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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Smart Ways to Green Your Lifestyle











Earth Day is tomorrow, and I've been reviewing possible ways to double up on my efforts to live greener. I assure you most of my eco-friendly ideas can be implemented easily, but make a big difference in protecting the air, water, soil, and living beings in a world that struggles to retain its quality of life.

Unless each of us takes a more active role to halt global warming, we and the planet are in deep trouble. 

Even if you don't think this is true, the steps I suggest saves money, conserves natural resources, and are simple to accomplish.

Start from where you are today. When you embark on a green adventure, you're sure to find that many of these actions simplify living by removing clutter from your office, home, and mind. Join the green crowd and make behavioral changes that you and your family can be proud about.

1. Curtail impulse spending by being more mindful and shopping with a list. Make new purchases only if you really need the item. This practice reduces the amount of clutter you accumulate and cuts down on the amount of junk that’s eventually dumped into a landfill. 

2. Plant a tree. This action fights global warming big time, by taking carbon dioxide from the air and cuts down on both heating and cooling costs. Trees also hold the earth in place, prevents soil erosion, runoff, and improves water quality. Trees make your home more desirable, adding as much as 15% to its resale value.

3. Study labels. Don't assume that if a household product is marked "natural" or "green" it is.  Commercial cleaning products can contain limonene (the chemical that gives it a lemon scent). This toxic chemical hurts the lining of your lungs and environment, when it enters the air and water stream. Lemon scented dusting polish can react with other gases in the air to make formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen. Choose fragrance free products or mix up a homemade, environmentally safe olive oil or jojoba oil scent- free furniture polish instead. Buy minimally packaged biodegradable ingredients in bulk. Products made from these ingredients can be stored indefinitely, conserving gasoline, time, energy, and money.

4. Switch from chemical cleaning agents to household staples like soap and water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and elbow grease. Here's an excellent recipe for homemade lemon oil furniture duster and polish from Annie B. Bond.  Lemon Oil Furniture Duster and Polish

5. Carry a reusable stainless steel or glass water bottle instead of reaching for a one-use plastic bottle. Our landfills are overflowing with toxic additives from plastic bottles. Plastic doesn't biodegrade for at least a thousand years. Making bottles to meet America’s demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. That figure doesn't include the oil needed for bringing those bottles to market and the gas you use to get it to your home or office. If you drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day from the tap, it costs about 49 cents per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400. Here's more about H2O. How to Save Water, Money, and Empower Yourself




6. Reuse, recycle, and conserve daily. Carry reusable shopping bags to the market, department stores, specialty shops or anywhere and everywhere you shop. If you do use plastic bags for veggies and fruit, reuse them (wash and air dry after each use). Hang clothes to dry. Use cloth instead of paper to mop up spills, dust, diaper baby, and to replace paper napkins, etc. Here's an example of one way I re-use and recycle.



6. Join up with Leonardo DiCaprio and many of us, who agree that climate change is occurring at an alarming, accelerated pace. We believe it's important for us as individuals and in groups to work to reduce our carbon footprint. Here's a link to a blog post I wrote about the topic last year. Divest from Fossil Fuels/Reinvest in Eco-friendly Ones. Here's a link to the DiCaprio Foundation, that addresses the same issue. Leonardo DiCaprio Joins-More-than-400-Institutions-Pledging-to-Divest-from-Fossil-Fuels/.

7. Take an earth-saving moment to reflect about how many new ways you can live greener.  Read this post, published a few weeks ago, for additional ideas.  Eat Less Meat and Save Our Planet.


Did you pick up a new green tip or two today? Please comment below. The more we exchange ideas the better off the planet will be! 


The quote for today is from Robert Swan, Explorer and Environmentalist:


“The greatest danger to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it ... The last great exploration on earth is to survive on earth. So as I gaze out the window into my future, I hope to see Antarctica in my midst. I only hope that our children’s children will see it in theirs too. When you gaze out of the window into your future, what do you see?"


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Hope you enjoyed your visit and will return again. Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life! Warm regards, Nan