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Valeria Hinojosa: "We gave companies a power of attorney and we have to ask for it back" |  Future America

Valeria Hinojosa: “We gave companies a power of attorney and we have to ask for it back” | Future America

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Valeria Hinojosa was a successful banker in Miami. Despite his rapid promotions, enjoying a front row seat at the Open tennis and owning an apartment and a car at age 27, he made his family think he was successful when he looked out the large window of his office. The sea, she faced herself, felt an indescribable emptiness and thought, “I can’t even enjoy the sea.”

If the life she was trained and promised did not make her happy, what other life was possible for her? On the day she was promoted to vice president of her division at the bank, she wasn’t overwhelmed with excitement, but instead a bath of anxiety in her body, an hour of facing the truth: she had to leave that life. And that work.. In that awkward moment, Hinojosa began writing on a platform he named ‘water through the skin’ She recorded one of the biggest concerns that overwhelmed her: how to be a better person and respect nature more.

She resigned, declared bankruptcy, returned to her mother’s couch, returned the car and apartment, and focused on finding things she couldn’t ignore: “Vegetarianism, conscious fashion, Slow life Those are comments I’ve never heard of, why didn’t the university tell me about this? Why does no one in my family understand my anxiety about a more coherent life? “I began to educate myself, I studied on my own to understand how to be better with nature, and the feeling to share and digest this was undeniable,” says Hinojosa.

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Following in the footsteps of other Latina women, they are using their social networks and their collective power to amplify messages of environmental awareness as a model. Toya Montoya The Ancestral Communities of La Guajira or the Viral Phenomenon ‘Mars the Recycler’Hinojosa has been one of the last eight years Influencer And activist, he’s been able to resonate with more than 200,000 followers on the income and networks he earns.

“The biggest and most powerful activity is working at home, starting with small steps, it’s so contagious and inspiring. Despite having hundreds of followers, my biggest influence is in my inner circle, when they see me come with some of my organic makeup products for any style they can reuse. When we encourage them to try veganism, it makes more changes. We can all do it. I see environmentalists speaking at the United Nations, talking about the planet everywhere, but they don’t start their day-to-day change. They don’t see it as a personal thing, but me. Change is achieved in terms of

One of the first revelations for this activist on her journey to pursue a more sustainable and meaningful life was when she realized how we have given corporations absolute power, “we have to ask them back”. “We go to the supermarket and put everything in the cart without reading the labels, without even understanding what the products come in, and we don’t know how those companies treat their employees, or how much water they waste in production. All these companies with amazing marketing teams and amazing products that we all love really poison us, and we recognize that.”

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That kind of insensitivity has separated us consumers from what we put in our mouths, on our bodies or skin, or wear, which Valeria challenges by ensuring something simple: information. The Bolivian-born woman is determined to learn deeply about each brand she consumes, through the veil of advertising images and her own personal preferences.

It was not an easy task. It started with one essential, consume less. “One of my big concerns as an activist is the breakdown of this relationship we make between sustainability and consumption. They say to you: ‘Do you want to be sustainable?: buy this, change your whole wardrobe, change your whole kitchen.’ Not only does this create great anxiety and seem like it takes a lot of money to be sustainable, but it also does a terrible thing: more consumption instead of consumption.

Hinojosa also started cutting back on the brands he bought. Companies with certifications such as labels have been approached Fair Trade CertificateIt certifies that at least 95% of a product’s ingredients are from or have been Fair Trade Rainforest Alliance certified, which declares its respect for the forest. Even with these certificates, the purchase turned out to be a real research project for which he found some other partners.

“There are apps that help you see how toxic or harmful the products you buy are to your body. Ideal for health and beauty products ‘Think hard’You scan the barcode or name of the product and it tells you the level of toxicity on a scale of 1 to 10. There is also a page. ewg.org It seeks to empower consumers through cutting-edge data and research on millions of brands.

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Despite all these efforts, his most recent venture has given him the most results and satisfaction: living slowly. Associated with such movements Eat slowly or the Slow fashionLow consumption and, above all, local consumption, slow living, is known as a movement that calls for everything, the radical decline of life.

Leaving Miami and betting on working digitally, but from a small Mexican town, has allowed a kind of return to the time of Valeria’s grandmothers, “who always did miracles with things that were at home and allowed themselves to be creative. And don’t waste anything. Sustainability is, precisely, the place of creativity, It does more with less, reusing, repairing, giving new life to what we have”.

Being in less of a hurry, freeing yourself from the guilt of not going to the rhythm of consumption and society, of not having everything, of what seems perfect to you, of composting, of collecting rainwater in laundry buckets. , principles include reusing water when cooking pasta or beans, putting herbs and food on plants, showering in cold water, not being wasteful when it rains, or being creative with available resources. Valeria Hinojosa has allowed and many others inspired by her challenges may know that there is a little more meaning in their lives.