Patricia Cameron 
Executive Director,
Green Calgary

Imagine a world where people are well-rested, well-nourished, where the water is clear and clean, our homes are healthy, comfortable, and beautiful, and our daily experience is of connection, creativity, and appreciation

It’s unlikely that anyone would say no to the opportunity to live that way. Forget stereotypes about living green being anything to do with wearing hand-made sandals, living on a commune in a mud hut, and going without. Forget the myth that living green involves buying overpriced food or a ton of special products, or lecturing everyone you know about how we are destroying Mother Earth. These are all myths created to promote fear about taking a step outside our current unsustainable and damaging way of living.

Debunking the myth

More and more Calgarians are recognizing such myths for what they are, and seeing the amazing benefits of living and working green.  Living green can take so many marvelous forms. For some, it is rediscovering their love of the outdoors and embracing physical movement.  For others, it is  connecting with the food they eat and reskilling their ability to cook from scratch with high quality ingredients free of toxins and raised with respect for the earth and for animals.

“Living green can take so many marvelous forms. For some, it is rediscovering their love of the outdoors and embracing physical movement.”

For others, it means stepping away from computers, cell phones, and tablets and embracing time with friends, family, and neighbours. For yet others, it is saying no to the worries of credit card debt and feeling oppressed by mountains of consumer goods in favour of a well-ordered, spacious home furnished only with durable, high quality goods.  And thousands of Calgarians are embracing DIY (Do-It-Yourself), making things (food, sweaters, gardens, furniture — you name it) infused with the joy of their own creativity.

Five tips to go green

  • Turn off your electronic devices and turn on to the people and the natural environment around you. You will be amazed at what you can see, smell, taste, hear, feel, and enjoy when you are living primarily in the here and now in your own body.  
  • Get outside for at least 30 minutes a day and breath, stretch, and move. Did you know that plants give off chemical substances that are known to trigger a feeling of well-being in our brains?
  • Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. Rushing is a common way we get disconnected from ourselves and others. When you head off to a meeting, take a moment to truly stand up, centre yourself in your body, breathe, and then stroll (don’t scurry) to your appointment. Just that small change in your work day will nurture your energy, poise, and clarity.
  • Eat real food from real ingredients and make it yourself (better yet, make it with your family or friends). If you don’t currently cook, learn 4 or 5 easy meals you can make from scratch.
  • Eliminate as many chemicals as you can from your house.  Did you know that three simple, inexpensive, nontoxic ingredients can do about 95 percent of all your cleaning? Yep. Cider or white vinegar, castile soap, and baking soda are cleaning miracles.

Embracing the movement

Living green means making positive choices that nourish bodies, families, communities, and the spirit. These upcoming articles highlight local Calgary businesses that are taking living and working green to the heart of their enterprises. Positive change is happening all around us in Calgary, and each of us has an opportunity to make a contribution to this and to enjoy the benefits.

Patricia Cameron