Why I Started ecobabe + Fave Eco Tips.
A few months ago, I was interviewed by City to County magazine. It was such an honor — They wanted to know my backstory + how the hell I brought ecobabe to life. I think anyone who grew up on a farm is intriguing because it’s not a life that a lot of us can imagine, you know. But it was definitely a childhood dream living so sustainably on that farm + I’m so happy I get to share this with you 🖤 So in case you missed the City to Country spread, I really wanted to publish it here, on our platform. There’s some really good eco tips throughout this little diddy + I know you babes like a good personal story (who doesn’t!), so I asked Sue McGaughey, the magazine’s writer, if we could re-post. And to my surprise, she said yes! (Thank you, Sue) So take a read + let me know what you think below. I really hope you enjoy X
L.A., CA. 2019
CTCM - In doing my research, I see you basically grew up in Michigan with a family who was already eco-friendly conscious, correct? As a child, what stands out most in your mind about things your mom and dad did to help you become more aware of the environment and how to keep it more clean and safe?
ECOBABE: I did! I grew up on a farm in a super small town in Michigan. We didn’t even have a stop light until a few years after I was born! Farm life is the best childhood for a kid: making rope forts in trees, tending to your own little garden, collecting chicken eggs. It was all a dream really. My mom is the O.G Ecobabe. She made all of our food, even condiments like mayonnaise, from scratch. I didn’t have processed sugar until I went to school (even though no-one wanted to trade me lunches haha.) Our food was sourced from a huge garden in the backyard. It was so big, my dad had to rototill it with an actual tractor. We had every type of fruit tree, even bananas. All of these things played into who I am today, especially when it comes to being eco. I will always remember my mom picketing a local landfill, then rallying against a commercial pig farm (established by a farmer known for overcrowding his pigs). I’m talking meetings, petitions, etc. My dad taught me a lot about animals. I was always helping him with our baby turkeys and chickens. My parents also had recycling bins, sorted by material that they would drive to a recycling center like an hour away. It was that effort that stands out to me the most. Even though my parents weren’t farmers (they ran their own company), they still put in the insane amount of work to maintain our little farm. It takes WORK to achieve dreams. Especially when it comes to doing our part for the Planet.
I had the privilege of growing up green. I believe I need to do something with it, especially in this day and age where people just don’t care. I feel like it’s my responsibility to educate and hopefully inspire people with my experience.
CTCM - Did you always know that being eco-friendly would be something you respected and would carry on into your adult life?
ECOBABE: As a kid, probably not. It was just a way of life. Then when I was in high school and college, I knew I’d leave that farm life for a while. Literally, country to city, but getting back to my eco ways has been really rewarding, “a full circle is a full heart! ”
CTCM - When exactly did you start your “ecobabe” journey? How did it begin?
ECOBABE: Two Christmases ago! I graduated college with an interior design degree. I practiced ITD in London, England and then here in LA (that’s the other thing about my parents — they always encouraged us to fly!). I was never 100% happy with ITD, so I started taking TV hosting classes (as my modeling days were long gone lol!), where it was all about building a brand. It took me a LONG time to cultivate ecobabe. At first, it was EcoBaby. I’ve always been a little Mom. Nurseries were my favorite room to design as an interior designer, but it never felt authentic, as I wasn’t a mom yet. I went through multiple websites and a million different ideas. And finally, I came up with ecobabe., where I married my two loves together: TV hosting (city girl) and going green (country girl). It finally feels right.
CTCM - I personally follow you on social media to see all your recommendations. I love that you don’t limit yourself to one area. You report on make-up, skin products, clothing, teeth whiteners, what is the wide scope of all you try to bring to others? Is there one area you tend to focus on more than others?
ECOBABE: Thank you for following! I always ask my babes what they’d like to see most. So, I go where they want me to go. That usually centers around natural skincare, clean beauty and sustainable fashion.
CTCM - You’ve been a model and a show host, are you still doing those things? Have you considered doing a TV show on the ecobabe?
ECOBABE: Actually, I have been thinking lately that I’d like to get back to TV hosting. I used to host a fashion and beauty show for AOL. I loved it!! However, that would also take away from ecobabe. Right now I’m happy putting all my time and effort into creating quality content for my babes. I could never take value away from them! If you know someone interested in producing an ecobabe TV show, send them my way haha!
CTCM – Are your family and friends supportive of your journey in making the Earth, our environment more eco-friendly? Being married, if your husband wasn’t eco-friendly, would that be a deal breaker? Is he supportive of your mission?
