The New Green Life: 4 Keys to Meaningful Change

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As Earth Day approaches on April 22, many “green-minded” people realize that given the plight of our beleaguered planet, it’s time to take eco-living to the next level. While daily actions like recycling, reusing and renewing are invaluable, here are a few important additions:

Embrace Local Foods

While many of us like the concept of buying local foods, it may seem easier to head to the grocery store. However, with spring comes a chance to renew your commitment to eating locally grown/produced foods. Local shopping not only offers fresher options, it also results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and less packaging. Locate your nearest Farmer’s Market and stock up weekly on a rainbow of healthy foods. Look for community-supported agriculture programs (CSA) in your area as well.

Go Organic

Did you know that buying organically grown/produced foods benefits both you and the environment? Not only are you and family protected from antibiotics, pesticides, growth hormones, GMOs, dyes and other toxins, but according to the Organic Trade Association, organic agriculture also improves soil fertility, prevents chemical fertilizers from polluting waterways, and accommodates higher species diversity.

Understand Climate Change

A recent global poll1 found that 73% of people surveyed around the world think fighting climate change should be a high priority. Britons felt most strongly about taking action to stop global warming, while Americans were among least willing to put the environment first. In fact, only 44% of Americans thought climate change should be a major priority for the U.S. One of the greenest actions you can take is to simply gain an understanding of why climate change is a concern for most of the world. Here is an excellent short video on the subject: http://video.about.com/environment/What-Is-Climate-Change.htm

Teach Your Children

Not only can you teach your children the importance of green life strategies at home, you can also support the “greening” of your local schools. In 2007, former President Clinton, on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, the U.S. Green Building Council, Earth Day Network and several partners, announced a commitment to “green America’s schools within a generation.”  These schools combine traditional education with 21st century innovations in science, renewable energy and building a green economy. Learn more at http://www.earthday.org/campaign/green-schools

Knowledge is power. The more we learn about protecting our fragile planet, the more effective we can be. Happy Earth Day!

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