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Millennials thrive on self-sustaining lifestyle

July 09,2016 23:18

In the last couple years, Marino says the all-natural craze has been on the uptick, and now millennials — who embody empowerment and taking control of their own lifestyles — are taking notice. That may be because people are realizing the benefits, ...

Pine trees strung with twinkling lights cast shade over the acre-and-a-half property.Twenty-five chickens doze in the yard on a steamy summer afternoon, while two horses — Little and Maple — grazed on hay in a small stable in Golden Gate Estates. Papaya, elderberries, figs, mulberries, sweet potatoes and various herbs grow in a small garden.Briana Marino, 24, has created this sustainable life in the Estates with her husband, Greg, and their baby-on-the-way, due Sept. 1.“It didn’t make sense to do it any other way,” she said.Everything else in their home Marino makes herself — such as laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner, cleaning sprays and makeup — using chemical-free ingredients.As a homesteader in the millennial generation, it’s now her mission to educate others maintaining all-natural body care and housekeeping.DOING WHAT YOU LOVEMarino hand-feeds Little and Maple apples, a sweat treat on a hot afternoon. Her strawberry hair — streaked with blonde from hydrogen peroxide, not store-bought dye — is braided and reaches to her waist.Growing up, she was the outdoorsy type, so she wanted a job that didn’t feel like a “career.”“It was so easy to fall in love with it,” Marino said of her environmental studies classes at Florida Gulf Coast University. She graduated in 2014. “It’s everywhere; I was surrounded by my studies in every way.”A study abroad experience took her to Rancho Margot in Costa Rica, a self-sustaining, off-the-grid lodge that pairs luxury ecotourism with science. Her days on the ranch started with yoga at 5 a.m. By producing its own energy from compost, the ranch actually has a negative carbon footprint on the environment.After Rancho Margot, Marino had to try it herself.“It was insane to me,” she said. “It just seemed like all these opportunities were being missed by people all the time, so I wanted to incorporate as much as I could.”On their acre-and-a-half, the couple harvests eggs from the chicken coop, produce from the garden and horse manure they then barter for fresh fish. Marino plans to start a colony of beehives to cultivate her own beeswax, which can be used to make lipstick and sunscreen bars.“I like to think I’m an active participant in my life,” she said. “I don’t want to buy these products that on the back of the label say, ‘If you ingest, it could be lethal.’ What if my dog licked it? What if I had children over and they got into it?”EDUCATING OTHERSMarino coordinates the Garden to Table program at the Naples Botanical Garden, meeting with culinary students once a week from Lorenzo Walker Technical College in East Naples. Essentially, she teaches the future chefs and restaurant owners where their food comes from and how to maintain sustainable food purchasing practices.“They’re choosing seeds, starting seeds, transplanting, harvesting, they’re tasting,” she said. “It’s amazing what culinary students have or have not tasted, or have or have not seen grown.”Besides the Garden to Table program, Marino also educates the public through a series of workshops at the Botanical Garden. On Tuesday, about 50 people watched Marino and Emily Maya, coordinator for the Smith’s Children’s Garden, demonstrate how to make an all-purpose cleaning spray, a vanilla latte sugar scrub and other items.“We focused a lot on being able to transition out of some of the harsh chemicals that we use in our everyday life,” Maya said. “It’s very important to know what’s in these products because you’re around them all the time.”Marino and Maya compiled a guide of about 50 recipes, and participants swapped trade secrets about where to get the cheapest ingredients. Amazon.com and Costco have some of the best steals, they say.“It’s really important for me to share this knowledge with everybody,” Marino said.“It just feels like the right thing to do. I feel like I’m giving back to my community.”A NEW GENERATION OF HOMESTEADERSThe traditional image of a homesteader may have once been an elderly person living in the country, but a new generation seems to be emerging. In the last couple years, Marino says the all-natural craze has been on the uptick, and now millennials — who embody empowerment and taking control of their own lifestyles — are taking notice. That may be because people are realizing the benefits, including saving tons of cash. Marino says she hasn’t bought eggs or herbs in years.Or perhaps younger generations are experiencing earlier health problems, like gut disorders or allergies, and asking questions.“It’s kind of like taking control,” she said. “ ... There’s such a tight-knit community of people interested in this type of lifestyle, in homesteading, or who are just really interested in learning where their food comes from.“When I started this I felt like I found something that was missing from my life. I like to think that a lot of people feel that way.”How to make your own vanilla latte sugar scrubThis simple scrub smells like a vanilla latte and leaves skin silky smooth. It smells and looks sophisticated, but it is simple and inexpensive to make.
Ingredients
1/4 cup finely ground dry coffee
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 tablespoons castor oil
1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extractDirections
1. Place the coffee and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Add the vanilla and mix well. Add the oils and stir with a fork or the back of a spoon until well mixed and moistened. 
2. Store in an airtight container and use as desired for soft skin. Especially good on legs for helping with cellulite.Recipe from Wellness MamaRead or Share this story: http://nplsne.ws/29qq4Ny

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