Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Happier Earth, A Happier You

I don't consider myself to be a very "Earth-friendly" human being. Throughout my life, I have done my fair share of hurting Mother Nature. However, on my pursuit for happiness, I am realizing that a happier, healthier Earth actually results in a happier, healthier person (me).

Think back, to when you were younger, watching Disney movies. At the end of any fairy tale, you see the prince and princess living happily ever after in a beautiful kingdom with lush green grass, beautiful flowers, and birds singing. Whereas the villain in ends up banished from the kingdom, somewhere dark, smelly and polluted. It's a scientific fact that your surroundings can have an effect on your happiness.

I absolutely love being outdoors, especially when it's sunny! We live next to two beautiful parks and enjoy running, having picnics, going to outdoor concerts or simply enjoying the beautiful weather outside. Being surrounded by the beauty of nature truly makes me happy. I am lucky to live in a country where we have many resources readily available to help us take care of mother nature. Regretfully, I don't take full advantage of them in order to do my part. Since today is Earth day, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on how my actions impact the Earth's health and happiness.

Ways I'm hurting Mother Nature:

  1. Wasting electricity. 
    • Chirag is constantly telling me to "Turn of the lights!". He is probably giving me a stink eye as I type... this is his #1 pet-peeve with me. I have to say he has definitely helped me be better about this. In all honestly, it's just laziness and there is no excuse for it. We also switched out light bulbs so they use less energy and save us money as well. Win, win!
  2. Wasting water.  
    • Just the other day, I started to realize how much water I was wasting while doing the dishes. I had the water turned on high while I rinsed them, then put some of them in the dishwasher to wash and continued to wash other pots and pans by hand. I left the water running during the entire time I was doing the dishes! Even with the best dish washing soap, you can't avoid having to rinse them first. But, maybe I could have the water on a lower setting and just be more conscious of how much water I'm wasting doing the dishes. In addition, I need to work on taking shorter showers. I think I've gotten a little better about this, but I could do better. Hopefully both these efforts will help save more water.
  3. Wasting food. 
    • I use to buy tons of produce thinking I was going to make all these wonderful meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, half the time I was either too lazy or too tried and didn't end up using half of it. Sadly, it would have to go in the trash once it would go bad. Although, I've made a few changes, I could do better. Now, I buy less and buy more often. I know buying in bulk is cheaper, but for me it just doesn't make sense if it's ending up wasted in the end. Another great idea is to sit down and plan our your weekly meals, like Salma. Check out her weekly menu for inspiration. That way you know exactly what to buy for the week and nothing goes to waste!

Ways I'm helping Mother Nature:

  1. Recycling. 
    • When we lived in our apartment, we didn't have a recycling center near us. So we would load up boxes and crates of recycling and usually drop it off 2 to 3 times a month. This has definitely turned up several notches after moving to our town home in Dallas. We are enough lucky to be provided with a recycling container and we simply put our recycling out once a week and they pick it up!
  2. Donating. 
    • I donate a lot! My husband and I both like a clutter free home and I typically don't have a probably getting rid of stuff. So we donate clothes, house-hold items, books, etc quiet frequently. This makes me happy in two ways: 1) I am happy to get stuff out of the house that no longer serves a purpose for us. 2) I am happy knowing that I was able to give it to someone who truly needs/wants the item. If you live in the Dallas area, then you must check out Half-Price Books. It's a pre-owned book store where you can donate or sell old magazines and books. It's a little far from us now, but I start a box and add magazines as we finish them and drop it off every few months. 
  3. Planting. 
    • I do not have a green thumb at all, but I think planting your own flowers, herbs, or vegetables is also a great way to help mother nature. Plus, you get to enjoy the benefits by using what you have grown! So far, I haven't kept a plant alive for more than a couple of weeks! :( This is definitely, one area I would like to work on this year. But another way to help save trees and plants is to help reduce paper waste! I try my best to following up on all the junk mail we receive. I call to unsubscribe from it all or switching everything over to electronic mail if possible. A really cool app that was mentioned on tv the other day that suppose to help you do this is, PaperKarma. I'm excited to try it out.
Sometimes just one simple act can inspire many more! It's taken sometime for me to form "Green Habits" and it's always a work in progress. However, after I get into a certain routine and follow them consistently, they become second nature to me. In the end, I feel a lot happier when I do my part to keep the Earth happy.

What's something you do to keep the Earth happy that brings you happiness in return?


  1. Great post! I thought about the ways I create waste yesterday and came to realize that I really should watch how I use water (especially when brushing my teeth and washing the dishes!) and how much food we waste. Every little bit helps!

    1. Oh, brushing teeth is a big one for me too! I tend to leave the water running when I brush my teeth and Chirag always reaches over and turns it off. I definitely need to be better about it for sure! Thanks for the reminder :)