Tips for Going Green in 2014: Daily Life

Going green in your daily life isn’t as difficult as you might think. By taking a few baby steps at a time, you will eventually be able to make great strides in improving your overall health. In this post, we talk about two of the best places to start this process: eating healthy and removing certain chemicals.

Enjoy Healthy Foods

We’ve all heard the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But just like your home appliances, it takes more than the odd stint of maintenance to keep your system running at peak condition. The kind of ‘green energy’ we’re talking about gives your body a boost of energy without the sharp crash and sluggishness caused by highly-processed foods. Superfoods like Brussels sprouts, apples, and avocados give your body a surge of vitamins C and K, beta carotene, antioxidants, and fiber, while reducing the effects of illness, stress, and age.

But with recommended portions that can seem frankly staggering to anyone on a work schedule, it can be difficult to get the energy needed to power your body on a daily basis. Thank goodness for modern technology: blenders and slow cookers are your best friends in the kitchen, saving you time while preserving all of the nutrients and flavor. And on days when you do have time, make your meals count by rounding them out with leafy greens and fruits, or slip in chia seeds, garlic, hot peppers, nuts, or flax as garnishes or fillers.

And while they aren’t literally green, every Texan knows the power of quality meat. Incorporating proteins like omega-rich salmon and fresh-cut lean meats (think chicken breast, turkey cutlets, leg of lamb, and round steaks) is an excellent way to get your daily requirement. Full of iron, zinc, and vitamin B, proteins can improve your memory, repair your body faster, increase your oxygen flow, and reduce anxiety.

Meatless alternatives are no slouch, either. Eggs, lentils, beans, quinoa, cottage cheese, peanut butter, and Greek yogurt also provide your daily supply of protein, magnesium, potassium, and probiotics.

Finally, keep your healthy food as fresh as possible by shopping at a local farmers market in your area!

Avoid the Chemicals

If the advent of frozen food trays was a triumph for convenience, the rise of the reusable Tupperware seemed like a giant victory for the environmentally-conscious. Saving money with low-maintenance products while reducing waste was a match made in heaven. But according to tests performed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2008, some reusable products like water bottles, microwaveable food containers, and plastic eating utensils begin leaching harmful chemicals into food and drink from their first use. Along with cleaning and heat, reusing products with Bisphenol A (BPA) only increases the release of chemicals.

BPA is a primary chemical used to produce polycarbonate plastics. Undetectable to our senses, a CDC survey from 2003-2004 found detectable levels of BPA in 2,517 of their subjects – that’s 93%!

For homes with children, turning over a new leaf when it comes to greener cookware is even more important. The Journal Sentinel’s animal study suggests that fetuses, infants, and young children – who are almost constantly affected through exposure to pacifiers, bottles, and foods stored in packages that contain BPA – would be susceptible to even low doses of BPA.

In light of the FDA’s recent precautions against BPA, food cooked or stored in BPA-free or non-plastic cookware is best. To make it a little simpler, we’ve given you short lists of eco-friendly, BPA-free alternatives. They’re microwave- and dishwasher-safe, durable, suitable for children as well as adults, and while some may be a little pricier, their durability and safety make them a worthwhile investment in a greener life.

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