5 Minute read
5 eco-friendly actions that affect our health
Our planet is threatened by issues such as water scarcity, animal extinction, air pollution and deforestation on a large scale. The air that we breathe, the food that we eat, the soil used to grow our vegetables and fruits- they all have a direct effect on our health. Therefore, we can inculcate a few habits that not only protect our health but are also kind on the environment:
1. Reducing exposure to toxins
The majority of our cleaning and beauty products tend to contain traces of toxins and chemicals that not only impact our bodies but also affect the environment. For example, phosphates from laundry and dishwasher detergents end up harming aquatic life when it eventually turns into waste. So, we need to reduce exposure to toxins through household items to avoid health hazards. We can do so by:
- Avoiding artificial fragrances to freshen your home but instead try flowers or homemade potpourri,
- Using natural fabrics as they are not treated with chemicals in their production process
- Looking for products that have packaging and containers that are reusable and recyclable for multiple purposes
2. Surround yourself with green
Spending time in natural surroundings is known to help lower blood pressure, reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, and bring down brain fatigue as well. Indoor air is usually more polluted than outdoor air.
- Fill your living room with air-purifying plants such as Snake Plant, Aloe Vera, Peace Lily, etc.
- Spend some time outdoors to get in some fresh air. Vitamin D, in fact, is a crucial nutrient for healthy bones as well as our mental health.
- Grow a small vegetable garden, as they add more freshness, nutrition and flavour to your palate
3. Reduce plastic usage
Plastic waste that ends up in landfills, takes roughly 500 years to decompose and additionally releases pollutants into the soil. The remaining waste, in the form of microplastic particles, ends up polluting our water bodies across the world. Here’s what we can do to help:
- Use/carry reusable bags whenever we go shopping
- Look for options to buy things that don’t come wrapped in plastic
- Use BPA-free water bottle instead of buying bottled water
- Instead of using use and throw cups, get a reusable mug for office
4.Take a digital cleanse (occasionally)
As much as we love the Internet, modern technology has a major impact on our physical as well as mental health. Obesity, eye strains, mood swings and attention disorders are just some of the problems that occur due to prolonged use of devices like smartphones. Not to mention the enormous amount of energy expended in manufacturing and powering these devices, the least we can do is unplug at times for our own well-being.
- Monitor your digital habits using digital well-being features in smartphones
- Delete apps that you rarely use- they not only drain your battery but also clutter your mind
- Replace bad habits such as binge-watching and constantly checking your phone with activities that energize you, like yoga, light running and reading
5. Go green with your groceries
Food that is produced organically and locally is naturally better for our health as well as the environment. Organic produce has more beneficial nutrients as well as zero or minimal traces of pesticides or herbicides. Therefore, when it comes to food we can inculcate a few habits that help us as well as our environment around us:
- Eat foods that are in season and are produced locally, so that you avoid the ill effects of transporting unseasonal produce across the country or overseas
- Shop for organic produce, for a more pesticide-free and nutrient rich diet
- Go meat-free once a week, as it takes 8 times more fuel to produce animal protein than plant protein.