5 Simple Ways To Get Your Green On

You know what they say: Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day. I've had my quota of green beer for this lifetime, thank you, but let's see if we all can't add a wee bit o' green to our lives, starting today.

Curb your junk mail. Reduce mailbox clutter and help save natural resources. Pull out the pre-paid stamped envelope in your junk mail, write “PLEASE REMOVE” on the envelope and send it back to them. They don’t have to pay for future mailings and you're not buried in piles of junk mail. You can also visit Catalog Choice and choose which catalogs you no longer wish to receive. Most companies provide online catalogs. Go paperless.

Eat local. Grow your own food. Small yard or no yard? Not to worry. Look into square foot gardening and container gardening. You may even be able to get several crops of a quick-maturing vegetable. Have a window? Great. Get a window box and grow some lettuce and herbs. Lunch is just a snip away. Support your local farmers, natural food stores and food co-ops too.

Compost. It's a critical step in reducing the amount of garbage needlessly sent to landfills. Recycle your kitchen waste. Save those apple cores, banana peels and other organic waste. It's an excellent way to enrich your garden's soil. Watch your houseplants thrive too.

Buy certified organic food, free of hormones, antibiotics, artificial ingredients, toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. If it comes down to budget — and who isn't conscious of spending these days — at least check out the Dirty Dozen fruits and veggies compiled by the Environmental Working Group. A child's developing brain and endocrine system is especially sensitive to the damaging effects of toxic chemicals, so at the very least, buy organic for your children.

Buy Fair Trade Certified™ products and help to empower producers in developing communities and ensure that they receive fair price for their labor. Coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas, mangoes and pineapples are common Fair Trade products. Search here for a list of products that are Fair Trade Certified™.

You won't find any corned beef and cabbage around this corner of cyberspace, but I do have a mighty tasty green soup recipe to share with you. Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh! St. Patrick's Day Blessings Upon You!

Clean Green Celery Soup

2 to 4 stalks celery, chopped and divided
1 avocado, chopped
½ cucumber, chopped
½ to 1 C water
juice of ½ a lime or lemon
handful of cilantro
sea salt or kelp flakes to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
celery leaves to garnish

Put half the celery into a bowl. Place the remaining celery along with the next five ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour contents into the bowl. Season to taste. Don’t forget to garnish with celery leaves!

What do you do to get your green on? Share you tips below.

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