Holistic Approach to Life Helps Save the Environment

Holistic Living There have been meat-eaters and there also have been those who vouch for vegetarianism. While the latter’s reasons may be religious, to ward off diseases or on humanitarian grounds, the former have tempted the latter with what they could be missing out on by depriving the latter’s taste-buds!

While it is futile convincing anyone to forsake their ideas, the world will be a better place for the future generations, if we adopt a holistic approach.

Saving the environment does not indicate that one should forsake meat alone; it means forsaking greed. Our eco-system is a well-balanced one, with the availability for every being’s needs, but not for every being’s greed! When we break this fragile eco-system thereby exploiting it, we are creating nothing but irreparable damage. If only the world’s builders mend their vandalizing ways, each time trees are cut down to make way for skyscrapers and hotels; if only seafarers are prudent to avoid oil-spillage; if only scientists realize the wreckage the discovery of nuclear weapons can create; if only you and I switch off the engine during a long wait; if only we during an excursion think before dirtying a pristine lake or hill, we would have managed to live a holistic life, safeguarding the world.

The herbivores depend on plants for food, the carnivores depend on herbivores and the dwindling population of either is absolutely dangerous for you and me.

Both developing as well as developed countries can do well to consider the imbalance staring at them and build a bridge to shorten the chasm. If you think population is the core culprit of developing countries, do think about the wastage of land and resources of developed countries! The United States alone has enough to feed the whole world.

Let’s start from home. Check on what is used in surplus and think of ways of curtailing this overuse. Think of ways of being a rolling potato instead of being a couch potato. A car-pool not only reduces pollution, but builds camaraderie too. Enjoy a walk with your companion rather than a drive. Ensure you consume very less electricity. A bored child can be taught the basics of gardening and made to sow seeds and tend to plants.

Find alternatives to substitute chemical pesticides. Sodium bicarbonate is an effective insect repellant when mixed with milk. Neem leaves and neem oil keep mosquitoes and even fungus at bay. Segregate organic and inorganic waste. While the former can be used as plant food, find if you can reuse inorganic waste in innovative ways. A simple man from India, Nek Chand did just that by creating a “Rock Garden” with waste like porcelain cups and saucers, electric bulbs, pens, bangles, et al!!

Make maximum use of the freely available resource such as sunlight, moonlight, the cool breeze, the rains, plants and trees etc. That’s what it means to living with nature harmoniously. Take initiative in learning about and implementing effective techniques like rainwater harvesting, vermiculture, solar homes, green energy products etc.

Say no to plastic and find substitutes for the same. Ask yourself if you certainly need a product, be it food or any product.

Catch them young – teach kids about going green

One of the best ways of keeping our environment clean and green is by teaching kids more about how we can keep our environment green. It is best to try to motivate them at a very young age. If we are able to tell them more about the benefits of going green at a young age, we will manage to get them hooked on to it for life. But we need to be imaginative when we discuss such topics with them. Kids don’t like when elders give them serious talks on any possible issue. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the environment or would not want to do anything to save it.

The trick is in getting them involved in activities that can be enjoyable as well as interesting. You can try any method that can get them involved in going green. Show the benefits of going green in a practical manner. This will have a bigger impact on them than just words. In case you are not able to come up with anything, here are some ways to try your luck with them:

You can start by encouraging them to save energy in every possible way in your house. The best way to do this is to first follow such the habits yourself. Your kids will be inspired to do the same when they see their parents doing anything that can save energy in the house. You can even have a competition in your house where the person who saves the most amount of energy will be rewarded with some catchy prize.

Try to teach them a number of ways to recycle the stuff that is lying waste at your place. You can start with paper; teach them to make paste out of it so that they can make paper bags and other things from it. This will also help them to cut down on the use of plastics at your place. In case there is waste cardboard, teach them a number of tricks so that they can build mini houses from it or models of cars. Give them paint so that they will have a nice time by making everything colorful. Remember only give them paints that are environmental friendly.

Take some time out of your busy schedule and spend it with your kids. Go for a walk in the countryside with them. They will be able to appreciate nature more when they are in close contact with it. Try to tell them more on animals and plants that they find interesting. This will help them to develop more interest in such plants and animals.

