- Sustainability and health are intertwined in many ways. Here's how living sustainably can keep you healthier!
Many people transition to a green lifestyle because they know it will benefit the environment and lessen their contribution to climate change. However, did you know that sustainability also has a positive impact on your health?
Discover how eco-friendly ways of life can boost your physical and mental well-being.
Choosing Better Transportation
One part of sustainable living means choosing better transportation options. Instead of taking your car to work, you can ride public transit systems, many of which use green energy like biofuel and solar power. You could also walk or ride your bike. The result is less CO2 into the atmosphere, which improves air quality and leads to better health.
Opting to walk or ride your bike has other health benefits, too. Any type of physical activity pumps endorphins into your body, improving your mood and fighting stress, anxiety and depression.
Reducing Energy Waste
To live a green lifestyle, you’ll want to reduce the amount of energy you use. One way you can cut energy consumption is by utilizing natural light in your home. Not only will your utility bill go down, but you’ll also feel happier and healthier. Sunlight boosts your vitamin D storage, which prevents depression. It also leads to higher productivity, which is great for those who work from home.
Another way to cut energy use? Turn off your electronics at night. The blue light emitted from these gadgets can make it harder to fall and stay asleep. By following green practices, you can rest easier and feel better.
Saying “No” to Plastic
Plastic is a big problem on our planet, with millions of pounds of the material clogging up landfills and contaminating waterways. While it’s convenient to buy plastic bottles of water, you can improve your health and help the environment by looking for a reusable option.
The average person requires at least one gallon of water per day. If you use a plastic bottle to get your daily fill, however, you could expose yourself to Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical compound that can affect hormones, cause cancer and lead to heart problems. Instead, choose a container made of glass, copper or stainless steel.
Opting for Local Food
Most fresh food at the grocery store is imported from around the globe, a practice that increases CO2 in the atmosphere. To live a greener life, look for food that was grown locally. You can also start a garden and grow your own fresh fruits and veggies.
When you buy local, you reduce the amount of CO2 in the air due to food transportation. Plus, you get fruits and vegetables that are better for you, as studies show that most produce loses 30% of its nutrients three days after harvest. If you decide to grow food in your backyard, you can also support pollinators, like bees.
Picking Red Meat Alternatives
Cattle are significant producers of methane, a greenhouse gas that warms that atmosphere. When you cut or reduce the red meat in your diet, you help protect the environment. Studies also show that reducing your red meat consumption is great for your health.
Researchers took a look at 120,000 men and women to discern the link between red and processed meats and illness. Results determined that the more red meat one ate, the more likely they were to die from any cause, including heart disease and cancer.
Staying Away From Chemicals
We all clean our homes. However, some of the products you find at the store contain harmful chemicals that are bad for the environment and your health, such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which appear in air fresheners, cleansers and disinfectants.
When released into the atmosphere, VOCs can cause acid rain and the formation of ozone. In your home, they cause eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea and damage to internal organs. If you choose natural cleaners — or make your own — you can avoid VOCs and other harmful chemicals.
Improve the Environment and Your Health
By choosing a green lifestyle, you’re doing your part to save the planet. Opting for eco-friendly alternatives also benefits you. If you want to be healthier and happier, start making sustainable choices today!