Making simple changes/choices towards a more “greener” lifestyle is good for your health, your family, your environment and the planet. Today’s article talks about three areas to help you navigate along the green path. First up is food. There is a lot of press about organic vs. conventionally grown produce and the amount of pesticides and other chemicals in our foods. Knowing where your food comes from can tell you about how it has been grown. With Farmer’s Markets beginning, you have the opportunity to ask the farmer how it has been grown. Buying local also cuts down on energy used and pollution created from shipping from the other side of the globe. The closer it is, the fresher it is too.
Going 100% organic can be expensive however, and so a consumer health group called the Environmental Working Group, has created a list of the “dirty dozen” – those 12 fruits and veggies that have been shown to have the highest amounts of pesticide residue. They recommend buying organic for these. They also created a “clean 15” list, which lists the 15 cleanest fruits and veggies that you can feel safe buying conventionally. For processed products check the ingredient lists – the shorter the list, the more likely you can pronounce the ingredients. That could mean fewer chemicals and preservatives in the food and in your body. Keep BPAs (giant name I won’t even try to spell, that has been shown to affect hormones) out of your food by not microwaving anything in plastic. Use glass for storage whenever possible too.
You can also reduce your exposure to chemicals by opting for the more “natural” choice when possible. I’m no expert but I have tried to switch from popular brands of cleaning products to those made by Method and 7th Generation or I just use vinegar and water. I have been happy with the results and feel that they are no more expensive than the other brands (I get them at Target). I’ve also found that my husband’s allergies seem to bother him less. So, I’ll continue to watch for new products and to replace what I can with a more earth friendly and “Laine” friendly product.
Some other simple actions you can take along the way: Reuse or repurpose things rather than buying new. Recycle as much as possible. Many towns now have single stream recycling which makes it so easy. Everything plastic (numbers 1-7); paper, metal and glass can all go in the same container. Use the reusable “shopping” bags at the grocery store and also other stores. Use less plastic and more glass containers. Open the windows when possible to change the air inside your home. Put lights on timers, heat and AC on timers and of course buy local and buy organic when you can. Baby steps down the road to “green” may improve your health and the health of your family too. I’m sure you can think of other ideas, let’s share on Facebook.
Coming in August – Back to School Bootcamp August 13-16. In cooperation with Skills for Living we will be offering a Back to School Organization workshop for students in Grades 4-9 (two separate sessions), and a Parent Game Plan for Back to School a 90 minute workshop to help parents help their children succeed in school. Skills for Living will offer several different social skills workshops based on age groups – Middle School Survival and Jumping into High School and more. Watch our Laine’s Logic Facebook page for more info.