You need to tell them why use of plastic is bad for our environment – if you are able to do this then you will be able to prevent them from harming our planet in a major way. Plastic is one of the chief menaces that are creating major environmental problems on our planet.

Remember always be patient with your kids when you are discussing about the environment. It pays to be patient because if you can get them involved in the conservation of the environment, they will do their best in following this cause all their life.

Going green – make it a way of life

Going green – make it a way of life

How often have we heard the words “going green” in our lives? Do we actually consider these words to be a part of our popular lingo or is it something that can make a major difference in our lives? If you are one of those who has ignored going green then let me tell you, we all need to make a difference so that the world will be a much better place to live in. And for those who think that going green involves a lot of hard work and sacrifice – I would like to tell you that in fact going green can actually mean a lot of fun.

There is no limit to the number of ways that we can go green – once you show your commitment to making the earth a better place to live in, ideas will keep popping out of your mind. Don’t restrict yourself when you keep getting ideas for going green. In case you are not able to come up with any idea, here are some ways of going green in your life:

Don’t allow the old computers in your office or home to accumulate as junk. Computers once discarded and treated as junk will keep emitting harmful particles regularly on our planet. It makes more sense to donate such computers to anyone who needs them. A lot of children’s centers and social organizations will find them very useful for their daily needs. You will also be able to save some taxes for donating these computers. So you are able to achieve three goals – go green, help the needy and also save some taxes for yourself – isn’t it real fun?

I especially enjoy reusing the plastic spray bottles. Firstly I use them as water guns. This is real fun as my kids use them to spray one anther with water. Of course I allow them to do this only after I have washed such plastic spray bottles in a proper manner. Sometimes I have even used these sprays as plant misters.

There will be a number of plastic jars present in your home. Use them as piggy banks for your kids. Use a bit of imagination and get them colored by your kids. Your kids will not only be able to save money but also enjoy the whole process of coloring their piggy banks.

Anything made of paper can be easily recycled in a variety of ways. Milk cartons are very good for using as planters. You can use cardboard for making cute houses for your children. Cardboard can also be used to make paper dolls.

Make bags from paper and then use them as trash bags. Remember, doing this will help you to avoid use of plastic bags. If you are able to do this, then you are reducing the use of plastic in your life which is a wonderful way to keep our planet free from the ill-effects of plastic.

Thus there is no dearth of ideas if you really want to go green and help in making our planet a better place to live in.

Green Lifestyles

It occurred to me that some may feel only certain people can go green because the cost, work, and expected outcomes of those who chose to go green would certainly require a bit more income. However, no money at all is required to help the planet and there are no jet sets for those living green. No exclusive club awaits you nor will you receive any grand awards or positions because of your efforts.

What you will get is pride in doing something that will have benefits beyond the immediate and a sense of belonging since living green definitely ties you to the global community to which we all belong.

Simply growing your garden can become a symbol of a lifestyle change if you choose to let nature control pest and not chemicals. Many farmers are now doing just that and are reaping the benefits along with the healthier clientele that utilizes their produce. If they can do it on a large scale, then you can grow a summer garden on a small scale.

Here are some great gardening tips for growing herbs, veggies, and even watermelons without grabbing the pesticides.

To keep your tomato plants from being food for worms, surround them with the shells of eggs. Just crush them roughly and cover the ground around the base of the plant. The eggshells cut the worms and they won’t cross them.

Refrain from killing the spiders that take up residence in your garden. These creepy little friends make meals out of pests who would otherwise make a dinner of your garden. Nature is well balanced and versed in the preservation of what she grows.

Lady bugs do more than make cute things to play with on hot summer days by the children. They also eat aphids, which eat what you’re growing. Sprays can harm and kill these helpful insects, so don’t spray.

Bees, while bothersome at times, are a wanted insect when gardening. It is the work of these pollen collectors that ensure you have a yield at the end of the growing season. They are too busy pollinating to notice you anyway. Swatting at them only tells the bees you are a threat to their work and they will protect themselves with their stingers.

Citrus peels will keep your dog from joining the fray of insects in your garden and will repel cats as well. In addition, rodents don’t like them, either. Best of all, they won’t add any poisons to your ripened fruits and veggies that you will need to scrub off.

