5 Sustainability Tips for Everyday Life {Guest Post}

Even if we don’t realize it, one of the greatest threats in the world today is climate change. This environmental hazard is responsible for rising sea levels, increased temperatures and the extinction of entire species, all of which impact our future well-being here on earth.

It’s common to blame these issues on a passive government or corporate greed, but the fact is our everyday actions are just as much a factor. We tend to avoid sustainable practices out of convenience, laziness or sheer apathy.

As the inheritors of this planet, our generation’s responsibility is to protect the environment we call home. Being eco-conscious in doesn’t even require a drastic lifestyle change. Just start with small trade-offs, and you’ll notice a positive difference over time.

sustainability

1.  Cut Down on Plastic Waste

You might think it’s impossible to avoid using plastic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a shot. Plastic is a known pollutant, and as a scuba diver, I’ve seen firsthand its effects on marine ecosystems. Coral reefs are being destroyed, and fish are washing up ashore due to plastic ingestion. Here are some strategies to reduce your plastic consumption:

  • Take a reusable canvas bag with you to the grocery store instead of using the standard plastic bags.
  • Drink water from glass bottle and keep refilling it (empty wine bottles are ideal for storing water in the refrigerator).
  • Request no straws or plastic lids for your beverage at restaurants and take-out chains.
  • Be aware of the plastic content in products you consume and choose biodegradable options which are healthier for the environment.

2.  Go Green on Your Commute

Most people drive their cars on a daily basis, but your emissions can be reduced significantly if you make simple changes on the commute. Choose to walk or take public transportation for shorter distances. For longer distances, become familiar with road cycling safety habits, and bike around town instead of driving. When you need to drive somewhere, carpool with friends to lower your carbon footprint.

3.  Use Eco-Friendly Products

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to consumer products, but often, we pick the cheapest brand without giving much thought to the consequence of that purchase. Buying mass-produced items can leak factory emissions and pollutants into the atmosphere.

So read the labels when you’re out grocery shopping. Purchase organic, local and fair trade-certified foods. Organic practices eliminate pesticides, fair trade items promote sustainable production and fair wages, and locally grown produce bolsters farming and supports the community. Also check the labels on cosmetic products and choose brands that haven’t been tested on animals and don’t use illegally or unethically sourced ingredients.

4.  Work From Home If Possible

The average American spends 47 hours commuting through traffic each year. This equals 3.7 billion hours and 23 billion gallons of gas wasted. With more companies becoming eco-conscious and more millennials entering the workforce, some businesses allow their employees to work remotely which offers increased flexibility and benefits the environment. In fact, remote working decreases greenhouse emissions by 54 million tons annually.

5.  Practice Energy Efficiency

We often take electricity for granted and don’t realize how much energy we consume by leaving the lights on or forgetting to unplug a charger. Remembering to turn off all switches before leaving the house is crucial, but you can also swap traditional bulbs for LEDs or CFLs which use less power and have a longer lifespan. The money you would save by switching out incandescents for these greener options will make this a win-win situation.

If you can afford it, another solution is using solar power. These panels are installed on the roof and converting sunlight into energy that can fuel everything from the refrigerator to the air-conditioner. In cases where enough sunlight isn’t collected, the energy is drawn from a built-in power grid. This natural form of electricity can also save money in the long-term, and research shows that solar panel users saved between $44 to $187 during their first year alone.

 

These are just a few pointers adopting a more sustainable life that doesn’t require any profound changes. If we all took these basic strides, the collective impact on this planet would be extremely positive—and in the modern world, that’s exactly what our environment needs.


 

Akshata Mehta has a passion for traveling and exploring the world. She loves to write, and is especially interested in sustainable living. Being a foodie, she also enjoys cooking up healthy concoctions in her kitchen, recording these recipes and more on her blog With Love From Akshata.

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Simple Steps to Feel Amazing Every Day this Summer

Summertime is the official spokes-season (see what I did there?) of relaxation, vitality and pure amazingness. In fact, my personal mantra during these gloriously sun-drenched months is to Feel Amazing Every Day through self-care rituals, alfresco explorations, fitness commitments and superfood sustenance.

 And in that spirit of epic expectations, lemme divulge my Top 4 no-fail wellness pointers, along with statistical snapshots on why you should care. Then, we can ALL proceed to make this summer one for the history books!

feel amazing every day

1.  Start Each Day with a Yoga Flow.

  • Stimulates physical energy
  • Alleviates emotional stress
  • Cultivates breath awareness
  • Forges a mind–body connection
  • Promotes full-body movement
upward dog

upward dog, anyone? ignore the…err…unflattering angle!

