NIMBY: Not In My Backyard

ALL ABOUT ME 106 JAN 2018 Final

My daily commute to the MAJAMAS studio takes about 15 minutes. We drive thru the west side of Chicago past beautiful, old architecturally significant buildings. Some blocks are pristine and you can tell the residents really care about their neighborhood. In Summer, flowers border their yards, lawns are cared for and there’s a striking lack of litter. Then there are the blocks that look as if the trash dump was moved to their street. Empty plastic bottles, plastic bags, paper stuck in bushes and fast food wrappers everywhere.

I’m not sure of the true psychological significance, but to me litter signifies a lack of self-respect and a general disrespect for others.

Self-respect and pollution…now there’s a psych lesson for you!

INSTA What I stand for QuoteI’m willing to guess that those who don’t care about pollution have no self-respect. I mean, how can you walk thru trash and still feel good about yourself!?

We live one block from an EL stop and half a block north of a busy street. Lots of people park on our street, and on any given Saturday you might find me picking up the trash left on my lawn, my neighbors’ lawns or even on that busy street half a block away. Why?


Bottom line is: I care how my neighborhood looks and I care about all of us who live there. Not just my block, not just my city, but the whole planet. It’s all connected and it’s all of our backyards. Think of it this way, the oceans, the forests, even our National Parks share one ecosystem and if you disrespect one, you disrespect them all!

We are living in a time when the current administration is throwing out all of the environmental protections many of us have worked so hard to preserve. To date, the Trump Administration has overturned at least 60 environmental standards and the National Geographic society is tracking them. (See the full list here.)

An alarming fact I noticed after browsing thru the National Geographic list is that the Trump administration has removed climate change from the list of national security threats. “The stance marks an abrupt turn from the Obama administration, which in 2015 described climate change as an urgent and growing threat to our national security, given its effects on natural disasters, conflicts over food and water, and refugee crises.”

Seriously? Is Trump living on the same planet we’re on? How can anyone believe climate change isn’t a threat after witnessing the horrible fires and deadly mudslides in Montecito, California? How about the winter weather bomb that just slammed the East Coast?

Another dumbass, disrespectful move is Trump’s scrapping the clean power plan. I just read China has recently become the new world leader of renewable energy leaving the US in the dust. (See the story here.) Obviously our current administration has no desire to make America a leader in clean energy.

Again, how can you have any self-respect when you make decisions that negatively impact an entire nation’s quality of life?

These changes affect all of us and no one, regardless of their political level, has the right to damage our air, water and planet. We must start looking at these issues on a personal level. I look at it as someone drilling in my backyard, not an ocean 3,000 miles west.

The Kanga Pullover_Black_Lifestyle_SmallIt’s time to push back and get some self-respect. We can make small changes in our lives that will not only improve our self-esteem but will make us feel amazing. How? I believe we start with our own backyards. Yeah, I mean that literally. Start by cleaning up your neighborhood and if your neighborhood is already looking good, clean up someone else’s.

Small changes can have a big impact. Let’s start with where you shop. It might not seem like a big deal but if you claim to care about the planet and you’re still shopping for clothes at stores pushing fast fashion, you’re supporting businesses that are doing real harm to our environment.

Get some self-respect by supporting the clothing companies who care about our planet and ultimately, our own backyards.

Ahem…yes, ME (MAJAMAS EARTH) happens to be one of them, but there are many out there! Check out and follow bloggers like Sustainably Chic, Eco Warrior Princess, and City Girl At Heart for other recommendations.
INSTA Problem ME Solution METhe textile industry is one of the highest polluters behind oil and it’s time to make conscious choices about the clothes you’re buying. The companies producing this trash have no respect for the planet or the people making them.

I know fast fashion is appealing, but slow responsibly made fashion respects our planet and when you purchase it, you show you respect it too.

Continuing to purchase clothes that destroy our planet is the same as throwing litter onto the street and into your backyard.


So read the labels, ask where your clothes come from, ask who made my clothes and get your self-respect back!

– Germaine Caprio, Company Owner & Designer




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