What does it mean to go Green?
Going greener means co-creating the future by making conscious choices in the present that promote health, peace, and compassion. We all make choices in every second of everyday, and our choices have an impact on our life and on the lives of others.
Sometimes we make choices deliberately, but more often many of us make choices out of habit. We do what we have always done without pausing, because it is always how we have done it, how our parents did it, or how those that we admire still do it. When we begin to slow down, we are given the opportunity to see that our choices have an impact on our state of being, as well as the world around us. So, the question is:
Do we want our choices to have a negative or positive impact?
Our purchases for example, touch the lives of many individuals.
From the growing of the cotton to the dying of the cloth to the sewing of the hems, the life cycle of a t-shirt goes through many hands and impacts humans, animals, and nature.
The artificial chemicals that are used to dye the fabric often end up in a nearby stream. The pesticides that are used to grow cotton are created from petroleum, deplete the soil, and are toxic to farmers and wildlife. The working conditions of the people sewing the fabric together often find themselves in unhealthy and unsafe working conditions.
If you decide that you value health, does it make sense to make a choice that contributes to creating water pollution? If you value justice, does it make sense to buy products made by people who are underpaid or unpaid? I believe that if we want to live in alignment with our value system, it does not make sense.
To learn more about how you can buy green click here.
Every problem has a solution!
Many of us have read stories about the condition of our world. Societal issues such as water and air pollution, rainforest destruction, soil depletion, and loss of habitat are real problems. While it is important to know about the issues and the implications these issues have on human health and well-being, it is even more important to know what the solutions are if our goal is to co-create a future that is healthy, peaceful, and sustainable. It is true that our problems can be daunting, but it is equally true that for every problem, there are hundreds of solutions.
On a spiritual level I believe that all problems have one root cause, and that root cause is derived from a state that many of us find ourselves in when we are not present. The overarching solution, which is a portal in a sense to all other solutions, is the ability to learn to live in a more conscious way whereby we are living with intention and purpose as much as possible.
This requires a connection to our spiritual center, which for many is in the heart, and that connection is often found when we are still. Stillness is a state of being when the mind is quiet which can happen during mediation, prayer, in moments of awe and wonderment such as what occurs when watching a sunset, hiking along a stream, etc. This is the beginning, middle, and end of living a spiritual existence. From there, it is much more possible to make choices that we can feel good about, that brings us lasting peace and contentment, and from which all other solutions emerge.
So, I’m leading a spiritual life…now what?
It really does not matter which green step you take next as long as you are on the path. If you are committing to making conscious choices, your heart will guide you.
I have compiled a short list of solutions. As you read the list, if you find yourself saying, “I could do that,” then go for it! Commit yourself to trying out the suggestion for 30 days and once your new choice becomes habit, go on to the next suggestion that seems doable. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Buy one additional item of food that is organic and grown 100 miles or less from your home. If you are just starting out, go to http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php to preview a list of the most contaminated produce.
2. Pick one local store to support and avoid multinational corporations. General rule of thumb: The fewer branches a store has, the more sustainable it probably is.
3. Eat one pound less beef per week!
4. Get off junk mail lists by going to sites such as www.greendimes.com.
5. Unplug your toaster oven when it is not in use and/or dust the coils on your refrigerator
6. Clean your living space with homemade products using things like vinegar and water.
What are the benefits of going greener?
Now that you have started making positive changes, it is important to realize that your choices have personal benefits as well.
Nature perpetually offers gifts. Soil grows our food, forests supply us with health remedies, trees filter the air, mountains provide recreation and a peaceful haven, water replenishes our system, and the air allows us to breath easy. For these elements of nature to work as intended, we need to take advantage of our connection to the environment by making choices that contribute to the betterment of our lives. When we do so, we reap many benefits including the following:
• Food grown organically has a higher percentage of minerals than conventional food
• Shopping at local stores keeps money in your community
• Vegetarians have less heart disease, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol rates
• Hospital patients that face a window overlooking natural areas heal more quickly
• Using less energy and water can save you thousands of dollars a year
• Cleaning with healthier products creates better indoor air quality
Please keep in mind that just like living a more spiritual life, go greener is a process. If you get stuck, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that making conscious and positive choices is a sphere of spirituality and of environmental sustainability. Such choices contain seeds that take root and blossom into a brighter future. Happy choosing!
Gina Diamond – Eco Lifestyle Coach helps businesses, individuals, families, and community groups go greener. Her overall goal is to bring out the best human qualities in her clients in an effort to co-create a world that is healthy, peaceful, and sustainable. You can learn more about her work at www.HelpMeGoGreen.org