Green is a color that can evoke powerful emotions — nature’s hue that signifies growth, renewal and life. While some of the traditions March brings aren’t the healthiest (from green beer to shamrock shakes), there are healthier ways to add a little more green to your life. Try one of these five ideas that can help boost your overall health and wellbeing this spring—and all year long.
1. Add one green food to each meal.
Green fruits and vegetables are rich in nutritional value—with vitamins and minerals that support your vision and cellular health. Chop up some spinach into your scrambled eggs, crunch on a green apple at lunch, and add a side salad or extra green veggie at dinner. You can even enjoy a healthy sweet green treat at the end of your dinner with some mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt. Here are some delicious green ideas for every meal.
2. Drink greener.
Coffee isn’t necessarily bad for you, but too much caffeine in a day can be. This spring, consider replacing one of your coffee refills with a cup of green tea or matcha tea. There are many benefits to drinking tea—whether green or other—from reduced caffeine to extra antioxidants. If tea isn’t your thing, smoothies may be. Try this green mint smoothie as an alternative to a shamrock shake. Craving a green cocktail to celebrate the Luck of the Irish? This green bloody Mary can easily turn into a healthy “mocktail” by skipping the alcohol. Or, try this tasty cucumber lemonade packed with lemons and cucumber—two amazing sources of Vitamin C make it a refreshing drink and immune booster wrapped into one. If your go-to is good old H2O, there are ways to infuse some green goodness into your daily water intake with these fun recipes that use basil, kiwi, cucumber, rosemary, mint and more.
3. Spruce up your space with something green.
Adding real plants or succulents to your home or workspace is a simple, affordable way to go green—with big benefits. Along with aesthetics, greenery in your living and work areas can also improve mental health, boost your productivity, purify the air around you, and provide a sense of accomplishment as you watch living items thrive and grow. Learn more about the health benefits of plants here—including the best houseplants to try and easier options for anyone who doesn’t have the greatest “green thumb.”
4. Try living life a little greener.
Always wanted to start an herb or vegetable garden for a more colorful plate? This can be the spring to do it — cooking with herbs is great for your whole body. You don’t need a huge yard — container gardens are a great solution for smaller spaces. Beyond gardening, there are so many other ways to live life greener. You could try simple composting, using “greener” cleaners or eating less meat each week, which helps both the planet and your body. Try carpooling, walking or biking to work or the store to drive your car less. Does your workplace, church or other community organization have a trash pickup volunteer event? Sign up! Studies show people who volunteer regularly feel better physically and mentally.
5. Go out into the green outdoors.
Walking, hiking, climbing, running, exploring, adventuring and moving in any way you like outside can be great for your heart, mind, body and more. Here’s an added benefit: when you’re outside, you’re saving energy inside. Can you imagine the amount of energy the world could save if everyone turned off the power at home to go outside for just an hour a day? Earthhour.org encourages you to join this challenge on a certain day every year. Think of how great you’ll feel spending that hour getting active outside in Michigan’s beautiful spring weather. Look for those first few green buds on trees, plants and get excited about sunnier, warmer days ahead.
The color green evokes a feeling of abundance and is associated with refreshment and peace, rest and security. So, take little steps to go green this spring—and enjoy all of the benefits of nature’s favorite color.