Eco-Friendly Habits For Your Health
By Genevieve Smith
When you think of doing right by the environment, it can seem a daunting task. Where to begin? And do you have time to think of the planet while simply trying to stay healthy and get through another jam-packed day? The following tips are better for your health -- and the ecosystem.
- Do Away with Disinfectants - Antibacterial ingredients are in more than just your hand soap and sanitizer; they lurk in various brands of toothpaste, deodorant, and acne products. These ingredients disrupt your microbiome, affecting your immune system, and are linked with asthma, allergies, diabetes and obesity. They disrupt the ecosystem because they’re ingested by fish and affect the bacterial diversity of aquatic life. For cleaning purposes, turn to vinegar, which has antibacterial qualities, for a natural solution.
- Hop on Your Bicycle - It’s clear why this would be a superior solution to driving for both your cardiovascular health and air quality, among other environmental factors. Reduce your carbon footprint and shrink your waistline by opting for the bicycle for manageable trips.
- Cut Down on Refined Sugar - It’s little mystery that refined sugar has no nutritional value, contributes to weight gain, and takes a toll on dental health. But did you realize what all the demand for sugar is doing to our planet? “Sugar cane plantations have led to some of the biggest losses of biodiversity in terms of any single agricultural product,” explains Adria Vasil, environmental journalist and author of the Ecoholic series. Satisfy that sweet tooth with fruits, organic and fair-trade sugar, or honey, for an alternative that holds nutritional value and is gentler on the planet.
- Go Meatless on Mondays, and Maybe Tuesdays, Too - While there are nutritional guidelines as to how much meat a person should consume daily, most people exceed these recommendations and are taking a toll on their health and the natural habitat. The World Health Organization declared processed meat a carcinogen in 2015, and researchers at the University of Adelaide found meat to be as impactful on obesity as refined sugar. Sadly, raising animals to satisfy demand for meat is contributing to deforestation to make way for ever-more pastures, and the, ahem, “bodily emissions” of cows fills out the picture to make cattle rearing responsible for more greenhouse gases than transportation, according to the United Nations.
Making small changes can have a major impact on the health of the ecosystem and your well-being. Try to toss disinfectants, take to fresh air for transportation, consume fair-trade ingredients, and load up on fruits and veggies to move miles toward a mindful lifestyle benefitting all a healthy, happy life on earth.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.