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Westchester mom and business owner encourages community to live green
As Kermit the Frog once sang, “It ain’t easy being green.” Although the famous Muppet was referring to the color of his “skin,” he could have just as easily meant being the owner of a green business, but one Westchester woman aims to make being green a little easier at Saturday’s Green Living Expo of Westchester.
Lorraine Shikapwashya organized the expo -- to be held at the Play Group Theatre in White Plains from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- to promote good health and environmental awareness and to generate support for green businesses that she says struggle to stay competitive in the current market, something the mother of three knows firsthand as a local green business owner herself.
“There are a lot of green businesses that are up and coming in Westchester. It is a challenge to say ‘I have a better product’ when your company has not been around as long as the competitor,” Shikapwashya says.
Shikapwashya, who lives in Valhalla, says she hopes the expo will help drum up support for the local green economy while also inspiring the community to live a healty and eco-friendly lifestyle, like the one she now embraces.
Four years ago, a doctor told Shikapwashya her infant son needed a procedure to ease his constant ear infections, but she decided to take a different approach by treating him holistically. She says after a month his ear infections cleared up and she decided to live a more environmentally conscious life, including switching over to cloth diapers. The washable diapers inspired her to come up with the concept of nondisposable pantyliners, and Appleliners was born.
The expo will feature free massages and health screenings courtesy of Finger Lakes School of Massage and Upper Cervical Chiropractic of New York, as well as face paining for children and raffle prizes, including groceries from Trader Joes and toys from Green Toys.
Vendors on hand to showcase their products include: Earth Friendly Products, Green Scene Company, Arbonne cosmetics, Green Mountain Energy, Blake’s Olde World Butcher Shoppe, and Shikapwashya's Appleliners.
Shikapwashya says she plans for the expo to become an annual occurrence to raise environmental awareness in Westchester.
“I think the county as a whole is doing a good job of being environmentally aware and the Westchester government is doing a lot to promote that,” Shikapwashya says noting the presence of recycling centers, library book exchanges and promotion of reusable bags in the area, “We are on track yet there’s more awareness needed.”
Shikapwashya has a tip for families trying to ease their way into a greener lifestyle: Start with being conscious of products used in the home. “Assess how many disposable products you use and how much waste you could reduce (from not using them). A reusable water bottle or bag goes a long way.”
IF YOU GO
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, Saturday, Aug. 18.
Where: Play Group Theatre, 1 North Broadway, White Plains
More info: greenlivingexpow.com