Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Green Start...

My Green Start…

originally posted August 2008

How does a “Work Hard, Play Harder” NYC Advertising Sales Executive create a new life with an “Absolutely Green” Alternative Medicine Doctor?

Seven years ago my life consisted of no work/life balance, takeout food and late night entertaining. His life was dedicated to eliminating toxic substances, toxic behavior and unhealthy food consumption to treat cancer and other degenerative diseases. I was literally the embodiment of everything he worked to eliminate. How could this possibly work? I had no idea but his deep blue eyes encouraged me to find out.

Dr. Nick, aka Dr. Blue Eyes, specializes in treating and preventing disease through good nutrition, detoxification and natural enzyme supplements. From our first date, his unique medical program intrigued me. I figured that it must work as here I was having a fabulous organic meal at one of NYC’s best restaurants with a sexy doctor who looked half his age! During dinner a restaurant patron came over to our table and introduced himself to me as the son of a woman who Dr. Nick saved from a horrible cancer. He said Nick was his hero. I was now more than intrigued and very quickly started to fall in love.

Five weeks later we got engaged, and 10 months later, we got married. We had a Green “Pre-nuptial agreement”. For the opportunity to share my life with Dr. Nick, I made significant green adjustments to my lifestyle. While previously surrounded by fast food, partying, convenient/non-healthy “solutions”, I had accepted this lifestyle as the norm. I hadn’t realized how toxic my life had become until I heard about his alternative solution. Once my eyes were open, I began to understand why my past lifestyle wasn’t good for my holistic (or spiritual) health. And with Nick at my side, I saw how a few simple, easy changes could make a greener, healthier life possible for me.

Nothing happened overnight…I took one step at a time with his patient, loving guidance. Feeling better physically encouraged me to continue to taking more steps and pretty soon I looked at myself and I was healthy and happier then I ever had been.

Here are a few simple, greener steps to get yourself started:
Out with the Old In with the New
1. from corner convenience stores to organic health food stores
2. from take out food to cooking clean foods at home
3. from toxic cleaning supplies to non-toxic, natural cleaners
4. from late nights at bars to cozy nights together at home and in bed by 10pm
5. from antibiotics when sick to nutritional supplements every day
6. from cabs to walk/subway/buses
7. from a toxic household to organic mattress, sheets and towels
8. from plugged in cell phone chargers to unplugged chargers whenever not in use

In this green blog, I’ll try to explain the HOWs and the WHYs and the ways I sometimes can “cheat” and still feel good about my choices. I’m now surrounded by Green friends who are living this healthy life and hearing their stories can inspires us all. I’ll draw on their experiences and hope you’ll join in the conversation and share your own ideas for Going Green.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Sustainability


We hear this word more frequently as environmental efforts grow and yet many people are not sure what sustainability actually means. I believe it is some sort of an ideal state for a Green lifestyle. I hear about buying sustainable products like bamboo and living in sustainable housing. I also often hear this word when in discussions involving transportation, energy and food.

Looking for the true definition, I started with the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Sustainable: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged

Then during a quick trip to Wikipedia, I found a quote that helped me better understand sustainability in the context of a Green lifestyle:
Lester R. Brown, an environmental analyst, summarizes the situation as "sustaining progress depends on shifting from a fossil fuel-based, automobile-centered, economy to a renewable energy-based, diversified transport, reuse/recycle economy".

So it seems that being sustainable means creating a lifestyle favoring renewable options and not exhausting natural resources. With this in mind, the going Green process is a shifting to this sustainable lifestyle by making smart, everyday choices that will protect natural resources.

I then thought about the personal choices I make every day and whether they were sustainable decisions:
- Should I walk to my corner grocery store to buy produce or drive across town to the nearest farmer’s market for local, organic food?
- Should I buy a regular $2 light bulb or spend an additional $5 on an energy-saving CFL mercury light bulb?
- Should I blast my air-conditioner or open my windows on a hot summer day?
- Should I buy a hybrid car or find ways to drive my gas car less frequently?
- Should I clean my home with the same chemical cleaning products my mom trusted for years or switch to non-toxic natural cleaners?

While going Green has certainly gotten easier in the past 7 years since I adopted this lifestyle, sometimes, I do choose the less-sustainable option. Sometimes when I’m feeling strapped for cash, I choose to close my wallet on Green. Sometimes when Green feels like too much of an effort, I choose Red instead. Red because I do know Green is the better choice, and I get embarrassed and red-in-the-face because I gave in.

How do I know that Green is the better choice and that my Green decisions actually make a difference? I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept that the everyday choices I make impact the future of our planet. That is pretty serious stuff. But I continue to make these Green decisions because I can see how these choices positively impact my own life. When I make personal Green decisions such as buying organic food because it tastes better and ensures that my body isn’t ingesting pesticides and chemicals, I’ve seen how this decision also benefits my family, my home as well as my planet. Now I’m not a scientist so I truly don’t know what leads to climate change. But I do know that when I shift and make a sustainable, Green choice, my whole body feels like it is a good, healthy decision. It just sits right with me and makes me smile. And those smiles are quite sustainable.