As the season changes and winter lingers on in northern Wisconsin, our daily activities and our moods change. In fact, the shorter, cold and gloomy days and the lack of natural sunlight, can lead to a wintry type of mood or slugginess. But there are things we can do to avoid getting trapped in our winter doldrums, and are eco-friendly at the same time. Here are a few ideas that can improve your mood and help us in our 7th Principle.
“Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”
Light up your life - Why not light up your life in the winter with less energy? One main thing to consider is the amount of energy light bulbs produce. Consider LED’s which achieve full brightness instantly and work well with dimmers. Or, how about lumens that are also efficient bulbs that produce more light than the amount of energy they take?
Use indoor plants—Aside from indoor plants creating a cozy and warm ambience in your home, they are also energy efficient in the way they release moisture from their leaves allowing it to hold in heat. Some houseplants like aloe vera can act as an air purifying plant surviving on less sunlight and water while others such as golden pothos, one of the most popular house plants, needs indirect light almost consistently and can make your dog or cat sick.
Who says you have to be cooped up indefinitely during winter? Spend some time soaking in enough natural vitamin D, which has been shown to increase serotonin, while light suppresses melatonin, to help offset that yucky wintery feeling. It’s easy to feel down in the dumps when you’re not getting enough natural sunlight. Bundle up and walk carefully on icy sidewalks, take a walk in the winter wonderland. Or, grab the kids, or grandkids and build a snowman.
Take advantage of cozy long nights, blow off some steam and get lost in your creativity. Find a unique and meanginful way to repurpose cast off materials that would otherwise be thrown out. One great tip to create “eco-art” is to recyle last years Christmas cards into gift tags, or cut apart cards, shapes and pictures to create an entirely new card to send to your family and friends. Saving a tree and your emotional well-being, while feeding your creative side. Going green and happy!