Is this the year you put being eco-friendly at the top of your list of New Year’s Resolutions? Along with dropping 20 pounds and vowing to cut out sugar, becoming more environmentally aware, especially when you shop for household products, could be one of the best decisions you make for your family.
Why not make your family healthier and save the planet? You are Super Mom after all.
As countries around the world at Paris Climate Talks try and align goals on cutting carbon pollution and saving the environment, you can play a role as well.
In fact taking care of the environment, making a connection with nature can be good for your mind and soul, according to MIND, a U.K-based mental health organization. In a recent report, MIND makes an argument that Ecotherapy, which is having an active therapeutic lifestyle like gardening, growing food and doing environmental work, results in better mental health. Working outdoors for the betterment of the environment, provides people with the fortitude to withstand life’s hardships.
Being active outdoors, or ecotherapy, provides people with connections – to nature and other people – as well as work and the ability to give back to a community and the world.
So how do you start a green lifestyle?
Texas is a car culture. There are few cities outside of Austin that are designed as walkable communities.
Make a commitment to spend more time outdoors whether it is taking a walk, noticing your surrounds or cycling around your neighborhood. Start small and build.
Since you and your neighbors do a lot of driving, consider trading in your car for one that is more energy efficient. You don’t have to get an electric car like a GM Volt or even a Toyota Prius to find a model with good gas mileage. The less fuel your car uses, the more money in your pocket and fewer toxins your car puts in the air. Almost every make of car has a fuel efficient model.
Do you really need an SUV? If we can’t talk you out of your behemoth car, consider getting one with a good fuel rating. The most fuel efficient SUVs today are the Lexus NX300h, the Honda HR-V LX, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, the Mazda CX-3 Touring and the Lexus RX 450h. All of these SUVs have an overall 26 MPG or higher especially on the highway.
Green your kitchen
This is not a decorating choice. Go through your cupboards and throw out the processed foods like macaroni and cheese, ketchup, frozen meals with more than 1,000 calories, chips, candy and any other unhealthy foods.
Start fresh. Buy a boat load of fruits, vegetables and lean meats and cheeses. Consider eating processed foods like pizza or sausages a treat you have on a rare occasion. Consider planting a garden to grow your own foods. Texas has a very long growing season and a amateur farmer can grow lots of vegetables for most of the year.
Green your home
Consider getting an energy audit for your home. There are at least a dozen companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that conduct these audits.
Assessors will tour your home, measure the air flow around windows and doors to see if there are air leaks, which can cost you thousands in lost cool air.
They’ll measure your insulation and assess what is the most inefficient elements of your home and give you cost-effective solutions.
Evaluate the age of your appliances and your much energy they use. An old fridge could be costing you $50 a month in electricity use.
Use halogen or LED light bulbs when an old one needs changing. If you switch all the light bulbs in your home you’ll find you can save hundreds in electricity costs annually.
Dispose of your cleaning supplies and buy ones that are made in an environment friendly factory and don’t emit toxic fumes. There are many green products on the market today that clean as well as the popular products and cost about the same but don’t contain the harmful fumes.
If you take these steps you’ll improve your environmental position in life by contributing to the eco-friendly world, but also improve your spirit because you’ll know you are helping to save the Earth. Improve your life inside and out.