2.  Say “Hell Yeah” to Whole Foods.

  • Gives the body nutrient–dense fuel
  • Satiates hunger for extended periods
  • Curbs refined sugar cravings over time
  • Encourages a mindful eating practice
  • Replaces “artificial” with all–natural
amazing grass pancakes

protein pancakes topped with almond butter drizzle

3.  Spend Quality Time Outdoors.

  • Improves respiration & circulation
  • Reduces stress for mental clarity
  • Offers the benefits of Vitamin D
  • Motivates cardiovascular activity
  • Fosters appreciation for nature
amazing grass smoothie 2

RayBan shades and 95–degree Florida humidity…optional

4.  Slurp on Amazing Grass Smoothies.

  • Contains 20g of plant-based protein
  • Yields 2 servings of fruit & veggies
  • Includes 7 alkalizing leafy greens
  • Supports lean muscle development
  • Regulates optimal digestive health
  • Provides these wellness benefits:
    • USDA-certified organic ingredients
    • non-GMO & gluten-free verified
    • no added sugars or preservatives
    • vegan, kosher & pareve compliant
amazing grass smoothie 3

organic pea, hemp, chia and quinoa…OH MY!

Psssst…wanna experience all that AMAZINGNESS for yourself this summer? Then, don’t forget to enter my Amazing Grass Protein Superfood Giveaway! Check out the details below and indicate which flavor you’d prefer: Original, Vanilla or Chocolate–Peanut Butter.

instagram giveaway

***Open U.S.–based entries only.  Winner selected at midnight July 9.***

 

Spring Has Sprung. Here’s a Smoothie to Celebrate.

With the weather FINALLY warming up and this life-giving season in full, glorious swing, let’s do a smoothie recipe!

Wanna cool off from a day spent soaking up the sun, while treating your body to essential nourishment at the same time? Sure ya do! So, whether you need to refuel after a workout, snack smart between meals, or stay energized and refreshed in the great outdoors, I’ve got a SUPER SMOOTHIE that will satisfy on all cylinders.

This blendiful thirst-quencher is also a  nutritional powerhouse — featuring protein packed edamame, Omega-3 enriched avocado, antioxidant fortified papaya, and vitamin loaded spinach.

But, if those health benefits don’t quite tickle your taste buds, maybe the lusciously creamy texture will. Trust me, getting more greens in your diet has never been so indulgent!


Avocado & Edamame Green Smoothie

total time: 5 minutes; yields: 1 serving

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Spinach (shredded)

1/4 c. Papaya (fresh or frozen, diced)

1/4 c. Edamame (shelled)

1/2 Avocado (peeled & diced)

1/2 tsp. Rolled Oats (whole grain)

1 tsp. Almond Butter (organic)

1 c. Cashew Milk (unsweetened)

1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology Powder (optional, if you’re an avid Shakeology fan, like me!)*

*If you’re looking for a natural protein powder but can’t afford Shakeology, I’d highly recommend checking out Fuel-6 from DailyBurn. This supplement is an excellent source of plant-based protein; plus it’s vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free. Can’t beat those stats, right?

green smoothie ingredients

Preparation:

Combine these ingredients together in a blender and puree until smooth.

green smoothieSpringtime just got sweeter. Bottoms up, my fellow smoothie enthusiasts!


P.S. Sharing is caring, so spread the love by re-posting this recipe on social media — or even feature your own blended concoction — with the hashtag #ShowUsYourSmoothie.

5 Reasons You NEED to Know About Undiscovered Kitchen!

Say what, now??? Never heard of it?

Well, fear not…I’ll fix that! And here’s why you should even care:

1. It’s an entirely digital farmer’s market. If you get your jollies from discovering locally-grown, natural and scratch-made deliciousness from your hometown farmer’s market, what could be better than stocking up on those same goodies without even leaving the house? Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Undiscovered Kitchen allows you to shop an impressive variety of artisan and handcrafted  — not to mention fabulous — foods, sourced nationwide, from the convenience of your computer.

