There is a lot of pressure on us to live "Green" right now. That does not mean you begin using the color as your decor, rather it means choosing options which are healthier for the planet. The options that help keep the planet green or healthy. So wasn't that what the government and NGOs are supposed to take care of while you go on living a normal life? Not really, you see without your help the government and the NGOs can do nothing. The real green effect will only come into play if ordinary people like you and me do their bit to be more environmental conscious.

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority."- E. B. White

So how does one get around the green issue? Finding quick fixes is not the best way to deal with the environment as in the long these temporary solutions will bring more problems of their own. There is no way to outwit nature, you have to respect her bounty and her wrath. You have to go green in all the small ways that you can so that the cumulative effect is a great one. So how do you put all this theory into practice? Here are a few practical tips.

It is best to buy things in the loose. However if that is not possible it is better to get metal or glass packaging as these are easily recycled. Plastic or paper should be avoided as and when possible as both pose dangers to the environment. Plastic does not bio decompose and paper takes too much energy in production. The worst kind of packing for the environment is a tetra pack. So try and pick the healthiest packaging for whatever you buy. It is best to carry your own cloth bag when you go shopping and insist on no plastic bags.

If you must buy consumables it makes sense to buy in bulk. Buying small quantities will ensure that you need to restock more frequently and so will add to your carbon footprint. Try and buy all things that are not likely to spoil too soon in bulk. Come to think of it you will not run out of essentials and have to run to the market at the last minute. Another advantage of being proactive for the environment might be for you to have less personal stress.

Source location
It makes sense to buy locally produced goods. This way you get fresh stuff which does not have to travel very far. So unlike imported goods which need a whole lot of energy to be transported to you it is better for the environment to buy what is produced locally. So think about what is grown or produced locally and prefer picking up those brands and foods.

Retail location
Again a neighborhood store is a better source for your purchases than a supermarket. Most supermarkets use electricity very inefficiently. They are huge wasters of energy resources. Just think of all the lights that they leave on. The air conditioning and so much more which wastes electricity. So if you frequent your local store rather than a supermarket, you are not part of the energy inefficient system. So you contribute to a healthier environment.

Seasonal Foods
Love to see that "out of season" fruit at the stand? I know I get tempted by them. Don't buy it. It is likely to have come out of a cold storage and so is not fresh. It will not taste as sweet as it looks. Secondly if it is imported it has already left a huge carbon footprint by the time it came from its place of production to your town. Eat foods that are in season, they are better for the environment. Of course the fresher the produce the more vitamins and minerals the food will give you and contribute to your good health.

Again the more your process a product the more energy is wasted on it. So an unprocessed or semi processed product is better than a processed one. For instance if you use polished sugar or sugar cubes you are not being as environment friendly as when you use the unrefined brown sugar. So it may look different but it will taste just as sweet. So why not go for the less processed option. And this is true of many lentils and other products as well. Rice is also more healthy when consumed unpolished. Polishing actually robs it of some vitamins, so next time keep your eye out for the brown, unpolished rice.

Meat is bad for the environment as cattle produce huge amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas which is detrimental to the environment. No one is asking you to become a vegetarian if you don't want to, but at least choose the meat that is healthiest for both you and the environment. The list is topped by fresh fish, followed by chicken, pork, beef and mutton. So the next time you buy meat, buy white meat. If you are diabetic or suffering from hypertension your doctor may have already told you about all the benefits of white meat over red meat.

Alcohol and Water
It is better to drink water than alcohol, however in the alcoholic beverages choose wine over beer. It is healthier for the environment and red wine helps with the cholesterol as well. As for drinking water, try and filter it at home rather than pick up bottled PET jars. Those again clog up the environment due to not being bio degradable. Also if you must pick up bottled water get the 20 liter jars, they are more environment friendly.

"Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions. " - Antoinette Brown Blackwell

There is enough for all of us, we just need to get in tune with the need of the hour.