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How to Eat Greener: Healthy Food, Healthy Earth

Happy New Year! 2010 is off to a great start!

Here at Dolphin Blue, we've hit the ground running, planning some new products and initiatives that we're excited about. We're also proud to report that in our first full quarter of participating in the Round Up, Impact Down carbon offset program, we matched our customers' contributions and offset 1.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Thanks to all those who chose to round up when making a purchase.

Start the new year off right with green meals It's January, aka post-resolution time, which means the gyms are packed, the portions are downsized, and resolves are steeled. If you've made a goal to get healthier this year, why not begin with eating greener?

To help you get started, we've rounded up resources on food that's good for you -- and good for the environment.

Get a New Cookbook Got a vegetarian and a meat eater living under the same roof? Make everyone happy with The Adaptable Feast: Satisfying Meals for the Vegetarians, Vegans, and Omnivores at Your Table, which offers tasty recipes with adaptations for both the omnivores and herbivores. The 90 entries include Quinoa-Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes, Gooey Macaroni and Cheese, Pad Thai with Shrimp/Tofu, and Tagliatelle Bolognese for All. Plus, author Ivy Manning has your best interests in mind, as she pays special attention to the nutritional makeup of each meal, never substituting without thought.

Buy Big Green Cookbook: Hundreds of Planet-Pleasing Recipes and Tips for a Luscious, Low-Carbon Lifestyle, and you'll get a book with more than just recipes -- it's also filled with all kinds of tips, like how to be eco-savvy in the kitchen. Here's an example: "You don't need to be skinny! Rather, choose foods that are thin to start with, like skinny-cut French fries instead of thick-cut ones. The slimmer the food, the faster it'll cook -- saving you and the planet energy." Grow an Heirloom Garden From companies like Seeds of Change, Victory Seeds, and Heirloom Seeds, you can find open-pollinated, untreated seeds (which helps maintain diversity in seed stocks) for almost anything you'd want to grow, whether it's melons, corn, lettuce, peppers, or flowers.

Take the Coffee In-House Can't live without a wake-up beverage in the morning? Then try brewing it yourself at home or at the office, using fair-trade organic coffee and a mug instead of disposable cups. Look for companies that are certified organic and fair trade, like Sacred Grounds Organic Coffee Roasters. Grounds for Change pays farmers in Peru above the going rate for coffee to help support local domestic violence intervention programs and small-business loans for women, while Dean's Beans only purchases shade-grown coffee, which helps keep migratory birds and farmers safe. (On a side note, if you're looking for a cool gift for someone, consider an organic coffee of the month club.) If becoming a home brewer doesn't appeal to you, find a coffee shop that's committed to fair-trade practices.

Do It Yourself Think outside of the box -- the cereal box, that is -- by trying your hand at making your own. This recipe from Bon Appetit magazine for Quick Omega-3 Granola earns raves from readers for being both nutritious and delicious.

And Then, Relax After you've prepared a nice, healthy meal, don't worry about the dishes -- stick them in the dishwasher (Energy Star rated, preferably) and don't feel guilty: Studies show that modern dishwashers use about half the energy and only one-sixth the water a person washing dishes does. No matter how hard you try, your dishwasher will outperform you in cleanliness and minimizing resources, so shelve those dishwashing gloves and bust out a green cookbook to find your next eco-friendly meal to try.

***Get ready for our new series: Green Heros, where we take a look at some of the most notable economists, environmentalists, authors and everyday people who are driven to save the planet just like us and the impact they've had on so many.

Keep an eye our for our first two upcoming heros: John Perkins and Helena Norberg-Hodge

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