All Natural: Preserving Your Health And The Environment
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By Mia Bolaris-Forget
We are all aware of how healthy it is to eat right, and part of going lean is going green, but being good to your body and the earth doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, nor does it mean you’ll have to give up your favorite things.
To Market To Market:
Produce Precautions: It’s probably in your best interests to download the “Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce” at ewg.org. This easily stored list offers information of the fruits and vegetables that are noted for containing higher levels of pesticides (like apples and spinach) and those with a lower count, like bananas and peas. Experts also suggest, in lieu of cutting back on a variety of fruits and veggies, also washing them thoroughly, opting for organic options, and asking about special pesticide removing “soaps” or scrubs.
Make Certified Your Choice: Choose organic coffee blends that are “certified” denoting that they are grown in a way that preserves the ecosystem.
Shop Locally: Log onto eatwellguide.org and type in your zip code for a list of local suppliers of organic and approved produced meat, poultry, eggs, and more. Buying locally means you won’t have to rely on suppliers that ship nationwide which helps also decrease our dependence on oil and cut back on gas emissions.
Sack It To Them: Help Preserve The Environment by toting along your own environmentally friendly shopping tote, especially for smaller loads.
Get Picky About Packaging: Take note concerning the amount of plastic, cardboard, etc that are used to package each item. Some chains are going as far as replacing petroleum-based plastic containers with corn-based packaging for precut fruit, herbs, etc. Kudos to them.
Bathroom Basics: Invest in a water-efficient showerhead. Keep in mind that with low-flow models, a family of four can cut water “waste” by as much as 280 gallon per month with a negligible effect in water pressure.
The Power Of Plants: Not only do plants beautify your surroundings, but they can also help keep it fresh and clean. No, not by doing the housework for you, but by purifying indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene. Consider Golden pothos, English ivy and peace lilies as indoor toxin fighters.
Develop High Tech Habits: Besides recycling the basics, consider recycling rechargeables such as cell phones, digital cameras, and camcorders. You can either search for a store near you or log onto rbrc.org and type in your zip code.
Keep Your Cool: Adjust refrigerator and freezer temps to conserve the most energy. Keep fridge at 37° F and the freezer at 0° F
Save Your Energy: Consider cutting back on energy costs by using compact fluorescent lightbulbs. While they may cost more, they WILL lower your electric bill resulting in significant savings in the long run. Plus compact fluorescent lightbulbs last up to ten times longer than traditional ones. They can be bought at most hardware stores and for extra savings consider installing dimmer switches and use timers indoors and out.
What Goes Around Comes Around: Keep in mind that what may be garbage to you may be an “antique” for someone else. Consider, “recycling” (garage sales, donating to charity, etc) rather than dumping it in the trash.
Serve and Protect: If you’re going to be entertaining outdoors such as hosting a bbq or a picnic consider using disposable cups and writing each person’s name on each so they’ll use only one, rather than several. And don’t forget to get disposable, earth-friendly dinnerware made from corn, potatoes, and limestone.
Be Prudent About Paint: According to experts, most paints emit VOCs (volatile organic compound); the same kinds of chemicals present in gasoline and nail polish. Some companies however offer water-based products with significantly lower levels of these chemicals, making the amount present almost negligible. For minimally organic paints look for water-based latex paint rather than oil-based alkyd paints and remember to never use outdoor paints indoors.
Up On The Roof: When it comes to replacing old shingles consider a Classic metal Roofing System made from recycled aluminum but looks just like traditional shakes or tiles. And, you may want to note that installing this type f material may quality you for a $500 tax credit.
Energy Saving Appliances: Look for the Energy Star label on common household products such as washes, dryers, dishwashers, etc, suggesting these items exceed government efficiency standards by using less water and electricity.
Eco-Elegant Selections: Dress for successfully preserving the environment by choosing natural fabrics such as bamboo, sasawsashi, Soya, and other exotic self-maintaining plants.
Undie options: Ditch the synthetic undies for 100 percent cotton varieties that won’t expose one of your body’s most sensitive areas to chemicals and pesticides.
Natural Beauty: Opt for organic formulas made with all natural ingredients and packaged in recycled materials.
Be A Good Sport: Opt for sportswear made from environmentally friendly recycled materials.
Clean Up Your Act: Wash up with natural soaps made from organic ingredients and scented with oils such as lemongrass, jasmine, etc.
F ood For Thought:
Meat Market: Consider eating more grains, legumes, and veggies in place of meat. Not only is it cheaper, but also much better for you. And, a healthy second option is fish instead of meat.
Sunset Grill: Consider grilling corn IN its husk, no aluminum required.
Golden Opportunities: Choose gold-colored recycled coffee filters that are reusable and environmentally friendly.
Take It One Day At A Time: Switch to all organic by replacing one item on your list for an organic one, each week.
Take It In Stride: Avoid drive-through windows especially if you have the time and if there aren’t any long lines.
Scrap The Idea: Rather than throwing out food scraps, toss them in your garden, to make an all-natural compost.
Replace Wood With Bamboo: Bamboo is much more sustainable than wood because it grows very quickly. Consider bamboo bowls or cutting boards in lieu of traditional wood.
Home Office Options:
Lap Up The Good Life: Invest in a laptop; they use considerably less energy than desktop computers.
Get Out Of The Loop: The junk email loop that is. Register with the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service and you’ll start to notice a lot less garbage that you’ll have to weed through.
Double Down: Set up your printer so it prints on both sides of the page eliminating waste.
Increase Your Green By Putting Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Want to save the environment while at the same time adding some extra cash to your savings? Consider investing in some environmentally friendly funds available through 401(k) plans.
Investing In The Future:
Echo-Chic Children: Look for brands that are made from natural fibers and materials and sans any harmful chemicals. Some such brands are even carried at Walmart
Eco-Education: Teach kids about preserving the environment by putting them in charge of such responsibilities as collecting bottles for “refund” and organizing recyclables.
Blade Runner: Consider cutting you own lawn. Many modern non-gasoline-powered reel lawn mowers mean NO emissions and the task is a great source of exercise.
Solar Power: Remember that even if you’re not ready for an entirely solar-powered home, you can start slowly via solar-powered lighting in your yard or patio.
Wild Ideas: Choose plenty of plants and shrubs that are suited to your area and environment, which also means less (harsh) pesticides and fertilizer.
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