ECOBABE: My family and friends are very supportive of my mission. I think they learn a lot as well, which always makes me smile. Jay isn’t very eco-friendly. He didn’t grow up that way. Which is o.k, because that’s part of my mission: to SHOW people that being eco can be easy, relatable and totally doable. That it’s important, that we don’t have to give up ourselves to go green.
CTCM – For someone just beginning in the eco-friendly arena, what are some simple steps you would tell them to take, to become eco-friendly in their own homes?
ECOBABE: Start taking baby steps: swap out your disposable straws for metal ones, your paper towels for e-cloths, your makeup wipes for washable ones, your to-go coffees for a Keep Cup, your zip-lock baggies for reusable snack bags, your dryer sheets for dryer balls and your shopping bags for canvas totes. By the way, all of these will SAVE YOU MONEY. Swap out red meat for veggie based dishes one day a week. Avoid palm oil while grocery shopping! These are all simple steps in the right direction. I promise, it just becomes a lifestyle. And it feels so good!!
Side note: your skin absorbs 60% of what you apply to it (directly hitting your bloodstream). Start gradually replacing your go-to beauty products with healthier ones. Then, sign up for Terracycle’s FREE beauty packaging recycling program! You’ll be happy you did. Ecobabes who want more information on this, DM me on Instagram.
CTCM – If you could give one super important piece of advice to the non- eco people in the world, what would it be to help convince them on why it’s so important to become more eco-friendly?
ECOBABE: Google “turtle plastic straws”.
CTCM – How do you find the products you recommend? Are most companies willing and accommodating in sending you samples to share with your ecobabe followers?
ECOBABE: Some companies reach out to me, but I’m definitely a lifetime learner. Here’s what I’ve learned from my husband: you have got to be an expert in whatever field you’re in. I spend a lot of time researching. I reach out to a lot of companies, too. I have to walk that walk, you know!
CTCM: Sounds like Jay is a smart man, and of course a lucky man to have a caring, compassionate wife like you. Where do you see ecobabe 5 years from now? What kind of influence and difference do you hope to make in the next five years?
ECOBABE: I’d like to start working with animals on a grander scale. I also see ecobabe merchandise. I’d love ecobabe to be a one stop shop for going green (in style of course!) I really want to make it easy for people to adopt a more sustainable life. I want people to WANT to pass that green essence down to their children. Education is key for saving the Earth. Most of all, I’d love to see the ecobabe community grow. I’d love to see ecobabes of all different cultures, in all different countries, spreading awareness by taking action! No matter who we are or where we are in this world, we all rise to the same sun and fall to the same moon. I want being an ecobabe to be a commonality for as many babes as possible.
CTCM – What’s something people may not know about you?
ECOBABE: I studied Biological Anthropology in college. My dream was to go to South Africa, build my own wood-floor hut and study the Great Apes. Needless to say, Jane Goodall is my absolute hero.
CTCM – Do you have a personal philosophy you live by? What is it and why that philosophy?
ECOBABE: Hard work pays off. Beauty from the inside out. Stick up for yourself. Don’t make a red flag pink. If you want something, go get it, and if everyone likes you, you’re doing something wrong.
CTCM – One more question; do you have any recommendations for people when it comes to raising their dogs, cats etc., food wise, bedding?
ECOBABE: Please use biodegradable waste bags. My little eco heart bursts every time I see a pet owner using scented, heavy plastic, purple or pink or metallic waste bags. Like, WHY. Those scents are toxic, they get all over your hands and you’re contributing to our methane gas/polluted water/no more space for landfills epidemic!! Also, I love my Chom Roller, a reusable lint/pet hair roller. And for cats, look up Pretty Litter!
CTCM – Is there anything you’d like to say to your followers and fans?
ECOBABE: ecobabe is all about individual impact. TOGETHER, individual impact creates great change. I’d like to tell my babes THANK YOU for being part of this conversation, for being part of this green revolution and for being part of this great change, because if we don’t do it, who will?
Well there you have it! Thank you ecobabe for sitting down and chatting with me. I certainly learned a lot from you during this interview, as well as every day on your social media platforms. So everyone, what are you waiting for? Follow ecobabe on all social media platforms. Sign up for her blog/newsletter and start taking your own steps to contributing to a more eco-friendly environment. Help ecobabe save the Earth!
For more information on Monica Richards a.k.a the ecobabe, you can follow her here:
PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN and PUBLISHED in City to Country Magazine.