In honor of spring, we’ve been thinking about all the many ways there are to “go green” — even if you’re not fond of any shade other than Army Green. We know you have your reasons, and they are probably great ones, but we’d like to challenge you to rethink what being “green” really means.
It’s not just about saving the planet (although, that is on our list!). It’s also about renewal and vitality, having a clear mind and peaceful soul, bringing out the color of your eyes or complementing the color of your skin and hair, eating well and being healthy, having fun and being inspired, and creating a reasonable budget you can stick to that helps you build a happy life. It doesn’t take much luck, just a little dedication, inspiration and imagination. So, with that said, here are our ideas for going green.
1) Wear it
The color green is not just for St. Patrick’s Day, of course. There are as many shades as there are moods. From Sage to Spring, Pine to Pear, Basil to Moss to Seafoam. Whichever one inspires you to be your best you, work it into what you’re wearing — even if only as a scarf, headband, purse, shoes or necklace. Green can uplift or downplay the elements of your wardrobe as you see fit.
2) Decorate with it
Take a cue from Mother Nature. She knew what she was doing when she placed multiple tones of green together in her forests and gardens. The same goes for the decorative accents in your home. Whether it’s paint for your walls, leaf-patterned draperies for your windows, botanical linens, glowing glassware or refined furniture… shades of green blend excellently together in a room. Think of them as a beautiful bouquet greeting you whenever you appear.
3) Eat it
If you like “Green Goddess” dressing, how about trying a Green Goddess sandwich? Make your own fresh herb-infused mayo, then add it to fresh bread along with cucumber, avocado, lettuce, sliced green tomato, sprouts and seasoning.
How does pesto pasta sound? Try making the pesto from scratch with ingredients from your own herb garden. Add it along with some asparagus spears and lemon for a little more depth and liveliness to your favorite pasta. This recipe for Lemony Pesto Pasta has the details.
Cool down or end a meal with a delicious scoop of green tea ice cream. Ingredients include cream, condensed milk and green tea powder. No ice cream machine necessary.
4) Save it
Your money, that is. We can all use a little “extra” from time to time. The best way to make sure it’s there on our rainy days is to put it there ourselves, ahead of time. So, save up… and feel the relief of knowing you’re doing something great for your future selves. Wondering how much your family will need in the future? This life needs calculator from AAFMAA can help you figure it out.
You can also save the trimmings from veggies that regenerate. For instance, you green onions continue to grow over and over again, even when you chop off all of the green. Just replant the while portion in your garden for year-round regrowth. Here’s a list of veggies to try.
5) Reuse it
Upcycle or make a “hack” out of something that no longer serves its original purpose. Pinterest is full of ideas, such as altering a magazine rack into a cookie sheet holder… fashioning a lamp out of a water pitcher.. or turning a pillowcase into a toddler dress. So before you break your budget by going out to buy something new, take a look around. Do you already have something in your possession that you can rethink into something else? A can of spray paint, scissors and thread, and some glue can go a long way to recreating something you think is unusable.
Start a compost pile from kitchen scraps and use it in your garden. Yes, it can be a little smelly, but there are ways to keep the process simple and out of the way, so that you can be friendly to the environment, while keeping your own environment pleasant
6) Recycle it
Paper, plastic, aluminum… surely you’ve heard this all before. But do you do it? It’s easy, especially if you have a weekly recycling service that picks up commingled trash! Just save up your recyclable items in a separate trash bag and take them out to the corner when it’s time for the truck to swing by.
Donate outgrown clothes and toys to a kids’ consignment shop that specializes in reselling the things your kids no longer need or wear. There are likely local versions of this type of shop in your area, but one national chain is Kid to Kid. There are also similar shops that specialize in teen sizes, such as Plato’s Closet. And, of course, there are many, many charitable thrift shops where you can donate clothes, household items, furniture and more.
7) Spend time in it
Visit the Shades of Green resort at Walt Disney World. The resort provides Military Families with tax-free accommodations, discounted park tickets, free bus travel between the resort and the parks, free meals for kids up to age 4, and more — for total rest and recreation. Click the link for details.
Kick off your shoes and take a walk outside somewhere you can feel soft, lush blades of grass between your toes. Be sure to run your fingers through it, too… and maybe look up into a cluster of trees while you’re lying on the ground.
Inhale the fragrance of a garden in springtime, or pine trees in the winter by scattering scented candles or air fresheners around your living space. Or wear it in the form of body lotion or aromatherapy oils. Your mind, body and soul will thank you for it.
How do you do green? Let us know by commenting below or by sharing your experience with us through “Tell Your Story“.