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Feng Shui and Sustainable Living for Happy, Healthy Home

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By Janice Zaltman

Creating an indoor space that reflects who you are and makes you thrive does not have to be expensive or complicated. On average, we spend about 90 percent of our time indoors, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, where the environmental risk to human health has been highlighted in numerous reports. Yet, how about the effect of our home’s indoor environment on our emotional and mental health?

Debra Duneier, founder of EcoChi and a feng shui practitioner, poses this question to our SCGH community, “How do we take control and regain our best selves, so that our environment works for us and not against us?” The following is from a recent interview  on her new book, EcoChi, Designing the Human Experience.

Here are some easy tips to get started:

GET RID OF THE CLUTTER. Clutter prevents us from creating what we want in our life, according to Duneier: “Clutter, from a feng shui perspective, is like having clogged arteries in your body and is a heart attack in the making. When you clear it out, it opens up your veins and arteries and allows wonderful things to happen.”

BRING THE FIVE ELEMENTS INTO YOUR HOME: FIRE, WATER, EARTH, WOOD, METAL. “Classical feng shui teaches that heaven, earth, and humanity energies need to be balanced to attain health and prosperity,” says Duneier. “These energies are called the three gifts of prosperity.” By bringing in each of the above elements you can help bring balance to your environment. Examples of this include:

  • Fire: The colors of fire are red and orange. To create this in your space, place candles or a fireplace in your home. Have hot foods in your pantry, or showcase in your kitchen jars red- and orange-colored peppers.
  • Earth: The color which represents earth is yellow. The earth is what grounds, supports and nourishes us. “You can bring the outside in by having terracotta pots,” Duneier advises. “Grow some herbs in organic soil near your window.”
  • Wood: The wood energy is represented by the color green. Wood energy symbolizes rebirth and growth. You can achieve this in your home by having photos or artwork with trees, or better yet, a live tree in your home.
  • Metal: The color of the metal energy is white and all metallic shades (gold, silver, brass, chrome, and bronze). The metal energy symbolizes wealth and protection. This can be brought into your space with silver candlesticks, an area in your home painted white, or a soft oval-shaped sculpture, rather than something with sharp edges.
  • Water: The color of water energy is black. It is the element most closely tied to prosperity. Place a water feature, such as a fountain or a miniature waterfall, in the southwest corner of your property, and watch greater abundance enter your life.

Reducing clutter and utilizing the five elements is the first step to mental well-being. Using sustainable products can bring your space to an even higher level.

Sustainable choices include the following: Buying wood objects from sustainably managed forests which include the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) symbol or furniture from secondhand stores. Using natural daylight as much as you can in your home. Utilizing natural fabrics for your bedding, curtains, towels, area rugs, and furniture. Cleaning your home with green, nontoxic products. Updating your lighting to include LED lighting. Buying organic food and buying locally whenever possible. Considering solar shades and solar water heaters. Using filtered, not bottled, water. Recycling whenever possible.

By incorporating these practices into your life, you can begin to breathe new vitality into your indoor environment—creating a peaceful, happier, and more vibrant YOU.

© 2011 SCGH, LLC.


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