Green to the Core: Alicia Smith

photo by Renee Parenteau

I am a student of the street when it comes to learning about sustainability,” says Alicia Smith, a city-dwelling millennial who loves the outdoors. “About six years ago I decided to move to Riverside and got a cute little treehouse apartment.” She fell in love with the walkability of the neighborhood, and now realizes that is a big part of sustainability. “You don’t really even need a car to function. It’s so close to RAM and Grassroots grocery store and bars and restaurants.”

Alicia has noticed that having a roommate can make green practices at home a little harder to sustain, but she says that her own roommate has gotten better over the course of time. “Little things are rubbing off on him like shopping at local grocery stores and using less disposable stuff.”

photo by Renee Parenteau

Growing up, Alicia spent a lot of time outside and has always been aware of the importance of protecting the environment, but it wasn’t until she moved to Riverside that she became active in the “green” community. “I got involved in the different non-profits such as St. Johns Riverkeeper and through that I found all these resources and met other like-minded people.” She’s been participating in the river cleanups for four years now and says that simply being involved makes her very aware of what people and businesses are doing to the environment. “You just start noticing all of this once you become activated.”

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She says you don’t need to go to a class to practice sustainability. Simply bringing re-usable bags to the grocery store is a great way to start. “Bringing your own cup to restaurants, asking for no bags, bringing aluminum straws and Tupperware when you go out to eat, picking items at the grocery store that don’t have a lot of packaging.”

Camping and kayaking are a big part of Alicia’s life, and she says that being on the river a lot makes her very aware of the importance of green practices “There’s this wonderful serenity on the water that gets ruined when you see something like a Styrofoam cup float by.”

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