Today is Earth Day. Did you know that? To be honest, I didn’t know it was today until we looked it up as we sent our newsletter Going “Light” Green. I know my kids’ birthdays, my anniversary (though don’t quiz Marc) and all other key dates. Does it say something I that Earth Day isn’t one of those?
It’s daunting to really think about what we need to do just to stall the worrisome changes that are all around us with the weather, our oceans etc. In our house, we’ve changed out our light bulbs, turn off lights and try to reduce, reuse and recycle; however, we also drive an SUV (non hybrid), sometimes leave the water running while doing dishes and toss unread catalogs by the dozen. I look at our recycling bin and feel we could do better even if I’m never going to be the composting type.
When it comes to household waste between 30 and 40 percent is food packaging. We came up with “light green” as a way to do more even if 100% green feels impossible, here’s what you can do:
Plastic Water Bottles– On Inspiration Green I love when “What Happens to Your Plastic Water Bottles?” was answered with “nothing”. Eighty percent of bottled water is just thrown away and the small percentage that isn’t has such a slow decay rate most of it still exists. If vanity has a greater pull on you (whatever it takes) endocrine disruptors called “obesogens” lurk in many plastics and can affect your weight.  I’ve mentioned Takeya glass bottles before, I also like Lifefactory and if you want to borrow a mason jar, I have plenty. I take juices and smoothies to work in these. Whether you’re going to work or work out, BYOBottle. And don’t try that “freebie” mentality, the planet doesn’t care if your spin studio or office gives the bottles away for free.
From water to straws, 500 million plastic straws are used per day. I keep a Strawsome glass straw in my makeup case, we have them at work and at home. There are also pretty stainless steel varieties. No use drinking from a glass and using a plastic straw. Plus, obesogens? Just reminding you.
Takeout containers are an environmental nightmare. The first order of light green business is to take out less. Those take out containers made from polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) take 500 years to decompose. Plus, they’re lightweight making them an easy marine pollutant. Seamless Web has a green option. With one click you can say “no thank you” to extra napkins, utensils and condiments. Do the same whenever you order.
And how about reusing the “reusable bags”? I have them stashed in purses, in the car and in the kids’ backpacks (in case we stop on our way home from school, good to have my Sherpas in tow). Many stores (Foodtrainers included) will extend a slight discount when you bring back your bag. If the future of the planet or vanity doesn’t get you, perhaps you can appeal to your inner cheapskate.
In addition to take out containers, what about the coffee cups? For Earth Day, no coffee cups (I didn’t say no coffee) make your own home brew.  Stainless steel mugs are so good that the contents stay hot for hours. If you buy just 1 take out coffee a day, each workday that’s over 250 cups and probably 500 dollars a year.
Snacks –I’ll point out that I know I recommend “packaged” snacks to clients and here on the blog. Whether it’s a nutrition bar or a healthy chip there’s convenience and portion control that comes with these single serve items. However, for your weight and your light greenness, packaged snacks should be the exception. Buy nuts, seeds (don’t forget seeds) and dried fruit in the bulk bins and if need be make your “single servings” yourself. Our clients use our handy Nutcase, at home we like Graze reusable snack bags or We Care recycled paper bags. Let’s not forget that fruits and vegetables are the best no packaged snacks around. Avocado with lime and sea salt anyone?
And while part of this message is to purchase (from bulk bins, better water bottles or foods that don’t come in packages) light green also means using what you have. I guarantee if I came over to your house we could make a full meal from your pantry and fridge. Jess (from Keeping it Real) and I had a fun exchange about some of our pantry “antiques” but it’s nice to make your way through items you already have. Take the fun Chopped-esque challenge and let me know how it goes.
I may not be No Impact Woman but if I can lean into light green, you can too. Review the tips above and plan 1 day with no packaged food. It’ll show you that light green is doable. Tweet me at #golightgreen or snap photos of your mini-green successes. 
What shade of green are you? Where could you improve (anything from points above)? Would a no packaged food day be difficult for you?

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