Climate change is here and many people are starting to realize that sustainability is a better way of living. Because climate change greatly impacts our health, having a green lifestyle can make a significant difference.
Here are the top ten ways sustainability links to our health.
1. Reducing Food Waste
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 63 million tons of food waste were generated in 2018. All of the food we waste ends up in landfills, one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
Food waste negatively affects our environment and health for various reasons. However, reducing it would help feed the hungry since nine million people die from hunger yearly. Plus, it could stay out of landfills, reducing climate changes – which influences:
- Shelter safety due to extreme weather
- Air quality
- Clean drinking water
- Food availability
- Nutrition levels of food
2. Reducing Pollution
It’s no secret that plastic is an overwhelming problem worldwide. Millions of pounds of plastic contaminate waterways and clog landfills. Even though bottled water provides the convenience of hydration, you can improve your health by contributing to the environment.
Consider looking for reusable options. You can choose a water bottle made of copper, steel or glass. Or any bottle free of BPA (Bisphenol A) to reduce your exposure to this toxic chemical.
3. Eating Locally
Eating locally grown foods provides many benefits to your health. Food that grows or is produced in your community means it’s fresh and tastes better. And having fresh food means you feed more nutrition to your body.
That’s because the longer the transit time for fruits and veggies, the more nutrients they lose. Therefore, purchasing foods from your local farmers’ market gives you more antioxidants which help fight free radicals and diseases.
4. Eating More Plants
A plant-based diet – such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes – benefits you and the planet.
Whole foods are minimally processed and don’t have saturated fats and added sugars. In turn, they reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Plus, it helps you lose weight.
5. Lowering Energy Consumption
With climate change on the rise, reducing your energy consumption is more important than ever. One way you may achieve this is by using only natural light, boosting your vitamin D. This may help prevent depression and lead to higher productivity.
6. Growing Your Own Food
You and your family can go green by eating clean foods from your garden. Many of the fruits and vegetables you see on the market have chemicals that help speed up their growth.
You know what you’re getting with farming, and it’s a great way to manage stress. Plus, you can conserve more natural resources by using water nearby to irrigate your garden.
7. Helping With Conservation
Protecting the forests plays a key role in your health. It can provide you with nutrition while managing diseases. Restoring and protecting wildlife and habitats is a critical first step in preventing infectious diseases.
Deforestation puts humans at risk of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases since there’s no web of opposing interactions.
Additionally, conservation work can boost your happiness since you’re doing good for the planet.
8. Purchasing Green Products
You can find toxic chemicals in everything from cleaning products to building materials. Prolonged exposure to these toxicities can detriment your health. By purchasing environmentally-friendly products, you’re buying items free of toxic chemicals.
Plus, buying Eco-friendly products doesn’t have to be expensive. Other affordable alternatives on the market are safe and healthy for you and the planet.
9. Buying Less Online
Consumers are obsessed with getting free, two-day shipping. This means companies are working hard to ship their products to keep the customer satisfied.
People buying more items online significantly impacts the environment with airfare and vehicle pollution. Plus, many consumers will return their items, which requires more packaging and shipping.
While you may not be able to avoid online shopping entirely, you can still choose Eco-friendly ways to help the environment. For example, you can avoid asking for next-day shipping, purchase more than one item online and ask for Eco-friendly packaging.
And if you’re going to the store, consider walking or biking to get exercise and fresh air. More workouts help boost your mood and physical health.
10. Eating Less Red Meat
Consuming less red meat and processed meat can profoundly affect your health and the environment. When you eat red meat, research has shown that it can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Increasing your risk of these diseases also increases your risk of death. Therefore, what you don’t eat won’t harm you. And if you eat less red meat, you reduce the need for beef production – responsible for 14% of greenhouse gas emissions globally.
Choose an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
Living a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t have to be challenging. Start small, then gradually increase it to reach a greener life. By choosing to live this way, you reduce the negative impact on the environment and, more importantly, your health.
Start making smarter choices today to help save the future of younger generations and your planet.