April of 2007, Oprah’s Earth Day episode, is the day my “green” light turned on. For me, it began with the toxic cleaners in my home. It was just a starting point for me and it felt overwhelming and impossible. I probably did too much too soon and drove everyone around me crazy (I know this is true) but that’s my personality. In September 2007 I started blogging and my site was titled, Green and Clean Mom but my blog was called, Shade of Green. I couldn’t get the URL! From April 2007-September 2007 I realized that there were lots of different shades and everyone really just needed to do what was going to work for them or else they probably wouldn’t do anything at all. It was the birth of my blog. The title ended up changing to Green & Clean Mom because it caught on, branded me and matched my domain name.

I had never heard of Sophie Uliano and Gorgeously Green until Earth Day 2008 when she and Julia Roberts were on the show. I was captivated when she began talking about being a “Shade of Green” and eight simple steps. It was like I had met this twin (not that we look alike) that I never knew existed. It was weird but her book and the things she was discussing on the show was what I was trying and hopefully attempting to do on my site. It was exciting and then kind of sad because she was standing next to Julia Roberts and Oprah and I was just behind a computer screen typing and not making as much money. Oh, well…I do it because I love it and someday the money will roll in…right? Anyhow, after watching the show and reading the book I thought, “What the hey, maybe she’ll let me interview her.” What did I have to lose?  I composed the email sure enough she said yes. I was so excited that it has taken me forever to compose the questions and figure out what I wanted to ask her. I even stumbled on one of them because I was so nervous/excited but we all make mistakes. So here’s the first part of Green & Clean Mom’s (G&CM) interview with Gorgeously Green, Sophie Uliano (GG). Be sure to read part two of the interview and a chance to win the book!

G&CM: Sophia, many of the Green & Clean Mom readers are trying. They aren’t perfect and they can feel overwhelmed by thinking they have to do “everything”. Your book outlines eight simple steps for going green, why eight tips steps and how did you decide on these eight tips steps?

GG: Actually, it was eight steps, not eight tips. I decided on the steps because there are so many tips out there, that it can get very confusing. I wanted to simplify the whole thing by distilling all the eco-information I could find into 8 simple steps that any woman could do, regardless of her circumstances.

G&CM: I’m not sure if you’re aware but Green & Clean Mom has caught a lot of slack for not being all green and doing it all. Even though that is not what my site is about. Your book is very similar to the theme of my site, except I’m really appealing to the “moms”.

GG: I understand that some people are really eager to go the whole hog and so will nit pick over others who are not extremely eco-friendly. I think we need to go easy on each other, as there is really no perfect way to go completely green. There are always conundrums, so each person has to figure out what’s comfortable and doable for them. Extreme green won’t get the masses on board!

I love what you write on page 7, “I used to think it was all about wearing hemp and eating organic tofu. I thought I would have to turn into one of those zealous do-gooders with unshaven armpits. Trust me, this is not what the Gorgeously Green program is about. Far from it. We are going to be busting out in bright and wonderful colors. We’re going to be painting our nails and our lips and wearing the latest, hippest fashions.” Have you caught slack from any of this? If so, could you give my mom readers any advice on how to deal with naysayers?

GG: I’ve caught a bit of slack along the way, however, for the most part, people are so inspired and passionate about my message, so I just ignore the people who quibble. I think it’s so easy to point the finger and it’s a lot more constructive to applaud someone for making whatever changes they can, rather than looking at what they are not doing. When someone points a finger, they have three back pointing at them. A good answer is “I’m trying my best.”

G&CM: I hear from many women/moms that are continually feeling guilty. Guilty because they used plastic baggies for their kids lunch, made an extra trip with their SUV or shoot, forgot their reusable bag. What tips do you have for these moms suffering from this new “green guilt”?

GG: There are many things I feel guilty about, however, I just take it one day at a time and try to do my best. If I feel guilty about using paper towels, then sooner or later, I’m going to find an alternative. Guilt can be good, but I don’t let it ruin the joy of everyday. A sense of humor is helpful!

Stay tuned for Part two of Green & Clean Mom’s interview with Gorgeously Green and your chance to win her fabulous book that outlines 8 simple steps you can take to be a shade of green! Read an excerpt from the book to see how amazing it really is!

Why not? Great tips for free!

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