Backyard Garden: Lavendar, Rainbow Chard and Cosmos
By now, many New Year’s Resolutions – those extreme goals often chosen more as a wish list of lofty inspirations rather than practical ways to enhance our mode of living – have fallen by the wayside. Daily living got in the way of those drastic health, finance and quality-of-life goals and for many it will be another eleven months before even attempting to set these goals again. This year especially, American’s resolutions looked a lot alike: loose weight, become active, eliminate debt, save money, become financially secure, and create a safe home, environment and future for your family. These resolutions look daunting, but the key to accomplishing these goals and obtaining a high quality-of-life is to set small, realistic steps leading towards the major, life-changing goals.
Living green almost always means living healthy for individuals, pets, families, communities and the world. Living green, if you take the right steps, also means living frugally, saving money to apply towards those financial goals. Less financial worry equals less worry, less stress, and better health. By moving in small incremental steps, optimal life quality can be achieved.
Healthy, green living includes avoiding chemicals in food and household cleaners – eat organic food and use homemade household cleaners. Healthy, green living includes being more active – ride a bike or walk to work, mow the lawn with an old-fashioned push mower, grow organic food in the backyard, front yard or on the balcony in pots. Healthy, green living includes buying local food from a farmer’s market and cooking that food – guaranteeing food without extra preservatives and chemicals in the production of over-processed foods. Healthy, green living includes turning off the television and going outside to ensure the body receives enough Vitamin D and exercise – going on hikes, playing croquet, being active, finding a swimming hole.
Frugal, green living includes turning off lights and equipment when not in use, turning the water off when brushing teeth and washing dishes, taking showers instead of baths, using only cold water to wash clothes, keeping heat low in the winter and air conditioning low (or off) during the summer. Frugal, green living includes donating old items instead of discarding them into landfills and keeping the receipts for tax credits. Frugal, green living includes keeping holy clothes for rags, saving money on paper towels and using handkerchiefs instead of tissues. Buying used items, especially clothes, saves money and the environment; plus it is fun to shop at second-hand shops. Frugal, green living includes buying in bulk (saves money and packaging), using all parts of the leftover turkey (use those bones to make soup), and renting or sharing tools instead of buying new ones. Frugal, green living includes turning off the television set – or better yet, eliminating the cable bill completely and reading books from your local library in the winter and going outside in the summer.
Sometimes green items cost more at the outset, but save money over time, such as compact fluorescent lighting, programmable thermostats, used and fuel-efficient cars, winterizing the home with new windows and weather stripping, and buying seeds and plants for a garden. Try to avoid the trendy green-hype machine when spending money. In the recent social movement towards environmentalism, large companies are creating massive amounts of advertising and marketing for “green” items that are not necessarily green or needed. Items such as large compost bins are not necessary and can be made inexpensively, often out of reused items.
The guide to a high quality of life is to take small, simple steps to reach our environmental goals. These small steps will also lead to financial responsibility and healthy lifestyles. If we simplify our lives – consciously work on having less bills to pay and making more time to go outside – we will find that our bodies, souls and minds will be rejuvenated with the wisdom from the earth – and we will be protecting the earth at the same time.
Here are some websites that you might find helpful in your path towards green, frugal and healthy living.
Nature Moms Blog, Article about Frugal Luxuries
Shine Article on The Health Benefits of Living Frugally
Go Frugal Blog Article on Eco-Friendly Ways to Repurpose Household Items
WeeEssentials Blog on Sustainable Healthy Living
Cheap Healthy Good Blog – Great Healthy Food Recipes and Ideas
Big Green Purse Blog – Simple Steps to an Environmental Lifestyle
Frugally Green Blog – Article: The Tortoise and the Hare
Planet Green Article on 25 New Year's Resolutions for Going Green in 2010