.  But I hope that others can get enough information to find out how to do things around them.

Now, I admit I could have done some sort of play on my last name (it’s Greene).  How funny right?  Guess I married the right guy, for more than just that reason. 😉  But that would have been too personal 🙂

Enjoy!

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I’ve Been Nominated! Top 25 Eco-Friendly Moms




About a week ago, I received an email from Circle Of Moms.  I have been nominated as one of the Top 25 Eco-Friendly Moms for 2012.  I was floored!  I love spreading the eco-word around town and beyond.  I can’t even tell you how awesome it was that someone thought of me in this way and nominated me!!!!

If you have a minute, I would so appreciate your vote.  Just click on the orange thumbs up next to my blog name “The Greening Of Westford”.   You can vote DAILY through June 13.



While you are there, check out some of the other incredible Mom blogs.  Many of my favorites are there.  I still have to pinch myself every once in a while to make sure it’s real.  There are some very big blogs on this list and I am so amazingly honored to be among them.


To vote, click here!


THANKS!!!

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