Happy Earth Day!

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A healthier earth means a healthier you ! In leui of Earth Day, I'd like to share a few easy tips to make your life a little more green:

1.) Eat organic when you can

Most people can’t afford to eat organic produce all the time, and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has tried to make it easier for the consumer to prioritize. The EWG created a list called the “Dirty Dozen” that acts as a guide to the twelve fruits and vegetables that have the highest pesticide levels in them and by buying organic versions of these foods, or avoiding them altogether, you may reduce your pesticide exposure by almost 80 percent! When you choose to buy food grown with fewer pesticides, you’re taking action to help support a healthier earth.

2.) Recycle old clothing

Shirt doesn't fit? Instead of throwing it away, bring it to your local consignment shop or donate your old frocks to Salvation Army, Goodwill, or your church. I've also turned beaten up shirts into cleaning rags, which means less paper towel use.

3.) Turn your scraps to soil 

Composting, which gives food scraps and yard waste a second life as fertilizer, entails a little more effort (and a little more ick factor) than good old recycling but is worth the effort. By composting kitchen scraps and yard trimmings, you can limit the amount of food you waste and help reduce your impact on landfills. In fact, if you compost on a continual basis, the volume of garbage you generate can be reduced by as much as 25%!

4.) Go for green cleaning

Another way to reduce your impact on the earth is to use more natural cleaning products at home. Conventional cleaners may look and smell bright and shiny, but they leave toxic residue around our home, produce poisonous runoff that affects the water supply, and contributes to plastic waste. Because the manufacturers of these products aren’t required to label all of the ingredients on these products, they often don’t – so you may not even know what you are using. Switch to cleaning products that have a list of recognizable ingredients and don’t contain words like “danger” or “poison” on the label. Or, better yet, make your own low-impact cleaning products. They clean your home just as well, without the health concerns. To make your own all-purpose cleaner, mix ½ cup vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda, and 2 liters of water in a spray bottle. 

5.) Buy Local Produce

Buying local produce is important for two reasons. First, it’s much healthier. According to the Institute of Food Research, most produce in grocery stores has typically lost nearly 45% of its nutritional value by the time you by it. Produce starts losing its nutrients as soon as it’s harvested. Once fruits and vegetables stop receiving nutrients from their parent plant, vine, or tree, they begin to break down their own organic material for energy. As a result, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other key nutrients begin to disappear. Most produce at supermarkets must be transported several hundred miles from the farm to a warehouse to your grocery store, a process which takes seven days, on average. The longer the produce sits, the more nutrients it loses.

The second reason to buy local produce, is the environmental impact of transporting your food across the country or overseas. It's estimated that the transportation of food accounts for about 12% of food-related carbon emissions. By buying local food, you can reduce your ecological footprint and live more sustainably.

If thats not enough... Go Plant a Tree! This Saturday in Brooklyn, celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree in Marine Park with MillionTreesNYC.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 
Saturday, April 26, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., free