by Emma Crisci
Emma is a student and resides in Connecticut. She began writing at the age of four. Emma currently explores yoga, writing, and teaching. In her spare time, she raps.
Choosing a greener lifestyle has its benefits. From water conservation and air quality to shopping with reusable bags, there is no end to the things we can do—and not do—to better our environment.
Going green can be good for simple peace of mind in a shaky economy. While the recession still has grips on many of us, the Web Nurse points out "you can save money by making your own household products, as well as save money on transportation costs when you adopt green practices." In The Daily Green, there are plenty of recipes to make your own cleaning products. If you’ve got lemon juice, baking soda, borax, or vinegar lying around the house, then you’ve got great way to make your house sparkle without using toxic chemicals.
Aside from what non-toxic cleaning products can do for your home, consider what you can do for your body. "One of the best things you can do for your health is buy local produce...Some studies suggest that allowing produce to ripen on the plant increases its nutrient content." Whether you prefer a farmer’s market, an all-natural whole foods store, or a CSA, getting fresh produce instead of pre-packaged and processed foods can make a big difference. Recent studies have shown that processed foods have been the root cause for obesity, diabetes, and even depression.
And, don’t forget to keep moving, Walking instead of driving to local shops and parks keeps you fit. So get out there and enjoy nature. Take a walk through the park or down to the beach. It will give you a boost in energy while keeping your weight in check. "Access to green areas such as parks...enhance cognitive functioning, reduce stress, improve sensory and motor skills in both children and adults, and ameliorate the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children."
"The restorative effects of a natural environment (whether time in a wilderness setting or a walk in a local nature preserve) lead to renewed attention and positive affect. For example, after 45 minutes of taxing mental work, a walk in a natural area led to better recovery than a walk in an urban area or reading magazines and listening to music." Additionally, exercise will improve metabolism and physiology.
One option many of us don’t even think of as green is working from home. It reduces your carbon footprint by cutting out the pollution incurred by a commute to work completely. It even saves time. Home office work also provides comfort and healthy air to breathe. Without the artificial lighting of most offices, home workers take in more natural light from windows. "Natural lighting helps your calcium absorption, and there have been studies done on the helpfulness of natural sunlight on your mental health and mood." The Web Nurse prescribes plenty of sunlight to any health conscious body.
Green habits even benefit the soul. Buying locally supports your community. Social bonding over shared interests staves off depression and improves mental health. Also, knowing where to inquire for help with green issues also makes it easier to stick to your lifestyle changes.
Going green has its social, economical, and physical assets. Just a few small changes in your daily life, and you can be on your way to a more sustainable lifestyle in no time.
Image courtesy of Treehugger.com.