We are all ready to say goodbye to this long, long cold winter! Spring brings bursts of colors! Tulips of ruby red, daffodils in screaming yellow and the vibrant greens of young grass will begin the celebration of this season-bring it on!
Although we dream of sun kissed days and warm gentle breezes we are entering the season of rain. April brings grey clouds, drizzles and downpours and often makes travel uncomfortable but rain is a blessing that should be embraced. Fresh water is one of our most precious resources. In many parts of the world our water supply is drying up so fast that experts wonder how to bring fresh water to the parched mouths of humanity today and in the future.
The Wood element is the energy of spring and represents rebirth, renewal and fresh beginnings. What a perfect time to think of rain as the gift of emotional healing and the nourishment needed to create a new chapter in your life. Take your personal message from this integral part of the cycles of Mother Earth. Think about how the natural world responds to rainy weather as the animals get cozy in their nests and early blossoms close in tranquility.
Spend a day or two at home. Open your window and listen to the rhythmic patter of raindrops as you feel your connection to nature. A rain storm changes the energy so this is a great time to start your spring cleaning! Wash, wipe, dust and get rid of that clutter in your home and in your office. This makes good sense and great Feng Shui! Remember to recycle and donate whenever possible. Now you are on your way to bringing new and wonderful experiences and opportunities into your life.
In Feng Shui the Wood (spring) energy is associated with the color green. I call it a pillow for the eyes as it is the most restful color for us to look at. Like a walk through a forest, it fosters feelings of balance, harmony and hope.
Feng Shui Tips for Rainy Days
- Bring nature indoors with a houseplant. Indoor trees and plants are not only pleasurable to look at but they bring us additional health benefits. Plants purify the air through tiny pores in their leaves that act as air filters.
- Turn up the music! The vibrations clear out the old energy and make room for new energy. Play music that makes you happy, and smile. Studies have shown that smiling improves your health, your stress level and your attractiveness!
- Have a cup of Herbal Tea. Try Spicy Orange, Chamomile or Peppermint to enhance those quiet moments!
- Listen to a guided meditation CD. This is a great way to alleviate stress and lower blood pressure. Studies show that meditation can even renew damaged DNA!
- In your personal journal make a list of all of the things in your life that you are grateful for-so uplifting!
Debra Duneier is a Feng Shui Master Practitioner, Certified Eco-Designer, accredited LEED® Green Associate, award winning Author of EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience and Reality TV Feng Shui expert on Veria Network’s “Natural Reboot.” www.ecochi.com
related: more articles from Feng Shui expert Debra Duneier on The Alternative Consumer
As consumers we are often trying to find ways to improve the way we go about practices in our homes – not only for the good of the environment, but also for our wallets. However it isn’t just us who are doing this, as businesses both big and small are also getting in on the action. We thought it would be interesting to highlight a few examples of this so you can see how society as a whole is coming together to tackle the issues that make green living a necessity.
One of the world’s top ten steel producers, Tata Steel, has an entire section on their website about sustainability. As a company with approximately 80,000 employees across five continents, they have a good amount of knowledge especially due to their industry. They have helped to explain the concept of sustainability, identified driving factors behind why sustainability needs to exist, and they have outlined a number of key themes that other businesses can use in order to follow processes better. Most of these are to do with construction and production, which actually contribute to a large percentage of energy consumption on a national basis – therefore it is good to know that it is being taken seriously.
Renault, JLR, Nissan and Toyota
The Guardian recently published an article on Europe’s automotive industry which makes for some interesting reading. Some of the big names in the industry are coming up with ways to drive sustainability through remanufacturing and materials innovation – this makes plenty of sense when you consider the sector’s heavy reliance on raw materials. Renault’s Choisy-le-Roi factory has been doing this in some respect since 1949, but they have most recently started doing this with turbo compressors. According to the company, one remanufactured part uses 80 percent less energy, 88 percent less water, 92 percent fewer chemicals, and generates 70 percent less waste production compared to a new part.
Colibri (Innovative Mobility Automobile)
Also in the automotive sector is a new car that you might not have heard of before. In Jena, Germany, the Colibri made a debut prior to it going into commercial production this year. This is one to note as it is said to have zero CO2 emissions and low energy consumption, making it the greenest car on the market. This is something that consumers can truly appreciate as it will be something they can use themselves if it is of interest. Named after the world’s smallest bird, it is clear that the car won’t be suitable for a full family of people, but it could be ideal for one-person city trips whether for commuting or delivering items.
Of course, there are many other businesses out there who have taken measures to ‘go green’ – these are just a selection of them. We’d love to hear from other companies and the techniques they use to be more sustainable and eco-friendly, regardless of how little or large the gesture is.
Did you know that less than 2% of plastic bags get recycled? How about this: Regular plastic bags often take over 100 years to degrade. Though cheap and convenient, plastic bags fill our streets, waterways, and landfills, and often do not ever become plastic bags again (even if recycled).
BioBag is a company that provides bags and films for the collection of organic (food, yard and pet) waste for the purpose of composting. Unlike your typical plastic bags which are made from polyethylene/polypropylene-based plastic, BioBags are created from an entirely unique material – a resin derived from plant starches, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers from renewable raw materials and fossil raw materials – a material called Mater-Bi. It can be readily composted (more…)