Thursday, November 20, 2008

Simple Ways To Afford Your Green Lifestyle! - by Heather Havey, M.A.

Simple Ways to Afford Your Green Lifestyle! - by Heather Havey, M.A.

The economy may be challenged, and our own wallets may also be challenged, during these times. However, we still would like to eat right. It is more important than simply a desire to eat well; it is a non-negotiable. It is your Life we are talking about!

That said, the NUMBER ONE excuse that I hear from people is that they "can't afford to eat healthy." I have a few responses to this that I hope will really help us all!

So you understand where I am coming from: We are all in this together, and I feel your pain. I live as a monk, a very simple lifestyle with very few possessions and low income, and I understand the challenges that can be presented for our wallets in this endeavor towards healthy, holy living. But, we can do it! Here are some helpful tips...

(1) Pay now, or pay later! You can pay a little more now for organic produce and natural foods lifestyle, or you will pay later in feeling tired, feeling bad, and having high medical bill potentials.

(2) Buy local, from farmers...or grow your own organic vegetables/fruits. Local farmers are going to charge you significantly less for their products than you would pay in a grocery store, health food store, or coop. So seek out your local organic farmers, CSA farms (Community Supported Agriculture), and so on. Another option is to grow your own organic vegetable garden. Local foods do not have to be shipped cross country or around the world, so they can be sold to you much cheaper. It is okay to choose local produce that does not have organic certification, as long as they grew them "unsprayed" (without applying pesticides).

(3) Plant fruit and nut trees all over your property. Not only will this make the birds and squirrels happy, but trees protect smaller shrubs and crops from harsh weather conditions, and provide healthy habitat for many types of life. Also, you will get hundreds of fruits each year off of every single healthy tree. Planting trees helps not only your and your family, helps not only the animals and plants, but it also helps the world to combat greenhouse gases and global warming! Trees release more Oxygen into the atmosphere, and we are clear-cutting the entire planet right now. WE DESPERATELY NEED TREES! And they will lower your grocery bills! If you have enough trees, you could even sell your fruits and nuts locally, and MAKE money off your trees.

(4) Buy bulk! Bulk bins make items SO much more affordable, and they give us the double benefit of saving on packaging materials and plastic bags. Many, many items - ranging from cereals, beans, grains, chocolates and desserts, herbs, spices, honey, nut butters, and even household items like soaps, shampoos, and cleaning products are available at health food stores in bulk bins.

(5) Eat Natural Foods. Though organic foods may SEEM expensive, really they are a much better deal than conventional produce. The reason for this is that they are far higher in nutritional value than conventional produce, so you get far more nutrition for your penny. Also, they have no poisons within them, so they are not filling your muscle tissues with small amounts of poison that build up over time to break down your health. Also, the most expensive food choices out there tend to be the most highly processed, and least healthy, ones. So when you go shopping, simply choose the most natural, whole, raw, and organic choices that you can.
Some ideas include eating fruit salad, vegetable salads, smoothies, juices, and sandwiches or wraps that you make yourself at home. These options are endless, are all natural, support your own health and the health of the planet, and cost less overall. Meat and dairy are the most expensive choices out there that you can make.

(6) Adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet. Diet is a personal choice that everyone must make, but veg choices are the healthiest and the most afforable choices out there.

(7) Grow your own food. It is actually very easy to grow food. It does not take much time after you set things up. All you really need is a small pot or seed sprouting tray, some basic soil, a little soil nutrient (organic fertilizer or compost or manure compost), seeds, and love. You can grow quite a few things indoors. Pepper plants (bell, or jalapeno, or other types) grow very beautifully and well indoors. So do most herbs and many other plants. I am currently even growing starfruit trees all over my room because it is too cold at nights for baby trees where I live right now. Plants need sunlight, water every few days, nutrients occasionally, and love. With half an acre of land, you could grow enough food for six families or more. A little land, and a little love for it, can go a LONG way. To get started, get some organic or heirloom seeds from Seeds of Change.

(8) Prepare your food at home rather than eating out. You will save a lot of money doing this - on gas, on tips, on restaurant food costs, and so on. It is easy, it is fun, and it is a wonderful bonding experience to either cook for your family/friends or cook with your family/friends.

(9) Bring your lunch to work/school rather than eating out there. You can ensure that you eat much more healthy choices this way, and it will cost you far less than it would to eat out everyday at work or school.

(10) Live simply, and eat simply. The more simple the meals you make, the less they will cost. Also, simpler meals tend to be healthier meals. The simplest and easiest lifestyle, and one of the world's healthiest, is to be an organic raw foodist grazer. This means that you eat only raw, organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains, and you simply snack on items whenever you feel like it. Your body will become cleaner and healthier, you will feel more energy, and you will lose weight if you need to. You will feel great. Simplicity and quality are the keys.

(11) Love, Love, Love. This is the answer for everything: for your own body and health, for the plants and trees and wildlife, for our friends and family, for the soil, for the entire world. The more we live with love and regard for others in our hearts, the happier and healthier our worlds will be. And best news yet! Love is totally free and an unlimited resource.

Aloha, have a blessed day, Heather Havey

Please send ecards to your friends and family.

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