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Super Simple Green Solutions: 12 Steps to Make a Difference

By Alisa Rose
Tuesday April 15, 2008

Are you wanting to do more this year to live “green”? Looking for simple yet meaningful ways to be part of the solution?  

Here are suggestions for doing your part to heal the environment while directly supporting your personal well being: 

1. First and foremost, make the commitment to eat organically.  

Food grown without pesticides has been shown to contain significantly higher levels of naturally occurring, essential nutrients. Additionally, soil unadulterated by chemical contaminants sequesters (absorbs) much higher amounts of carbon, thus reducing CO2 in the atmosphere.  

Finally, the manufacture and usage of chemical pesticides in and of itself adds to global warming.  

In fact, according to highly respected environmental activist, ecologist and physicist Vandana Shiva, chemical agriculture altogether accounts for 40 percent of global warming gasses. 


2. Switch to non-toxic cleaning products.  

This will help you eliminate chemical residues, and help keep your indoor air free of toxic cleaning fumes. 


3. Take footwear off at the front door.  

This keep dirt, pesticides, oil and other chemicals from being tracked into living spaces. 


4. Drive less, walk and/or bicycle more.  

Try to exercise outdoors in nature more often. 


5. Conserve energy by turning off lights when no one is in the room.  

And, put appliances and electronic equipment on power strips, then switch off the power when not in use. Appliances, televisions, computers, etc., individually turned to “off” are still drawing power. 


6. Take an eco- adventure vacation. 

Or stay in hotels where greening measures have been implemented. 


7. Switch to natural cosmetics, soaps and shampoos.  

As our largest organ, our skin absorbs what it contacts. Chemicals that we’d never think to eat are actually taken in through the products we put on our skin. 


8. Choose to purchase organic clothing.  

Conventional cotton production typically entails the highest amount of chemicals per acre of any crop and accounts for 16 percent of the world’s pesticide use. The processing of conventional cotton also significantly contributes to air and water pollution. It is true that at the moment, organic cotton usually does cost more out of pocket. Why not start with smaller items, such as socks and underwear? There are now lusciously soft organic cotton sheets, blankets and towels. Prices are already begun to go down, and the more we make these healthy choices the more likely that trend will continue. 


9.Choose post-consumer recycled paper products.  

Most often “recycled” paper is made of the scraps from lumber milling, not the stuff we so conscienciously putout on the curb. Paper labeled “post-consumer” is just that. 


10. Make conscious purchases all around.  

Is this item local, or is there a local equivalent available? Ask yourself if this is something you truly need. 


11.Plant a tree—on your own or through an organization such as Trees For The Future(.org). 

Approximately one ton of carbon is absorbed by each tree over it’s lifetime. (We lost millions of trees during Katrina.). 


12. And of course, make a pledge to utilize the three Rs.  

Reduce, reuse and recycle, in that order, whenever possible! 


This is a beginning list. Start with one or go for all. Once you start thinking, you’ll probably come up with many more ideas. For an added bonus, how about joining with a friend, family member or neighbor to become green resolution buddies? Get support, spread the action and spread the word!