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Go Green: Save Money, Health, and Environment

Go green. Maybe you’ve heard the slogan. But do you know what it means? Simply put it’s a movement towards a cleaner, better, happier earth. And, you may wonder, how is this accomplished? That is what this article is about.

Prepare for a shock. There are of course different levels of greenness. To seriously go green you must give up Wal-Mart. OH NO, NOT WAL-MART!! I can hear the shouting now. But yes. Wal-Mart and the likes of big box stores, Target, K-mart, etc. are not cherished by the green community. You may wonder why; here's the answer. These stores are not designed to make the local community, or the world, a better place. They are huge money making machines. The wages they pay are not great, they routinely cut back on employees, take away from local business owners, and typically drive all small competition out of business. Their products are initially cheaper yes, but in the long term value they are not. They don’t carry fresh produce, or even fresh meat. Many of them barely have organic or earth-friendly anything. The convenience factor is the only bonus to shopping there. So you’ve gotten this far, where do you buy this earth friendly stuff?

Local businesses. To start, your local meat/fish market carries fresh, less processed, probably higher-grade meats at sometimes even better prices than the big stores. If you’re a diehard go greener, you don’t eat meat. But this isn’t about that. Secondly, local grown produce carries a less expensive price, more nutrients, is fresher, and definitely supports your local economy. Local eggs, local plants, local everything, that should be your motto. Support your neighbors by buying their goods. In return your area will benefit by having a higher standard of living, all across the board, and you aren’t paying some CEO at Wal-Mart his million dollar salary that does nothing for you. You can find these better products sometimes at local co-ops all in one place, or whole foods markets.

Also, you must rid your house of the caustic harmful household cleaners almost all households in America are being poisoned with. And again, you must look outside the box to find these things, and here’s why. Your highly advertised cleaners are being sold by the millions. Much, much, money is spent on advertising and corporate salaries with no benefit to you or anyone else you probably know. In exchange your products are filled with cheap fillers to make it look like you’re purchasing more for less, and the cheaper ingredients harm the environment and you. Commercial laundry detergent is notorious for causing skin irritations due to fiberglass fillers. Commercial window cleaners can cause respiratory distress and are deadly if swallowed. Those are just two examples. Long term effects of these chemicals are controversial, but everyone agrees that we use far too much environmentally damaging cleaners. Independent research has shown these chemicals do affect our health, fertility, and increase our chances of getting certain diseases.

Where and how to you get better, safer, and usually less expensive cleaners? Your local health food store, co-op, or environmentally friendly business. How do you know what you’re getting? Well, that takes a little more education. Look for another article soon about how to purchase these products. Keep in mind, just because it says no phosphates, environmentally safe, or biodegradable, does not make it a safe product. Research your products, their ingredients, and the health effects caused by them. You will be healthier and the world will be a better place for your efforts. Be green.

For more information online:
Earthday.net http://www.earthday.net
EPA: Learn About Chemicals Around Your House
Environmental Working Group http://www.ewg.org/
Household Products Database:
Local Harvest: http://www.localharvest.org

About the author 

Jamie Drake is an independent sales representative for a large health and wellness company and a Certified Veterinary Technician dedicated to making the world a better place one house at a time. For more info, or to get environmentally friendly household products and nutritional products please e-mail her at jamiedrake@cfl.rr.com She also runs a small website dedicated to educating moms about all the things left out of the evening news called BraveMoms http://www.bravemoms.com