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Every now and then, it’s good to zoom out and look at the big picture. Quit focusing on the details of every day and take a few moments to analyze where you’ve come from, how far you’ve come or how you’ve done. It’s empowering to affect more change, if you desire it.Austria Green farms

I decided to look at the 40,000 miles above earth view and remember the things that I do to live out my mission — “In Honor of Planet Earth”. Admittedly, I still struggle with my plastic-holic habits and remembering to unplug small appliances, but most of these shades, i.e., choices, have become a welcome way of life. The last one is the most important!

Here’s a list of my 50 shades –the green kind. They represent more sustainable choices in my environmental quest, and I welcome you to do the same if you aren’t already:

» Cut off my engine in car line.

» Flush less — I don’t like this one, but we do try to let “yellow be.”

» Don’t run the water when I’m brushing my teeth (old habits die hard).

» Unplug small appliances to avoid phantom electricity use.

» Compost.

» Take quick showers and turn off the water when shaving.

» Use no pesticides in my yard.

» Use glass storage for leftovers.

» Use less plastic in general.

» Avoid harsh cleaning products.

» Use linen napkins.

» Drink from reusable water bottles, not plastic water bottles.

» Use toothpaste with no fluoride.

» Drink high pH level water.

» Petition against my hometown water department to remove fluoride.

» Support local green initiatives as well as global issues.

» Use cotton and linen rather than manmade fabrics.

» Enjoy my bamboo towels, sheets and ceiling fan.

» Recycle everything possible.

» Collect batteries for hazardous waste day.

» Collect electronics for hazardous waste day.

» Donate to thrift shops or consignment stores (reuse).

» Use personal care products free from parabens and formaldehyde.

» Use 100 percent pure essential oils medicinally before trying prescriptions and over-the-counter meds.

» Eat organic when possible.

» Shop at local farmers market.

» Never litter.

» Pick up other peoples litter on occasion.

» Walk in the rain.

» Keep healthy houseplants to help our home’s indoor air quality.

» Change HVAC filters quarterly.

» Invest in renewable energy.

» Feed the birds.

» Don’t smoke.

» Literally hug a tree.

» Visit landmark trees when traveling.

» Turn off lights.

» Save and eat leftovers.

» Use only soy candles.

» Use wall dryer balls with essential oils in lieu of toxic dryer sheets.

» Don’t buy it unless I really need it or love it.

» Limit TV to about an hour or so a day (except Panther game days).

» Open the windows and let the fresh air in.

» Talk it up! Share research, tips that help me can help others.

» Vote!

» Use no aerosol spray cans.

» Make my own hairspray with natural products.

» Buy more products Made in the USA.

» Embrace nature each day and catch every sunrise or sunset possible.

» Teach children to do 1-49.

~ Verde Mom