For your efforts, you can, at no cost at all, enjoy the taste of organically grown food that is healthy. In the off season, try to buy organic foods. Support those who are trying to live green while you are also doing you part and conservation can be had easily by all.

In the efforts of preservation and conservation are attainable by all, regardless of pocketbook size.

Getting Kids Involved in Conservation

Today as I cleaned up my office and sorted through an ever growing stack of paperwork, I opened my door and let in fresh air from the outside world.

First, there is a dollhouse in my office that is a constant source of stress relief and a great model for all of my designing ideas. (this is a great thing as it keeps me from moving furniture into odd arrangements and then moving it all back when I decide I don’t like it!) What I hadn’t counted on is the influx of neighborhood kids who stared longingly at my little world of miniatures. It wasn’t long before I had to give a play session to the kids (and to me). This is the one little disruption I enjoyed.

As we played, I began thinking of what to do a blog entry on for the night and realized that I had never asked a child what they thought living green was or how they thought one should go about living green.

“We can be like bunnies and eat the grass,” Chelsea, a four year old responded.

“No we can’t. That’s just dumb.” Her six year old and very sophisticated sister Jordan replied.

Logan, a little boy who lives just a few doors down from the girls, chimed in “It means we can’t pull up Mommy’s flowers ‘cuz they’re alive too and that would be killing.”

I chuckled but decided that perhaps a little experiment was in order. I pulled out the habitats I have for butterflies, ants, and frogs. I let the children decide which one they wanted to have for the experiment. Next, we collected some unsuspecting lizards, ants, and moths. I let the kids put in whatever they thought the animals would like in a natural world and got another surprise.

For those parents out there who don’t think your kids listen, please read on.

The children all chose vegetables for their new little friends. Unfortunately, the vegetables were the worst choices for food for the animals. I explained that the diets of their new “pets” were indeed many plants and foods that are not good for humans. The veggies, though, were like the pollution we put in the air with cars and the pesticides we use on our foods. They would slowly kill the very animals that the children had collected.

After a bit of research to show them using sites such as national geographic for kids, the children changed the natural world back to the way it should be for their pets. Then, we talked about how we could really do the same thing for ourselves.

I explained what organic meant and that it was kinder to the planet than any of the chemicals we used in a large portion of our foods. I discussed the experiments both NASA and Disney were running concerning how to grow food without water or soil and how to help the plants produce more fruits for eating.

They were most amazed with Disney’s 9 lb lemons. This lemon makes one gallon of lemonade and is grown organically. The sheer magic of this to them was that Disney created it so it had to be something from the fairies of Pixie Hollow and worth remembering.

By the time the afternoon was complete, I had gathered the mothers of these children and volunteered my teenage daughter and her friends for an outing to a local park this weekend. We are going to set the little pets free there and then work on teaching the children all about living green by helping to clean up the park.

I think if more of us did this just one weekend a month, there would be more understanding in the younger generation of what green living is and a better level of health in the older generations. In the middle of the conservation, you get some real quality time with the kids.

Our plan is to visit the science center as they have an area for kids to plant trees and flowers. Then, we’ll spend some time making a game of gathering the trash from the ground to make the park more beautiful. In return for their efforts, all the parents are giving the kids a pizza party. They’ll learn the beginnings of recycling and conserving our planet and we’ll be making memories to last into our golden years.

The idea is to get them involved. Kids will be more apt to be passionate about that which includes them than that which they are told they have to do without any input of their own. In the process, you will steer them toward a greener lifestyle without any resistance as they will be a part of it.

I think I’ll try to keep this as a monthly activity and get more children to join us as we begin teaching a little planet conservation to the next generation.

Recycling While Traveling

After spending a week in some really strange weather for Florida, I can’t say I wasn’t glad to reach dry land again yesterday when I arrived back at home. However, that little trip did teach me a lot about living green while traveling. It also provided some insight into how businesses and communities are working together to reduce the amount of waste produced.

Disney is one of the most popular vacation spots in the country. I had never been, so I hadn’t had a really good grasp of just how large this particular resort was in reality. It is vast in size and resembles a mid-sized city rather than a resort. Encompassed in its boundaries are every conceivable want of a tourist, vacationer, and even the business traveler could desire. In short, it is magnificent.