2. The founder is off-the-chain awesome. Her name is Evona Niewiadomsk, — which screams “hippie-badassery” — and she’s uber passionate about food, fitness, travel and embracing life as the ultimate adventure it’s meant to be! Like, this girl just took off on a one-way flight to Spain in pursuit of entrepreneurial ambitions and exotic experiences. Inspired (or maybe a teeny bit jealous)? Uhhh…YEAH! Evona launched UD Kitchen in 2014 with one core mission, which the company continues to uphold: “Support and empower small batch makers across the country and to help passionate artisans grow their businesses! Every purchase made on Undiscovered Kitchen DIRECTLY supports our small batch makers so you can EAT good, FEEL good and DO good!”  Read her full story here.

3. No dietary preference is excluded. Are you freakin’ frackin’ fed-up with struggling to find foods that fit your lifestyle needs and DON’T taste like cardboard?! Well, guess what — UD Kitchen has effectively ended your struggle. Forever. Whether you’re looking for vegan, gluten-free, raw, dairy-free or organic products, UD Kitchen brings all these options together at one easy-to-navigate online destination. Consider it your one-stop-shop “healthy foodie paradise!”

4. Your sweet tooth just met its match. For anyone, who daydreams about the confectionery perfection of a freshly-baked dessert, UD Kitchen understands. They. Get. You. And, they’ve also got you covered! So, satisfy those sugar cravings with sweet and chocolate-y temptations, made GUILT-FREE from wholesome ingredients. You can even score treats that accommodate dietary restrictions — but sure won’t skimp on flavor!

5. Basically, healthy never tasted so fab. ‘Nuff said.

Are you salivating yet? Don’t lie. You totally are. But, hey, no shame…Me too! When I first uncovered Undiscovered Kitchen (see what I did there?), the connection was instantaneous.

In fact, their digital farmer’s market platform seemed so superbly up my alley, that I’ve since become a UD Kitchen Ambassador.

After all, what’s not to love about a company committed to “discovering new and unique products, shopping by lifestyle for foods that fit special health and diet needs like vegan, gluten free and raw, and finding fitness fuels and power snacks for athletes and active lifestyles!”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Undiscovered Kitchen banner

Nutri Maqui: Because “Natural” Doesn’t Have to Mean “Nasty”

image courtesy of nutrilifescience.com

image courtesy of nutrilifescience.com

Why is the claim “all-natural” typically met with groans, eye rolling, and outright skepticism from the average consumer?

Well, because it’s often just that — a claim. Pretentious-sounding marketing ploys that guilt people into buying overpriced (not to mention, unappetizing!) products, which may or may not legitimately support a nutritious lifestyle.

The result? Money wasted, and no perceptible health benefits to justify the cost (or assault on your taste buds!).

If only there was a dietary supplement out there, which could live up to the “all-natural” hype, without compromising flavor and affordability…

Enter: Nutri Maqui.

This gluten-free superfruit juice is the solution to our dilemma, dear readers! Made with the purest and highest quality ingredients found in nature, Nutri Maqui delivers optimum nutritional benefits and tastes startlingly delicious, too. Think: sweet with just a hint of satisfying tartness. Fabuloso!

Developed by Nutri Lifescience, a Florida-based company dedicated to preserving the overall wellbeing of its customers with premium-grade health products, Nutri Maqui packs an energizing punch, guaranteed to power you through even the most hectic schedule.

Its primary active ingredient — maqui berry — is nature’s richest known source of antioxidants (essential nutrients that fight disease-causing free radicals in the body) and can only be harvested from the Patagonian region of South America. This extraordinary superfruit has been proven to fortify immune function, alleviate oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and promote both physical and mental longevity.

These are the very same benefits you can expect from just a single serving of Nutri Maqui!

Plus, integrating this dietary supplement into your regular routine couldn’t be simpler. Jump-start your morning by blending it into a smoothie. Drink it straight from the bottle for pre-workout fuel or post-workout recovery. Even enjoy it as an afternoon pick-me-up instead of reaching for those Doritos. Regardless of how you choose to get your daily dosage, Nutri Maqui fits in with any lifestyle demand.

Now, let’s discuss cost. One 32-ounce bottle retails on Amazon for $39.95, and — I can assure you — the value is worth the price tag. Check it out: Each serving equals 1 cap-ful, and every bottle contains 32 servings. That’s 32 days full of energy-boosting, antioxidant-enriching nourishment. Talk about a bang for your buck!

My personal experience with this superfruit juice can only be described as “love at first sip.” Nutri Maqui is the real deal, — not just another poser of false advertising — and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

So, whether you’re already an all-natural enthusiast or you’re striving to live healthier in the New Year, Nutri Maqui has you covered!

nutri maqui juice

image used with permission from Nutri Lifescience, LLC

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