How To Inspire a Healthier Community
By Genevieve Smith
Going green is more important than ever. While we wait for society to catch up to nature’s needs, there are small things one can do daily to take sustainability into their own hands. From how you eat to how you live to how you travel, there are actions to add green to your life. Ultimately, while it’s important to recognize the power of small actions and how they can add up to a healthier planet, engaging in your community on a larger scale is how to catalyze real change for the health of the outdoors and the vitality of our neighborhoods.
How You Eat
Each purchase is like a vote for what you want more of on the market. If you believe in reducing the use of pesticides for the health of the soil and farm families, buy organic. If you believe in the protection of the ecosystem, buy things which are rainforest alliance certified. There are also actions you can take to be more efficient with food purchases.
Eat more sustainably - To reduce chemical use, cut down on processed foods. Products sold in BPA-lined containers are also harmful for your health and the environment, so avoid them. The raising of market-ready beef has an incredible carbon footprint, so opt to eat less meat to reduce demand. When possible, have fun and grow your own food, such as herbs and produce!
Cut down on food waste - Some of the best recipes are made of leftovers. When you're unsure of when you'll eat it, freeze foods before they ripen (or spoil).
How You Live
Daily choices have an effect on resource use and emissions levels. While factories and processing plants make the some of the largest impacts on clean air and resource use, it takes a village to make a difference, and that difference begins with you.
Slash energy use - Opt to open windows to bring in fresh air and natural light. Invest in energy-efficient appliances and electronics, skip the dryer and hang clothes to air dry when possible, and get a home energy audit to see how to cut back on unnecessary drain. Fix leaking faucets to prevent water waste.
Reduce, reuse and recycle - Recycle cans, bottles, newspapers, and the like, and re-fashion containers like jars for storage when possible. Buy used rather than new, and when it comes to things you no longer need, donate. Say no to one-use items like disposable plasticware, single-serve coffee pods, water bottles and plastic bags. To cut down on paper and ink use, opt for paperless billing and unsubscribe from junk mail.
Play in the dirt - Grass and non-native plants take a major toll on water use; landscape your yard with native vegetation and discover something new and beautiful. To take this to the next level, spearhead or participate in a community garden. If given the opportunity, plant a tree to support bird and insect species.
Use smarter products - When possible, use gentle ingredients to clean, bathe, and garden. Avoid harsh chemicals, pollutants, and products containing microbeads. When it comes to gardening, look into the strategic placing of herbs and the use of ladybugs, among other low-impact devices, for a pollutant-free garden.
How You Travel
Reducing single-person car use has a major impact on air quality as well as traffic levels. Let’s find a little zen through shrinking the number of cars on the road.
Skip the fuel - For shorter trips, walk or ride your bike.
Cut back on car rides - Either hop on public transportation, or combine multiple errands into one trip when necessary.
Make fuel use more efficient - When driving, scale down your gasoline needs by maintaining proper tire pressure, keeping car loads light, and avoiding idling.
When you add up individual actions, big changes can be made. Simply by engaging with eco-friendly ideas, you are elevating the community around you and inspiring others to follow suit. Help your neighborhood become more green by considering how you eat, how you live, and how you travel.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Apex, N.C.