GREEN YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR 2016
The year 2015 wouldn’t be complete without the requisite guilt about past behaviour and a passionate avowal to “do better” this New Year. But before you pull out your crumpled copy of last year’s resolutions, with the determination to get it right this time — exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, spend less money and more time with family — consider “greening” your resolutions. The beauty of living a greener life is that, not only you will be contributing to a healthier World, you and your family will be healthier too.
It has been revealed in a study that people who feel a greater connection to nature and their communities are less likely to describe themselves as depressed or anxious — this is called “Ecotherapy.”
Once you resolve to ride your bicycle more and drive less, you would lose that last few kilos of baby weight which you thought was yours forever, and would cancel your gym membership. Once you resolve to watch less TV and watch more sunsets, you will find yourself more relaxed. Once you resolve to source healthier food from a neighbouring organic farmer or store, you will find yourself enjoying more homemade food with your children and relying less on sodium-soaked, highly processed foods.
Here are a few ideas to help get you going on your green resolutions:
GREEN YOUR EATING – For many of us, a “greener” life starts with our Food Habits, After all, we are served nature three times a day. If you’re aware that your family (or you!) relies on drive-thrus or take-out more than you’d like, start with a pledge to eat at least four meals a week in your home from fresh, organic ingredients. Involve the whole family. Even small children can grate cheese and help set tables. Find a local farmer, which of course you wouldn’t find in most parts of urban India, in that case, ask your grocery store / Vegetable vendor (of course the standard type) to source more locally/organically grown or raised food products.
The benefits are almost immediate. A study conducted revealed that children eating conventional (Un-Organic) diets all tested positive for common pesticides in their systems. Within a week of switching to an organic diet, the pesticides in their bodies dropped to undetectable levels. When the children switched back to their conventional diets, pesticide levels rose too.
GREEN YOUR RIDE – Use your car only on weekends or for family outings, when the whole family goes out together. Do not use the car when you have to go to the office or your shop all alone. Try to use local transport, or share the cabs and the best but the most beneficial and difficult mode of transport would be cycling to your destination. Walk as much as you can, walk to the nearby grocery store or milk vendor or the book store. Walk out for lunch from your office in lunch break, walk everywhere if time permits. Though this will require you to plan everything in advance i.e. what work needs to be done when. So, it will also make you more organized. These will not only save costs, it will also improve the health of you and your family and most importantly, the improved health of the Planet Earth is worth the toil.
Even if it’s impractical to completely give up your four wheeler’s or fossil fuel driven two wheeler’s, try to take alternative transportations or seek out the most fuel-efficient vehicle you can afford.
GREEN YOUR DÉCOR – For some of us, living Greener starts with giving our home a healthy facelift by using zero-VOC paints, sourcing eco-friendly renovation supplies, using plants as decoration, letting the sunlight in, using energy efficient lighting, using organic and natural materials, using energy efficient windows, eco-friendly wall coverings and eco-friendly tiles and floorings.
And most importantly getting rid of the poison plastic — PVC from our homes. At least, you can just take simple but important steps like pulling down that vinyl shower curtain and replacing it with one made of organic cotton, hemp or LDPE plastic.
GREEN YOUR CLEANING – If you’re a cleaning fanatic or just a weekend warrior, resolve to Green your cleaning. Simply by switching from conventional cleaning liquids to eco-alternatives can dramatically improve your indoor air. A study revealed that on cleaning day, the indoor air pollution – contaminated with noxious gases as acetone, camphor, benzaldehyde and diethylene glycol – can be hundreds, or even thousands of times worse than outside. Fortunately, greener cleaners are increasingly easy to find. Or, if saving money is part of your plan, make your own cleaners. It’s surprisingly simple: Stock up on baking soda, white vinegar, castile soap, perhaps some Borax. Then add the one ingredient you never see on any label – elbow grease (hard physical work), which will also help you burn off some excess calories. Greener, Cleaner and Leaner!
CREATE A PLAN AND STICK WITH IT – Yes, this is the toughest part. For most of us, it’s easy to resolve to save the planet, feed the hungry, find a cure for cancer and create lasting world peace. It’s the “how” that trips us up every single time.
Hence, we take the advice from those experienced and accomplished goal achievers, who advice that, Create small steps that you can tweak over the year to accomplish your overall goal. One should not focus on what they can’t do, but on what they can. For example, rather than saying “I can’t drive my car to work,” think “I can take the train or bus and read a novel” or “I can ride my bicycle and skip the gym.”
“Once we become comfortable with one step,” then, “we become aware that slowly other parts of our life have changed more positively as well….” Or else, When, we are overloaded with clutter, pollution, weight, we become exhausted fighting off the effects of that altogether.
One shouldn’t laugh at “change the world” resolutions. “There is no order of miracles in intentions,” which means that “yes, we can solve world peace and other ambitious intentions.” However, we should be able to harness the “taming power of the small”, in other words, break down resolutions into smaller intentions that contribute to the whole. “This is particularly germane for the Green movement,” however, one should promise to his / her own small part, and ultimately we will save the planet.”
“You change the things you can change easily,” and “Before you know it, you’ve changed yourself.… and that’s when you’re really there as a Green Loving human being.”
Make this New Year (2016), your eco-friendliest yet!
Thanks & Regards – Team ZENITEX