Five Easy Ways to Start off the New Year a Little Greener

Happy New Year!

A new year always brings excitement and hope, quickly followed by a sense of feeling overwhelmed by all the things you resolved to change, start, or do more of. So the last thing I want to do is add more to your list! Hopefully one of your resolutions this year is to be a little “greener” in your everyday life, but even if it’s not, here are 5 quick and easy things you can do that will make an impact!

1. Recycle your Christmas Tree.

If you are anything like me, you enjoy keeping your Christmas tree and decorations up a little after the holidays end to enjoy the happiness that they bring. Or, if you are even more like me, you keep putting off taking all the decorations down until it’s the end of January! If this sounds like you, don’t worry, there is still plenty of time to find a place to recycle your Christmas tree. Checkout this website to find a place close to you.

2. Give Away, Give Back.

It’s likely you bought or were gifted new clothes or housewares during the holidays. Instead of throwing away that old toaster or that older pink sweater that was recently replaced, think about donating! Plan a clothing swap with your close friends – everyone brings items they want to get rid of or no longer fit. Throw in a bottle of wine just for fun! 🙂 Take the items that no one picks to Goodwill to give back to community while also lightening your load.

3. Go Vegetarian Once a Week.

So much bang for your buck with this one! Reducing your meat intake and increasing your plant based food intake is good for your health and the environment! A diet with too much meat can contribute to health issues and if you’ve forgotten how I feel about plant based eating, re-read this post. According to Scientific American, a report from 2006 showed that “our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases…than either transportation or industry.” If you’re feeling spunky, try one meal a day without meat.

4. Replace your Light Bulbs.

Go ahead and take the plunge if you haven’t already! Replace all the regular light bulbs in your home with compact florescent bulbs (CFLs). You won’t notice much of a difference until the Fall or this time next year, since that’s the first time you will have to replace them! CFLs last 10-25 times longer than regular bulbs and require 70-90% less energy to run over their lifetime, meaning you’ll also notice a difference in your electric bills. You’re welcome. 🙂

5. Take 20 Minutes to Watch “The Story of Stuff.

This is a short video that points out how our consumerism and consumption patterns are connected to current environmental issues. After you’ve watched it, share it with your friends or on social media! Help spread the word and educate others!

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What’s so great about eating a plant-based diet?

It was a little more than a year ago that I watched Forks over Knives for the first time and decided that I needed to change my diet if I wanted to improve my health. I also realized I needed to share the knowledge with my family, those I love, in order for them to be healthier and live forever! 🙂

After a little research, I came across the Green Smoothie Girl website and I knew this is where I wanted to start. I’ve never been the biggest fan of veggies, so starting to incorporate more of them into my diet using smoothies sounded like a great way to begin! Since then, I have become a Green Smoothie Girl apprentice Coach and with the support of a wonderful group of ladies, have started to not only live a more plant-based life, but also started sharing the message of plant-based eating and plant-based medicine with others.

While writing the script for a Healing with Green Smoothies Class a couple of weekends ago, I was completely re-energized and reminded of the reasons why I got on the natural health kick in the first place. Here are some highlights:

  • One third of American adults are obese, one out of 13 people have diabetes, and heart disease kills one out of every 3 Americans.
  • A huge study was done in the 1970s in 65 counties in China – dubbed The China Study. Six thousand five hundred people were included in the study. It looked at the relationship between diet and mortality rates. They found 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease. What does that mean?
  • Broken down, the study found that those counties and those people who ate the most animal based foods got the most chronic disease and were more likely to die from “Western” diseases (coronary heart disease, diabetes, leukemia, and cancers of the colon, lung, breast, brain, stomach and liver). Those who had the most plant based foods were the healthiest.
  • There was a study in which patients with coronary artery disease were treated with a whole foods, plant based diet, and doctors saw an opening of clogged arteries in 70% of patients!
  • Scientific studies show a plant-based diet can reverse heart disease, lower blood pressure, and lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • In a scientific study, people who averaged eight-plus servings of fruits and veggies a day were 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, compared to those who had less than 1.5 daily servings.
  • People with a higher vegetable intake have a lower risk of certain types of cancer and digestive problems, as well as show higher scores on cognitive tests!

That’s a lot of information. A lot of great information!  Does any of it motivate you to think a little more about what you are eating?

Create the World you Want to Live in

Most of my life, I have been passionate about the environment and the importance of keeping the world a beautiful place for us to live. I was the person telling my high school friends not to litter and teaching my college roommates to recycle. People often laugh at my environmentalism because I am far from an outdoorsy girl, but there is a huge part of my heart that highly values the earth and nature. Just because I don’t like to be in it all the time, doesn’t mean I don’t love it! 🙂

It wasn’t until about a year ago that I began to learn more about my own health and how I could improve it by going back to nature as well. I realized not only could I take care of the earth by trying to live in a more natural, simple way, but I could also take care of myself. I have learned so much and want to share with others who also care about being healthy themselves and making the world a better place.

We create the world we live in. My quest is to take small steps everyday to build a healthier body and healthier world in the most natural way possible. Come along for the journey!