Everywhere you look these days, "green" is catching on! And no wonder. Green principles in action mean more conscientious, responsible, and healthful living.

What does it mean to "go green"? The goal of "going green" is to minimize harm to the Earth by maintaining its natural ecological balance and preserving its systems and resources. Going green is a big step toward guaranteeing a healthful future free of critical shortages, wasted landscapes, and damaging toxins.

There are a thousand good reasons to "go green" for your own health, but today, challenge yourself to think globally. Imagine the health impact individuals can have on each other, as well as the Earth itself, when they collectively make the effort to go green.

Let's do it! Here are three green principles and some things you can do right now to adopt them.

1) Reduce pollution.
Naturally, our daily activities produce waste. Unfortunately, modern waste contains many toxic and nonbiodegradable pollutants. That adds up to a whole lot of environmental damage--yuck!--and the health problems that go with it. To reduce your personal contribution to that pollution,

- Use personal care and household cleaning products made of natural ingredients. Baking soda, vinegar, and pure water, for example, are effective cleaners that don't damage the way chemicals can.
- Buy locally grown, organic food. Since they don't travel long distances, local foods don't require a lot of fuel, refrigeration, or preservatives to get to your table fresh. And organic foods are completely free of the pesticides, hormones, and fertilizers that harm the environment as well as our bodies.

2. Conserve resources by reducing wasteful consumption.
Green gurus talk a lot about sustainability, the environment's capacity to renew itself for the long term. Activities that are not sustainable deplete resources--water, arable land, and slow-growing raw materials like hardwood, for example--beyond the point of recovery.

Though we take them for granted, the Earth's resources are limited. According to a World Wildlife Fund report, humans are using more than 20% more natural resources than the earth can produce--yes, at this rate, we are literally outstripping the Earth's ability to support life.

Population growth is not the only cause. Many of us over-consume through wasteful practices that we simply don't think about. But if you apply the slogan "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," you'll find many are easy to correct.

- Use both sides of printer paper.
- Bring reusable bags to the supermarket.
- Use reusable containers instead of "brown-bagging" workday lunches.
- Replace inefficient light bulbs with energy-saving ones.
- Use cool water when hot isn't necessary.
- Turn off the lights and lower the heat when you're not home.

3) Protect Earth's ecological balance.
Because we share Earth with other species, we must become more proactive to protect the planet--and all of its life--from harm. As a concerned citizen, you can take a stand.

- Vote in support of propositions that protect the environment from negative effects of industrial and economic activities.
- Find out how your local schools educate about ecology and conservation. And if there is no programming, request it.
- When you see an environmental need that is not being addressed, bring it to the attention of your local representatives.

Taking responsibility for the present and future health of the planet is a big job, but if we all put a few simple changes in place, it's a job we can manage. Take another look at the suggestions above, and commit to addressing a few beginning today. The continued health of our Earth is worth the effort.

Author's Bio: 

Roberta Roberts Mittman, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., M.S., is a nutritional and lifestyle consultant, holistic mindset mentor, and nationally board-certified acupuncturist. Using natural, drug-free techniques, Roberta opens the door to complete mind-body health. Roberta believes in empowering individuals to be their own best healers. Ready to take that step? Call 212-686-0939, or visit online at RobertaMittman.com.