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Top 10 Ways to Green Your Life

Deirdre Imus shares ten tips to detox your diet, your body, and your life. From her bestselling book, The Essential Green You!

A cleaner, healthier lifestyle can bring us closer to nature and to the people we love. This is something I think we all crave — but our fast- paced lives and toxic environment don’t always make it easy to have. As the need to do something about our environmental health crisis becomes more urgent, I predict that making green consumer choices will become an easier and more natural part of your daily life. Until corporate farmers and manufacturers clean up their act, however, we must remain vigilant and ask questions: What is a product’s source? What ingredients does it contain and how well studied are they? What are the ramifications of its farming or manufacturing process? Is there a more sustainable, safer alternative I can buy?

Remember that building a greener world is a journey that we’re all taking together. Share what you learn with your friends and family, to encourage them to join the Green Revolution too. Together we truly can make a difference. Here’s to your health!

A Greener You Top Ten
Here is a checklist of the top ten things you can do today to make your life a little greener and cleaner. I encourage you to visit my Web site, dienviro.com, for more tips and to share your success stories.

  1. Don’t smoke, drink in moderation, and avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible — especially if you have children.
  2. Exercise to improve your cardiovascular health, reduce your stress, sweat out toxins, and maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Read food labels. Choose organic whenever you can and avoid foods that are grown with pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.
  4. Buy local. This supports your neighboring farmers and reduces energy consumption required by the global transport of goods. Food from your farmers’ market is healthier and fresher because it hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to reach your dinner table.
  5. Use the Skin Deep database (cosmeticsdatabase.com) to help you find cosmetics and personal-care products that are free of fragrance, parabens, and other toxic chemicals. Let companies know if they need a makeover. Ask them to sign the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, which is a pledge to substitute chemicals linked to birth defects, infertility, cancer, brain damage, and other serious health consequences with safer alternatives.
  6. Go chlorine free on all your paper products (especially feminine hygiene needs) to reduce your exposure to dioxin, a carcinogen released when chlorinated products are incinerated.
  7. Green your cleaning. Look for nontoxic alternatives like my Imus Greening the Cleaning products) to harmful household cleaners that contain bleach and other toxins. Baking soda, white vinegar, and lemon juice can handle a lot of your cleaning challenges. Visit imusranchfoods.com and dienviro.com for more information.
  8. Reduce, reuse. Take care of the clothes you already have. Don’t let a little wear send you on a shopping spree — swap with friends instead. When you do buy new, look for organic fabrics and nontoxic dyes manufactured in sweatshop-free conditions.
  9. Explore alternatives to artificial estrogens. Women who have prolonged exposure to estrogens are at higher risk for breast cancer, and major studies continue to show an increased risk when postmenopausal women use hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Women who use both birth control pills and — later in life — HRT face an even greater risk of breast cancer than those who use neither. Explore your options with your doctor.
  10. Choose safer supplements. Check for the USP label and do your homework to make sure your supplements contain what they say they do and are free of contaminants.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deirdre Imus, author of The Essential Green You: Easy Ways to Detox Your Diet, Your Body, and Your Life (Copyright © 2009 by Git’R Green, Inc.), is the founder and president of Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology®, part of Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) in New Jersey. She is also a co-founder and co-director of the Imus Castle Ranch for Kids with Cancer and the author of the bestselling book The Imus Ranch: Cooking for Kids and Cowboys.

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