Saturday, June 12, 2010

Seven Easy Ways to Green Your Lifestyle

Take care of the earth and she will be there to take care of  you.
Yes you have probably heard this before but have you really thought about it?  Global warming, giant trash piles in the ocean, littering, chemicals in food, destroyed lands, smoggy skies, etc. these are all real things that are affecting the planet we live on.  It is all overwhelming, I know, but I firmly believe that every small thing you do and choice you make can do good for the planet and your health.  So here are few simple ideas and tips about how to green your lifestyle, save some money, and contribute to living a healthy life.  
  • Recycle!  You know about this already, right?  Well just to remind you, it is a good thing to do in your home if you are not already.  Many cities have curbside recycling programs or drop-off locations for your recycling.  So what can you recycle?  Cans, bottles, glass, newspapers, magazines, cardboard food boxes, etc.  Don’t forget about plastic bags and styrofoam cartons too.  There are usually bins in front of the grocery store for your to recycle these things as well. (Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping to cut back on the plastic ones.)  To find out what programs your city has and what they recycle check out Earth911.com.  Just enter your zipcode and what you are looking to recycle.  
  • Look at how your food is packaged!  The creation of plastic packaging creates lots of greenhouse gasses which are not good for the environment.  Try to buy products that use the least amount of packaging.  Instead of buying the portioned 100 calorie packs (which are usually full of nonsense chemicals anyway and use extra packaging) buy in bulk and divide the box into individual servings by putting them in reusable containers or bags.  This simple thing can save you money and allow you to have portion controlled snacks. 
  • Pack your Lunch!  This is a great thing to do not just for the environment, but also for your health.  If you pack your lunch you can control what food you are going to eat.  It is said that you can save up to 700 calories when you eat homemade, instead of out! Find a reusable lunch bag or box to bring your food and try to use reusable plastic containers or bags for your  lunch to cut back on waste.  Plus bringing your lunch can help you save money because you are not going out to eat everyday.  
  • Get a Reusable Water Bottle!  If you don't have one already now is the time to invest in one.  You can take them anywhere.  There are tons of great bottles to choose from too, just make sure that the bottle is BPA free. (I like CamelBak and Sigg.) This cuts back on the number of plastic bottles you use and saves you money because you don't need to buy them anymore.  
  • Go Organic!  This doesn’t mean that every meal has to be organic, because sometimes it can be difficult to find and is a bit more expensive, but if you do this as often as you can it can make a big impact.  A Cornell University researcher noted that if everyone’s diet was just 10% organic it would be equivalent to taking two million cars off the road!!  That is pretty impressive.  This is also good for you because organic foods have less chemicals.  (more on this in an upcoming post!)
  • Go Vegetarian! No I am not saying you should become a full-time vegetarian, but try to eat a vegetarian meal at least once a week if not more.  According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations raising livestock produces more greenhouse gasses each year than every car, ship, train, and plane combined!  Plus meat costs more than veggies and grains so you can save some more money.
  • Eat What’s in Season!  I have to say I think this is a very important aspect of making your diet environmentally friendly and is relatively simple to do.  Check to see what fruits and vegetables are in season and eat those.  You want to buy produce that hasn’t had to travel very far.  When you buy in season the prices are usually less as well.  Farmers markets are a great place to find local produce and support local farmers.  Check out the NRDC website to see what is fresh in your area for each month.
    So those are just a few things to consider changing or adding to your lifestyle to not only help you but the earth as well.  It is about making good choices for yourself and the planet.  


    If you want to learn more about this I highly suggest reading some of Michael Pollan’s books and checking out the documentary Food Inc.  These are some really great places to get information of how food is grown and processed in the United States and how you can make healthy choices. 

    images: source source

    1 comment:

    Kelley said...

    I agree that small changes can make a big difference. Food Inc changed my life and how I look at the food I eat. Everyone should see it. We all need to be knowledgeable about the food we choose to eat.

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