Going green to feel less blue
There are many simple things we can do to take care of the earth as well as take care of ourselves. She notes the current “eco-diet” trend -- diets based on more eco-friendly choices -- are growing in popularity and scope. You don’t have to complete an entire lifestyle change, simply incorporate a few greener habits to make a huge difference.
~ Eating more plant-based proteins. No need to give up on the steak dinners or chicken parmesan, just cut-back and replace with more veggies. Growing plants requires less energy and emits fewer greenhouse gases than livestock, and you can reduce your cholesterol. She suggests switching to soy milk in smoothies and cereal as an easy way to get more protein, fiber and antioxidants from soy. (She recommends Silk soy milk since it is made from the entire bean, and is currently offering a "green cap" promotion which benefits Farm-Aid among other charities.)
~ Sustainable seafood. The website Seafoodwatch.com contains a helpful table that shows the most responsible options to get some of those healthy omega 3’s and avoid harmful fishing practices or contaminants.
Around the house you can also help the cause and your mood at the same time.
~ Lift those blinds! Not only is natural light better for you than artificial light and helps you absorb calcium more efficiently, it’s better for the environment. And free.
~ Try going to bed just thirty minutes earlier every night. Not only will you get more sleep and feel better rested, by powering-down just a 1/2 hour earlier can save your household 182.5 kilowatt hours per year.
~ Reduce the amount of chemicals you use in your home. Consider baking soda as an alternative to many of the harsher cleaning products that cost more, but also put harmful chemicals into our water, soil and air threatening wildlife and plants. If you need some more shine factor in your cleaners, then visit the company’s website to see what their commitment to the environment is. Perhaps you can choose brands that are greener than others.
And finally, you need not travel the globe to save it -- change can occur in your very own backyard.
~ Consider joining a native plant society in your area. “There has been little incentive for conservation or restoration of native and bio-diverse ecosystems. When more native plants are restored and conserved, a natural ecosystem balance takes place.” Wellington adds, “All ecosystems are intertwined for your health and enjoyment.
~ Get outside. The more time you’re out in the great outdoors enjoying it, the more you appreciate it and want to protect it. This is especially important for kids to learn this as future guardians of the planet.
Tracey Henry, Suburban Diva