18 Apr

Spring is a time for new beginnings. Out with the old and in with the new. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here in East Texas. I hope you’re enjoying the warmer days as much as I am. It’s definitely the time of year to open the doors and windows and let in the fresh air.

Earth Day is April 22, 2010. It’s the perfect time of year to celebrate the earth and renew our commitment to going Green. Green means more than re-using plastic grocery bags and taking shorter showers. It means finding new ways to reduce, re-use and renew. Taking care of ourselves and the earth is a win win combination.

Here are 10 playful and healthy ways to go Green.

1. Energy Police

Introduce your kids to energy conservation by starting your own police force. Make your children the “Energy Police.” It’s a great way to get kids involved in turning out the lights and making sure they close doors. Also, it’s fun for them to arrest Dad for standing in front of the open refrigerator door for too long.

2. Start a Garden

We’re lucky to live in East Texas since our neighbors generously share their garden goods. Now is a good time to start your own garden. Whether a novice or a green thumb, you can grow some of your favorite foods and enjoy the fruits of your labor for months to come.

3. Share

It’s time for spring cleaning. Go ahead; clear out all of your unwanted items. Clothes, shoes, magazines, toys and furniture may be shared, traded or donated to a local Goodwill or charity. It feels good to lighten your load and share much needed items with folks who could make good use of them.

4. Refill Water Bottles

This simple step saves money and tons of plastic waste each year. Refill your water bottle or better yet, buy a designated water bottle and keep it filled and with you when you’re on the go.

5. Walk

A little walk goes long way. Walking to work, the restaurant or the post office not only saves fuel usage but it also insures some exercise every day. Parking farther from the entrance of the grocery store is not only good for a short walk but helpful to those who have difficulty walking, as closer parking spots are available.

6. Green Spa

Green your body care. There are many products on the market now that are environmentally conscious: organic shampoos, conditioners and soaps. You can make a homemade body scrub by mixing fine sea salt, almond oil and your favorite essential oils. My favorite springtime body scrub blends grapefruit and peppermint oils.

7. Eat Fresh

It’s a great idea to make at least one meal a day green. In this case, green in spirit more than in color. Fruits, vegetables and nuts are a delicious addition to any meal.

8. Unplug

Make sure to unplug the phone and laptop computer chargers and other electronic equipment when you aren’t using them.

9. Cook at Home

Cooking at home saves a great deal of money and food waste each year. Plus, it’s fun to share recipes and teach the kids how to make their favorite meals. Involving the whole family in the kitchen is great for our environment and our culture as we pass on traditions and share quality time together.

10. Be Mindful

The ultimate green lesson is to appreciate nature and think of ways to live more efficiently each day. For example, to save on watering, arrange plants to catch rain water from the roof. Turn off the heating/cooling unit and open the windows when the temperatures are comfortable. Shut off the lights and open the shades when the sun is bright enough to light a room.

Remember, we make choices about our lives, health and environment every day, so let’s choose wisely. You’re worth it. Happy Earth Day!

Send questions and comments to lynnvannoy@gmail.com or visit http://www.lynnvannoy.com.

The information in this column is not intended as medical advice. Its intention is solely informational and educational.

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