It is also extremely clean and environmentally friendly. The wildlife live side by side at Disney without either hindering the freedom of the other. This intrigued me, so I asked a few question on just how that could be since it doesn’t seem to happen anywhere else. The answers I received surprised me.

Disney has a multitude of recycling bins for various trash. This makes it a snap to continue recycling efforts while on vacation. To help reduce the confusion of mistakes in these bins, the receptacles had shaped openings to fit what should go inside. These were scattered throughout the park in vast numbers to encourage tourists to go green. They are simply painted and decorated to match whatever area you happen to be in. This keeps people happy as there are no eye sores and animals happy as there is less trash that can be harmful to them being left on the ground.

In fact, Disney goes even further in their conservation efforts than most vacation resorts. All of the benches in the Animal Kingdom are made from recycled plastic. They look and feel like wood, but are made entirely out of plastic that would have otherwise become part of a landfill. This greatly reduces the amount of trash inside the dumps and gives something that is needed back to the community. (Trust me, that park is huge and those benches are needed to rest very tired feet!)

Further, you can’t even get a straw in the Animal Kingdom because Disney doesn’t want them on the ground. They don’t want their animals to suffer at our carelessness. Some of the animals Disney shelters are on the endangered list, such as the manatee. For this reason, Disney takes extreme caution to preserve the natural world around us as much as possible while still delivering a magical experience that has become their trademark.

After learning about the efforts of Disney, I decided to look into what I could do with all of my discarded plastic trash at home. The possibilities are really endless-from molds to planters to containers for other items. One thing I discovered is that plastic shopping bags don’t have to end up in the trash at all. Out of boredom (read that as a need to relax and do nothing for a couple of hours), I began to braid some old shopping bags together. I spent most of the afternoon doing this yesterday and ended up with the best bath mat I’ve ever had!

I did put some double sided tape on the bottom of my plastic braided rug when I was finished to avoid slipping, but water won’t ruin this one and washing it is a breeze. I just have to rinse it every now and then under running water and I’m done.

I will be working on a completely recycled scrapbook and will post that with instructions as soon as I have it finished. So far, it is proving to be a most memorable method of preserving the trip to Disney. I’m finding as I research for this blog that going green is less work and much more fun than I ever imagined. In fact, it’s completely painless.

If you have ideas on how to recycle items and reduce the trash on the planet or on how to live a little greener, please feel free to share them with me. I’d love to hear from you.

Green Living On Vacations

Green living doesn’t have to end just because of a vacation! In fact, saving the planet is infinitely easier while on vacation than at any other time. But, before you get to protesting that statement too much, let me explain:

Currently, I am on a trip for a week at Walt Disney World in Florida. I arrived Friday evening and will not be returning home until Saturday. My vacation, as are many, is both business and pleasure. As I have been working on trying to live a little greener myself, I was positive this little trip of mine would derail my efforts. However, it is this trip that has instead inspired me to vacation greenly.

One of the best keepsakes from a vacation is scrapbooks. These allow you to keep your memories for years and show off your own creative flair. There is no right or wrong way to scrapbook and there is not right or wrong thngs to include in your book. My book for example will be covered in the wrapping paper from my welcome gift from Disney. This saves that particular item from a doomed life in the city dump.

The tickets, receipts, stubs, and other such memorabilia will decorate pages made from cards I received from my friends in Florida. In addition, the photography taken by the photopass photographers will adorn the pages to captivate my Disney moments .

To save even more, I have decided to place those photographs that I took onto an album online and avoid printing any paper copies to further reduce trash. Even the small scraps can be used in this way to create a mosaic look and feel to the finished product.

I’ll post a link to my online scrapbook and to detailed instructions on how to create your very own green living scrapbook shortly after my return from my trip.

I have also turned my vacation into green living at its finest is to take the opportunity to sort trash through the help of many a trashcans in my rooms. Then, I leave housekeeping instructions not to take the trash bins and empty them for those containing aluminum cans. I use these cans to collect small seeds to plant. I decorate the cans with various Mickey confetti and set them on the balcony. I intend to leave them with a charity organization in Florida before my flight home so that the plants will one day help clean the air, keeping Florida beautiful.

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