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Going Green is Easier than You Think – 6 Steps to Get You Started

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 gina@helpmegogreen.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

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6 Responses to “Going Green is Easier than You Think – 6 Steps to Get You Started”

  1. Leila says:

    I like these ideas but what I really need is a garden to grow my own organic veg and to have a compost.

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  2. Carola says:

    Gina, it’s refreshing to hear soem different ideas on going green, not the usual ones we find on every list. Thanks!

    Leila, if you have a square metre to spare on a balcony (or outdoors, if you’re lucky enough to be at ground level and/or have a bit of earth), you can have a worm farm with compost worms to take care of your kitchen scraps and produce great liquid & solid compost, which you can use in pot plants or give away if you have no land at all available – see e.g. Can-o-worms. I have one on my tiny balcony. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, it may be too cold outdoors in winter – see what local organic gardeners say. Here in South Africa, many people have door-sized trench gardens next to their homes – and manage to produce enough organic veggies to make a substantial contribution to the family’s diet. Start small and see where it goes.

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  3. Annamarie Muirhead says:

    To become greener,
    the cleaning agents always seem to be a problem,
    the water and vinegar works o.k. but the smell puts people off.
    Using a drop or two of essential oils in the cleaning water, while using another container or the tap to clean the cloth when needed will keep your home smelling of “roses” or what ever is your favorite at the time.
    happy cleaning
    Love and Blessings
    Annamarie

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  4. Knightowl says:

    Here in America the rederick from the top is “go green”. “save the plannet”.. But those same people in power want to push GMO foods that the rest of the world is rejecting.
    Huh?? “not Obaahma, he wouldn’t do that???” Well if he loves thr plannet and it’s people so much then Why has he not put a stop to the Chemtrails over major cities??
    “Chemtrails??
    those white lines in the sky that are sprayed out of nosles (now thruogh the engines to be more deceptive ’cause we’re on to them)
    you may think it’s exsaust or condensation trails but they stay around all day long and become man made clouds of ALLUMINUM AND BARIUM (very poisonous)
    Yes this is an angry comment. I’m angry ,cause “going green” in my country, is used as an excuse to impose more government control and more lack of common sense.(our Gov. seems to love caos and nonsense.)
    Al Gore ‘s movie was intentionaly misleading and the scientists were all from NASA and will not debate the subject any further. 30,000 private citezen scientists have sued to reopen the debate but no. They have something to hide, obviously.

    THE BIGGEST THREAT TO GREEN GARDENING IS;

    “CODEX ALIMENTAROUS” A UN thing that would make the taking of pharmasudical drugs MANDATORY and home gardenning and the taking of natural vitamin supliments A PUNISHABLE CRIME!!!!

    SO BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU HEAR THE TERM “GOING GREEN” that term is being used as a weapon against freedom.

    David Rockafeller calls himself an “environmetalist” and he has stated openly in public that he wants to depopulate rule the world.

    He really said that. Google; ‘new world order’

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  5. Beau Smith says:

    “Vegetarians have less heart disease, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol rates” and shorter life spans. Meat is actually healthy as long as you eat healthy meat and don’t overdo it. Look for free range meat. Don’t be fooled by the “organic” stuff sold at many grocery stores. Cows are adapted to digest grass, not grain. Cows fed organic grain are about as healthy as people living on candy made from organic sugar! Why else are they given antibiotics and growth hormones?

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  6. Gina I agree with most of your suggestions, although you have left out a point that is very relavent in most peoples lives. The fact is we drive our automobiles and there is no mention of this in your article.Us folks that live in the rural communities could not get by without them.
    I have just recently become aware of a product that has been around for 20+ years but never available to the retail market. Anyone interested in learning more can go to http://www.usexp3now.com .This product will help you reduce your exhaust emissions by 30-50% with any vehicle and you can get 10-15% better fuel economy also! This is made from synthetic and organic materials and is biodegradeable.
    Personally I am saving between 24 and 28% on my fuel bills in my Ford F250 and my 8 year old niece says “Uncle your truck smells sweeter” this is due to a cleaner exhaust emission.
    This product won me a reward on Earth Day,I am very pleased with it because I am doing one more thing for our air which is the most polluted,the pollutants drop into the water and all water on our Mother Earth is connected. Go Green please for the sake of our children and their children!!

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