Tackle June Gloom

Who would think that the beginning of summer could bring
about such a sense of gloom? Rising gas prices, unemployment, an
uncertain economy, and changing weather patterns sure can cast
foreboding shadows. Try these simple “green” adjustments to tip the
balance in favor of the planet, and to lift your spirits to face the
challenges ahead.

If you want to help local bees thrive at a time when honeybees are disappearing all over the world, plant a window box. Choose a mix of colorful flowering plants, including a variety that will trail over the box, for natural balance. Ask for help at the nursery, and select blooms that are perfect for your window box and the sun-to-shade ratio of its location. Look into crystal additives for the soil – these will retain water, making for healthier plants and less wasted water. Bees adore any of these beautiful, delicately scented gems: geraniums, salvias, bee balm, and different types of lavender.

Even in the heart of the big dirty city, bees will bumble through the flowers in your window box. When you glance out at your colorful little garden, you’ll not only have the pleasure of watching things grow, you’ll provide a habitat for the bees who make their home in your corner of the world.

Take a load off…
You’ve heard of spiritual seekers and saints who own nothing, trusting to the divine for all their needs. That’s way too extreme for most of us, but the practice of letting go of unnecessary material goods does have a secret benefit. It’s possible to feel burdened when you have too many things, and it’s unbelievable how much of an emotional toll your stuff takes on you – but you won’t notice that until it’s gone.

So unburden yourself: clean out a drawer, and then a closet. Donating things to charity (and getting a deduction) instantly creates a feeling of lightness. It’s a simple way to initiate a cycle of change, and make way for new types of prosperity.

Clear the air
Drive your dangerous household chemicals to the hazardous waste dump. The EPA tells us that the air inside an average American home has a higher concentration of pollutants than that right outside the door. This pollution comes from cleansers we use in the bathroom and kitchen, and on the floors. Also, when these products are made in the factory they can be enormously destructive to the environment.

If you want to save money and the environment, use vinegar, baking soda, and concentrated citrus juice to clean almost any household surface. If time is a concern, you might look in the supermarket or big box store for a safer, more-natural cleaning product.

Buy and eat local
Many cities now have farmers’ markets where you can get high-quality, flavor-packed, local organic food at the best prices. Some of the larger farmers’ markets carry gorgeous fresh vegetables, as well as baked goods, free-range meats, and even fragrant soaps made from food-quality ingredients. You can make a huge change in the carbon damage your food causes by choosing restaurants and grocery stores that feature local produce, rather than food flown from around the globe.

Get a move on
Nothing will raise your spirits more than movement. Get out your bike or blades, take a long meandering walk through a park, or just go window-shopping for exercise. You’ll be doing your body good, you’ll save money, and you’ll feel more alive and energized. And your enjoyment won’t add any pollutants to the air! Don’t forget as you glide along to breathe deep, and keep reminding yourself that you’re helping to make the world a greener place as you get centered to face the challenges ahead.

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