TH Citizen Profile: The Patel Family


At this year’s Green Fest DC, we offered booth visitors the chance to win a Citizen Profile right here on TreeHugger. Having already covered many remarkable figures, we thought it was a great opportunity to tap into what citizens like us are doing to live eco-friendly lifestyles. We started by asking for their guiltless, green pleasures and for their guilty not-so-green pleasures. Hit the jump to find out what the Patel family had to say: Hiren, 32, Amita, 32, and their son, Deven, 17 months. Leave a comment if you can relate, if you walk away with tip or two, or if you have some advice! (Stay tuned. Each day of this week, we’ll feature another one of our five winners.)What is your guiltless, green pleasure?
Eating green/shopping locally.

What is your anti-green pleasure?

Scenic car drives and long, hot showers.

Where do you live?
Fairfax, VA

What do you do for a living?
Amita (Mom) - Marketing Manager at an association
Hiren (Dad) - Business Development Consultant

As parents who "give a damn," have there been any green decisions that you've made that's made the other partner raise an eyebrow?

Not really. In the beginning my husband was wondering why I was spending so much more to buy organic eggs, milk and other food, but once I explained about the hormones in the milk, the issues with conventional eggs and all of the pesticides that we eat on fruits and vegetables, he became a convert as well.

You’ve chosen 'eating locally' as your guiltless pleasure; why is making sustainable food choices such a central part of your green life?

Well, now we actually do more organic rather than local. When it was just my husband and I, we used to go to farmer's markets and base our meals for the week from what was fresh and in season. Now that we have a baby, I really try to do as much organic as possible to limit the amount of pesticides my son eats a (which isn't always available locally.) He eats so much fruit (sometimes a whole box of blueberries for dessert) so I want to make sure he isn't getting all of the harmful chemicals that are found on and in conventional fruit (especially on his favorite of peaches, strawberries and blueberries.) I was surprised to learn that when babies are born they can have hundreds of toxins and pesticides in their cord blood based on the Mom's diet. Being pregnant really makes you think twice about what you are eating.

Tell us a little bit about your anti-green pleasures: scenic car drives & long, hot showers. What would it take for you to shorten your showers or cut back on your car rides? Would you be willing to make a switch to some eco-friendly alternatives? Are you currently aware of any?

With a baby, alone time is rare. Showers are usually my time to relax and unwind so I have to admit they run a little long! I have been thinking of getting those water saver showerheads. We also have cut back on our car drives lately due our son not enjoying being in the car seat very long anymore.

Would we find any eco-products in your closet? Your fridge? If so, what? We want to hear brands.


Whole Foods reusable shopping bags
Organic 365 milk, Wegman's organic tofu, Silk soymilk, organic
Strawberries, kiwi, blueberries (any fruit), tomatoes, onions, potatoes,
Lettuce (basically all of the top pesticide fruits and vegetables we buy
Cage-free eggs
Method cleaners
Reusable micro fiber mop (pad is washable)
Cloth napkins
Compact fluorescent light bulbs
Ecover Lavender Laundry Detergent
Burt’s Bees Milk and Honey Lotion
365 Grapefruit Lotion
Zumi soaps
Tom's of Maine Toothpaste and Deodorant
Preserve Razor
Aubrey Organics Lip Gloss
Alba Lip Gloss
Aveda Natural/Custom Perfume

Related Content on