The planet is in turmoil and there is a bigger push to be more environmentally friendly. Being ‘’greener’’ is something that is making its way into the mainstream. When we think of living green, we think of helping the environment, many ‘’green’’ activities are also good for your health as well. If you are interested in improving not only the health of your environment, but also your own body, consider these following green living tips to get the job done.
Go Meatless at Least Once a Week
Raising animals for food puts tremendous strain on the environment; according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, meat production contributes to almost 20 percent of man-made greenhouse gases-- more than transportation. A single pound of beef requires between 1,800 and 2,500 gallons of water to produce. Cutting out meat at least once a week may not sound like anything significant but if a lot of people make this small change, it could have a big impact.
Reducing your meat intake is also good for your health. Consuming large amounts of red meat and processed meat has been linked with an increased risk of colon cancer. Research from Harvard University suggests that eating more unsaturated fats in the form of nuts, seeds and healthy oils, like olive oil, in lieu of the saturate fat found in meat products, can reduce the risk of heart disease by 19 percent. People who eat diets richer in plant foods tend to have healthier body weights and decreased risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Ditch the Car
Depending on where you live, giving up your car completely may not be an option. But, it may be feasible to use it less. It is easy to become reliant on it, even to take it a few blocks to the corner store. Driving your car less will mean you are using less gas and emitting fewer toxic fumes into the air.
Making the decision to walk or take a bicycle is also good for your body. When it comes to maximizing our health, we do not need to kill ourselves physically. Simply getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day five days a week is all it takes to reduce your risk of serious diseases. And it does not even need to be consecutive…just try to get at least 10 minutes in at a time.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Our bodies regulate temperature through metabolism, whose rate determines how many calories we burn. Slower metabolism means fewer calories, which makes weight gain easier and weight loss harder. According to Harvard Health Publications, being in the ‘’thermoneutral’’ zone of the 70’s results in fewer calories being burned; anything we can do to boost our metabolism, no matter how seemingly small, is a win for our health.
Eat Locally Grown Food When Possible
Locally grown food offers numerous benefits for the environment. By eating food grown closer to home, we use less fuel. Smaller farms tend to grow a larger variety of crops, which is good for biodiversity and food security.
Local farms tend to be smaller operations which rely on more natural farming methods compared to factory farms which mass produce large quantities of food. Eating locally means you are probably consuming fewer pesticides, insecticides and other chemicals. Also, you are getting the foods at the peak of their freshness, which means greater nutritional value.
Making more environmentally friendly choices is not only good for the planet; it is usually good for our body as well. As the health of our planet and the general population continues to decline, it is time to get serious about making better choices in both arenas.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in health and wellness content. If you are interested in purchasing more environmentally friendly furniture, check out Erik Organic Furniture.