Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Green-Up Your Day

By guest writer, Veronica Winsch
Copyright 2011

More and more we are thinking of ways to be “green”, have less of an impact on our environment, lighten our carbon footprint.  I recently finished reading The Green Book The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen  I must admit, reading this book left me felling overwhelmed.  There is so much we do that has a negative impact on our planet.  Of course, there are obvious choices that are more responsible.  Like driving a Prius instead of an Escalade.  We can bring a canvas bag when we go shopping.  We can choose not to litter.  We can teach our kids to think of the bigger / planet-sustaining picture as they mature.  But beyond these common acts there was stuff that really opened up my eyes.  Like the choice of voice mail over an answering machine!  Can you believe it?  When you consider the millions of phones and answering machines plugged into the wall, sapping electricity twenty-four hours a day, you start to get a picture of small choices with big impact.

The idea behind this book was to have the reader consider each choice and multiply it by 200 million or so.  Yeah – big stuff!  And that can be overwhelming.

For me, the most egregious offense I have seen in the past ten years is bottled water. Single-serving beverages in general, they are everywhere and mostly packaged in plastic.  Have you noticed all the real estate taken up by beverages at your grocery store and deli?  There is no more room there for fruit and vegetables, i.e. real food.  That bothers me.

How many plastic bottles do you buy?  Think beyond beverages.  Look at laundry detergent, body wash, ketchup, tennis balls.  Take that number and multiply it by the number of friends you have, then you start to get an idea of the impact on our planet.  Even if all of those bottles can be recycled, which would be ideal, there is still energy expended in recycling.  Reuse and conservation are the ultimate goals.  I encourage you to use products that can be refilled.  Buy detergent that comes in a box or bag, instead of  a bottle.  Use a bar of soap instead of body wash.  Simple stuff, but not what we tend to think about.  Usually, the green option leaves you with more money in your wallet as well.   Now there is some real incentive for you.

For years, I have been re-using plastic bottles to carry water when away from home.  In my kitchen I have a quality water filter hooked up to my tap and I refill a bottle before going out.  This was a good start for me, but I was concerned about the deterioration and leaching of the plastic into my pure water.  Recently, I bought two glass “love” bottles.  Two sizes, two shapes, both very beautiful.  Picture the guy on a camel traveling through the desert.  Does he whip our a bottle of Poland Spring?  No.  He carries a flask or a canteen. 

Remember the days before bottled water?  You could actually drink the stuff that came out of the faucet.  My dad told us when we grew up, “you always have a cup to drink water if you put your two hands together.”  I bet you think your bottled water is of a higher quality than what comes out of the tap?  Think again.  Tap water is more strictly regulated than bottled water.  Sixty million water bottles are tossed each day in the United States alone!  That is madness.  Wait it gets better:  Considering that plastic is derived from petroleum, It takes 1.5 million barrels of OIL annually to satisfy America’s demand for bottled water. Do we really need to add to our already exorbitant need for fossil fuels?

So, what can you do?

Stop drinking so much water?  No!  I would never advocate that.  Each body function requires hydration.  Actually, so many common health issues are caused by dehydration – especially headaches and constipation.  What I suggest is that you invest in a good water purifier.  Then, bring your water with you when you leave the house.  Yeah, it is a little more work, but at least you won’t be lugging big bottles of water from the grocery store anymore.  Plus, isn’t our planet and your health worth it? 

New Yorkers boast about the quality of their drinking water – it is good but still not perfect.  Trust me, if you saw the rusty slime that oozes off of the charcoal block every time I change my filter you would be sold on this idea in an instant.  That rusty slime is what your poor kidneys have to work hard to keep out of your blood stream when you are using a wimpy filter – or no filter at all.  Also, you must keep in mind, the quality of your drinking water is only as clean as the pipes and plumbing system through which it arrives. 

Here are the resources:

Love Bottle, glass water bottles:

Multi Pure home water filtration systems:

I beg you, think about the plastics you use and dispose of on a regular basis.  Consider areas where you could cut back and eliminate overuse.  And at the very least, please recycle all that you can.

If you are stumped as to where you can make changes, please call or write to me immediately.  I would love to help you green-up your day!

About the Author:
As a catalyst for change in the lives of others, Veronica Winsch transformed into a wellness practitioner to motivate and empower adults and children to live their best life.  Veronica believes that when you are living in the flow and light of the universe you then inspire and give permission to others to do the same.  That makes the world a better place – plain and simple! 

Family wellness is a major part of the work Veronica does in settings such as Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS), Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention, Union City High School and in her own private practice, Holistic Living Now.  Improving nutrition, one bite at a time, is her focus and using a traditional approach, she leads families into the kitchen to create healthy meals together.  Veronica sees food as the catalyst for deep connection, confidence, creativity, and ensuring self-reliance.  By teaching families how to cook together, she gives adults and children access to these valuable tools through each meal.

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