5 Ways to Protect the Environment AND Get Healthier at the Same Time
As we celebrate Earth Day in May, here are some surprisingly easy ways how you can help protect our planet - and get healthier while doing it!
Get a Reusable Water BottleThis one is a triple win that's good for the planet, your health and your wallet!
Water in most taps is perfectly safe. Purchasing a reusable water bottle, you have a chance to do your part to curb the wastefulness of plastic bottles and cultivate a habing of drinking more liquids at the same time. Having water at hand you'll be less tempted to reach for sugary drinks, which are often just "empty calories" and overpriced.
Clean Up Your NeighborhoodThe biggest secret to any profound change is the power of starting small. Maybe you're not feeling enthusiastic about picking up beer cans and fast food wrappers, but setting a precedent in your own sphere of influence can make a world of difference. Nobody wants to be the first person to litter in a clean environment, so you can impact habits of those around you. There's more - taking a brisk, purposeful walk to clean up your area is an opportunity to fit more exercise into your week.
Cut Down on the BeefThis one needs no explanation and it's another all-round win which will positively impact the environment, your health, and your finances.
Some environmental organizations estimate that it takes as much as 6,800 liters of water to produce one pound of beef - it's an extremely resource-intensive process. Cutting out a few hamburgers can save hundreds of liters of water! Meanwhile, the NHS warns that a lot of red and processed meat might increase your risk of bowel cancer. Consume less (or cut it out completely!) and the planet and your health will thank you.
Move the needle with easy & healthy food swapsSimple food swaps, such as switching from white rice to brown, or swapping white bread for whole wheat can benefit both the environment and your health. Whole grains require less processing while being more nutrient rich. According to Mother Nature Network, "any ingredient that requires extensive refining requires more energy and resources and has a greater impact on the planet".
Alternatively, you might choose to swap rice for quinoa altogether. Oxfam warned that as much as one-third of the world's fresh water supply goes into rice production! Switching to brown rice already reduces your impact, but a high-protein grain such as quinoa can offer even more health benefits. You can also introduce some barley or corn - the more variety, the better.
Dust off that bikeCurb your greenhouse gas emissions and boost your health by running daily errands or commuting on your bike. Cycling strengthens core muscles, helps you develop lower body strength and promotes developing toned muscles without bulk.