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Making greener choices

Imani Powell-Razat with her son Orion

Imani Powell-Razat with her son Orion Photo Credit: Danny Ghitis

It's easy being green if you evaluate the effect of every purchase, every choice and every toilet flush.

So reasons Imani Powell-Razat, 34, who lives in Harlem with her husband, app developer Kaza Razat, 37, their son, Orion, 21 months and Kaza's 12-year-old son Jai Djai.

Being ecologically conscious translates into paying all bills electronically (reduces paper waste), recycling bottles and cans, and buying all "natural" cleaning products and organic foods (no toxic pollutants). Groceries get loaded - sans bags - directly into Orion's stroller basket.

"No one is perfect," said Powell-Razat, a co-founder of spyedesign.com. "We're all compromising our morals to some degree, but once you become aware, you have to become responsible."

Sometimes that means spending extra on wild salmon (up to $18.99 a pound) to support ocean fisheries, as opposed to cheaper farm-raised fish. But often, adopting old-school ways is both healthier and cheaper.

Razat eschews chemical-crammed baby wipes for a reusable cloth washed out in the sink.  When Orion began teething, she bypassed the expensive teething rings made without BPA, a plastic that has been linked to cancers and disorders of the reproductive and endocrine system.  Instead, Orion received some homeopathic teething tablets and sucked on "a little cold water on a wash cloth,"  as Razat's grandmother instructed.

Choices that benefit the planet tend to benefit the family: Razat avoids cooking beef "because it has such a big carbon footprint. Of course, it's not good for you anyway," she noted.

She does have one vice: fancy furniture and clothes. But she rationalizes that quality can help conservation. "If your clothes are classic, they become heirlooms. I keep mine forever!"

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