Embracing All Things Green
Green is the color of the heart chakra, which is associated with compassion, love, romance, relationships and communication. When the heart chakra is healthy and balanced, you will be able to enjoy healthy, loving relationships. However, it's impossible to have healthy relationships with others until we first love ourselves.
The heart chakra is the center of love of self, which then emanates outward to touch those we come in contact with. To heal and balance the heart chakra, it's helpful to use green gemstones like jade, green aventurine and emerald. You can either wear them as a pendant that will fall around the heart center or lie down and place the gemstones over the heart center and visualize a green ray of light entering and opening your heart center.
The Green Kitchen
Apart from painting the walls kitchen green, there are many ways you can generate a calm atmosphere, open and nourish your heart and contribute to a healthier and greener planet right from you kitchen:
- Support local farmers and CSAs. Find a local farmer's market where you can buy foods directly from the farmers—the fewer miles your food travels from farm to table, the better for the environment.
- Grow something. If you don't have room to create an orchard or a vegetable patch, even a little plot on your lawn or a window box will give you the satisfaction of using foods that you planted yourself. Some cities and towns have community garden projects where people get together to grow fruits and veggies. If there isn't one already, take the initiative of starting one. This is a wonderful educational project to get kids involved in, as it gets them outdoors and connects them with where their foods come from.
- Buy foods in bulk and have some good storage containers in your kitchen that will keep your staples fresh. This means less packaging materials and fewer trips to the store, not to mention it can also save you money.
- Recycle. I once met a family in Australia that produces only one bag of garbage a year—what an inspiration! Find ways that you can avoid filling our already overburdened landfills.
- Buy a water filter. This is one of the best investments you can make toward your own health and the health of the planet. Instead of buying water in plastic bottles, buy one water bottle and take your filtered water with you.
- If you don't have a garden where you can use compost, find someone who does. My neighbors have a farm with chickens, and all my vegetable waste is used to feed the chickens or added to their compost. Get a little bin with a lid that you can keep by your food prep area and line it with a compostable bag, as this makes it easier to dispose of your waste.
- Turn off your taps. I've been guilty of leaving my taps running while I'm washing a couple of plates or scrubbing a carrot.
- Use utensils, cutting boards and other products made from sustainable materials like bamboo.
- Opt for manual rather than electric kitchen gadgets.
- Make your own kitchen cleaners: Combine 1 cup of cider vinegar with 1 cup of water to create a disinfectant, degreaser and general cleaner for household surfaces, including glass. You can put in a spray bottle for easy application. For cleaning stainless steel, pour soda water into a spray bottle, spray and wipe clean. A few drops of citracidal (grapefruit seed extract) in a spray bottle filled with water is another excellent natural cleaner and sanitizer that can protect against many common bacteria, viruses and parasites often found in homes.