We had the good fortune of connecting with Quita Jackson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Quita, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“Eat Green, Get Sun and Stay Grounded” This slogan says so much in so few words. It’s a road map to health and a great way to connect with the universe and nature. I believe it’s the key to a lifestyle that leads to the best case scenario… for our health and the health of our environment. I like the slogan because it tells you everything you need to live a healthy lifestyle in one line… Eat Green, Get Sun, Stay Grounded. Here’s how it breaks down for me: Eat Green – Eating green foods fill your body with the minerals and nutrients it needs to fight disease and operate at its best. Get Sun – The sun is a crucial ingredient for overall health, including mental health and basically the key to life. Stay Grounded – Touching the Earth gives your body a path to rid it of toxins… a chance to recharge and reconnect with the Earth and your environment.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always been passionate about writing and telling stories. So working as a producer at ABC15 News for nearly 20 years helped give me the confidence and background to tell the stories I truly wanted to tell — how to leave less of a carbon footprint on our environment. The goal was to educate and inform people about the simple things we could all do. No, it’s not sexy and that was one of our biggest challenges. Getting people to find interest and to do things they didn’t want to do is a seemingly impossible task. I learned many people hear the words “self-sufficiency” or “zero waste” and assume it consists of lots of sacrifices, inconveniences and just things that are not necessarily sexy to our society. People who work full-time jobs want to enjoy the little free time they have doing the things they want. So this was a difficult road. We tried all sorts of marketing tricks I had learned from my career, but nothing seemed to really get our audience to make Mother Nature a priority. So rather than trying to appease everyone, we decided to simply live our sustainable lifestyle, strive for zero waste and document the process so that our audience could see how simple it is to do just a little bit. The hope was to show people the more they do, the more motivated they would become to do even more. One of my more proud moments was having the opportunity to work with my mom for a very cool upcycling fashion show for GreenLiving Magazine. She has had several medical issues that has negatively affected her lifestyle. She nearly lost her leg, so it was an amazing opportunity to see her get her groove back getting runner up in the competition. I was chosen to model her design, making the moment even more proud for our entire family. My mom is the type of person who often puts everyone before herself so when she can be pampered and acknowledged, it’s a priceless moment. One of my more fun, yet challenging moments would have to be our latest adventure — building two off grid shipping container homes with a goal of zero waste. I could barely use a drill when we started the journey, so there was lots of research, failures, frustrations, laughing, crying, and of course dancing (one of my favorite things). Through it all I became more and more inspired and I really got a chance to observe our environment. It became clear that not only is our health affected by our lifestyle choices but it’s also affected by climate change and our carbon footprint. I realized very quickly that the key was to mimic nature. Think about it… she doesn’t create these problems. She’s self-sufficient – she builds, then compost her waste down without hurting the environment – so that became a guiding principle for us. If you haven’t already figured it out… I can talk forever. So there’s so much I’d like the world to know. If I have to narrow it down to one thing… I’d say I’d like people to know that leaving less of a carbon footprint on the place we call home doesn’t have to feel like a huge sacrifice. Every little bit counts, so don’t get discouraged and try to do everything… make baby steps so your progress is realistic and you will continue to grow. If we can be green in the desert, we truly can be green anywhere. So why wait? We can combat tomorrow’s problems with today’s lifestyle.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely plan the trip when the weather is nice because it will be all outdoors. We would start the mornings off biking up the canals, through neighborhoods and trails and spend the evenings night hiking, (luuuuv South Mountain), hanging out in the garden with the chickens, hanging outdoors with friends listening to live music (Love Vaughn Willis of Ear Candy) and dancing (Dancing is one of my favorite things). We’d eat most of our meals from the backyard but eat them in nature… picnics, on patio, parks, mountain, etc. We’d visit community gardens (one of my favorites is Community Tire Salsa Garden), botanical garden, farmers markets (I frequent downtown Phoenix) and festivals; We would walk the streets of downtown Phoenix and check out some of the murals along the walls of the Art District, meet friends in the park for fun — racquetball, volleyball, kickball or just enjoying the weather. We’d take a trip to northern Arizona… making lots of stops along the way and of course checking out my alma mater, Northern Arizona University. We’d have some chill time too… binging on old TV series and movies, drinking kombucha and homemade drinks by the fireplace, playing games and of course karaoke. Is it exactly a one week trip or can we have more time?

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Hanif Burt, Our engineer, author of Kode-X: Rise of the Twin Flames. He hides from the camera, runs from interviews and stays in the background… yet offers so much support, knowledge, passion, and encouragement. GreenDesert never would have been born without him. He’s stayed up nights designing, building, writing, editing, working on websites, social media — you name it, he’s done it and without complaining. Even more impressive, he’s shown me to follow my passion, regardless of what society says about you. Sometimes society simply has to catch up. In the midst of offering all of his expertise, he wrote an amazing book, Kode-X: Rise of the Twin Flames, that opened my eyes up to even more growth. So I have to give a Shoutout to Hanif Burt!

Website: www.GreenDesert.org
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thegreendesert
Facebook: www.instagram.com/thegreendesert
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/greendeserttv

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