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It’s Pretty Easy to Be Green

by Lisa on March 17, 2011

Because I’m all about the puns and cliches on St. Patty’s day, I thought I’d play on the green theme.

First, I had to wear a green shirt today to work. It’s my wellness coaching morning, and I love this job. I pinch myself sometimes—I get to hang out with friends and talk about wellness for hours—and I don’t have to “Sell it” because the people who are interested talk to me, and those who aren’t, don’t. Lucky Me!

Second, I pulled out this book:

Go Green Get Lean: Trim Your Waistline with the Ultimate Low-Carbon Footprint Diet by Kate Geagan

I attended a workshop with a bunch of dieticians in Santa Fe in 2008, put on by Field to Plate, and Kate Geagan was there.  Her book relates habits that are both earth friendly and waistline friendly. Some fun facts from the book:

  • The UN says that eating less meat may be one of the most effective ways to fight global warming, and it’s also one of the most effective ways to fight fat, heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
  • If every American switched from eating meat to veggies on one day per week, it would save 1.7 billion gallons of gasoline. If we strived to get our veggies locally, the savings would be even more.
  • The annual fossil fuel footprint of bottled water consumption in the US is more than 50 million barrels of oil—that could run 3 million cars for a year.

Four years ago, when I was teaching Wellness classes at Keuka College, I needed to find some interesting information about “going Green.” You know, information college students would actually listen to. I picked up this book because it had a lot of fun facts in it.

The Green Book, by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen

  • Buy used textbooks – $10 billion worth are bought every year. Recycling 1% of textbooks could save enough money to send 4,000 students to a 4-yr public college.
  • If 5% of people could find a homeopathic remedy for half their med needs, 4.4 million pounds fewer pollutants would end up in the water system.
  • Set your AC a degree higher and your heat a degree lower, and save $100 a year. If every American did it, we’d save $10 billion.
  • Don’t ask for ATM receipts. If everyone in the US refused their receipts it would save a roll of paper more than two billion feet long, or enough to circle the equator 15 times.

The other theme that follows through these books, and through my mind right now, is that every little thing matters.

Whether or not we turn the water off when we brush our teeth, whether we buy local produce as often as possible, how we approach every single moment, whether we donate $5 to Japan or not…and so on.

Wegmans (a huge local grocery store chain) is asking every customer if they want to donate the balance on the dollar of their grocery bill. If you say yes and give your $.12…and everyone else does too, it can make a huge difference!

Do you find it easy or difficult to see what your tiny little actions do in the whole scheme of the world?

What have you done lately to make an impact?

I quit buying bottled water. I turned down my heat, I started walking to the grocery store (sometimes). I only buy organic produce—if something isn’t organic, I buy something else.

I also just took my jeans to get shortened, and my amazing tailor, Fuat (he’s turkish), shortened them on the spot (so I saved gas by not having to go back later and get them—and I can totally wear them tonight!). The little things do matter.

I'm pretty sure he knew I was taking his picture, but he didn't say anything. Just looked at me funny.


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