Small, Eco-friendly Actions That Directly Impact Your Health
Sustainability is an increasingly hot topic. As climate change continues to impact the environment and our lives, more and more people and organizations are stepping up to take action and reduce these negative impacts.
Not only do the eco-friendly actions you take help the planet, but they can also positively impact your overall health and well-being. A greener, more environmentally-friendly lifestyle can boost your health in several surprising ways. Learn how going green can impact your health and the specific actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint while improving your health and well-being.
How Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Can Impact Your Health
To start, let’s talk about how to calculate your carbon footprint. Carbon footprint is a term often used when discussing sustainability, but not everyone fully understands what it means.
When someone is talking about a carbon footprint, they are referring to the carbon dioxide emissions that are caused by daily activities. This can be for an individual, a company, a service, or even a product.
For example, if a person walks everywhere, they are contributing to much fewer carbon emissions than if they drive a car, which burns fossil fuels and emits a significant amount of carbon emissions. O, if a product is made using renewable resources, that product or the company that made it is emitting less carbon than if they had made the product using non-renewable resources, like fossil fuels.
It may be more clear now why reducing your carbon footprint boosts your health. Being greener helps the planet by reducing carbon emissions and pollutants that contribute to climate change. However, there are some extra health perks to consider.
The most obvious health benefit is that reducing carbon emissions improves air quality. Better air quality means we get better oxygen intake, which is essential for staying healthy. Using more eco-friendly products also means you are less exposed to harsh chemicals. Cleaning products that are made sustainably, for example, use safer ingredients that are better for the earth and better for your health.
Another way people go green is by being more mindful of the foods they eat and where they come from. Supporting big chain food companies, for example, can be bad for the environment, but eating fresher, more locally sourced foods is better. Eating these healthier foods is also better for your body.
Overall, people who live more eco-friendly lifestyles have also been shown to have better mental health. Being more mindful of your behaviors and the choices you make can lead to a more purposeful lifestyle that boosts your mood, satisfaction, and emotional well-being. People who have good mental health also tend to have better physical health. A positive outlook means you are likely more active and make healthier choices.
Actions You Can Take To Go Green and Improve Your Health and Well-being
There are countless ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle. There is no one right way to go green. However, to help you get started, we’ve gathered a few tips for how you can start being more environmentally conscious to benefit both the planet and your health.
Support More Sustainable Businesses
Large corporations and organizations are the primary contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. As such, consumers need to start supporting more businesses that care about the planet and are doing their part to reduce the impacts of climate change. Look for businesses that employ a greener supply chain. This looks like:
- Recycled or repurposed materials;
- Digital processes;
- Reusable containers;
- Bulk products;
- Advocacy and education;
- Basic, compostable packaging;
- Greener delivery partners and vendors.
Giving your money to businesses that clearly and honestly invest money in green practices will contribute to a more sustainable society. Further, their products are likely to be less harmful to your health.
Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Running a more energy-efficient home can go a long way toward reducing your carbon footprint and improving your health. People who live in more sustainable homes tend to be happier and healthier, and it reduces the amount of carbon emissions and wasted energy. You can do this by switching to LED light bulbs, washing your clothes in cold water, updating windows to prevent air leakage, and switching to Energy Star appliances.
Use a Bike Instead of a Car
Aside from corporations and their supply chains, citizen transportation is another significant cause of carbon emissions. This is especially a problem in big cities where there are lots of cars and other vehicles on the road. So, to help reduce emissions and live more sustainably, you can switch to commuting on a bike as much as possible. Not only will this help create better air quality, but riding a bike is also good exercise.
Use Green Cleaning Products
Cleaning is one of those everyday habits that we don’t tend to put much thought into. However, the cleaning products you are using in your home could be bad for your health and the environment. Instead, try looking for green cleaning products that use fewer harsh chemicals, or you can even make your own with naturally derived items.
Reduce Plastic Use
Plastic pollution is a major concern. The majority of plastic doesn’t actually get recycled and, instead, ends up polluting natural environments or being incinerated, which means burning fossil fuels. Avoid plastic as much as possible, especially single-use plastics. If you do buy plastic, make sure it is BPA-free and you properly recycle or reuse it.
Prioritize Thrift Shopping
The fashion industry is one of the most unsustainable industries. Millions of clothes get dumped in landfills every year. Fashion and textile production is terrible for the environment. To avoid contributing to this problem, you can shop secondhand to be kinder to the earth. You are likely to find what you need at thrift stores instead of retailers that mass produce trendy items.
Though some actions might seem like they are primarily benefiting the planet, every step you take to live more sustainably does impact your health as well. The healthier our planet is, the healthier we are. Living sustainably can also make you feel better about yourself, which can lead to more long-term healthy habits.