There is a common misconception that to save the planet, humans have to sacrifice everything that makes them happy and productive. It is important to understand that this is simply not the case. You don’t have to live in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere to help the environment thrive. Instead, you can make changes every day that will lead to a healthier and longer-lasting planet earth.
If that wasn’t shocking enough, consider this. By making smart, sustainable decisions every day, you are improving your health at the same time. Yes, the two go hand-in-hand. Do your part to protect nature, and not only will you feel better, but nature will return the favor. Let’s look at how you can put this new idea into motion.
A Two-Way Road
Many think that doing simple things like recycling, conserving water, and using LED bulbs is more of a burden than it is worth and that these actions don’t help the environment. This is not the case. If everyone did their part to make these little changes, it would make a big impact. Best of all is the fact that when you take the time to improve the environment, nature does its part to help you in return.
Consider it. By using energy-efficient appliances, avoiding engine idling, and planting trees in your yard, you are helping to improve the air quality that we all need to survive. When the air is cleaner, it reduces our risk of disease and sickness, including lung cancer and low birth weight in new babies. When you have cleaner air, you also feel more comfortable going outside to take walks and exercise, which will also help you to be healthier overall.
And that is just the beginning. By properly disposing of trash and reducing erosion and exposed soil on your property, you can help improve the water quality in your community. Doing so will lead to healthier drinking water for everyone, which creates better nourishment for our bodies and helps to prevent diseases including typhoid and hepatitis. This is why it is so important for us to all be in this together and do our part. It isn’t just a political statement. It is a two-way street that benefits everyone and everything on earth.
Modify What You Buy
If you are not in the habit of checking the components or ingredients in the products you buy, now may be a good time to start. A variety of everyday items contain elements that are dangerous for the environment and your well-being. Even the hand soap you use can contain triclosan, a toxin that can be harmful to animals if it gets into the water supply. While it hasn’t been widely found to hurt humans, the ingredient does promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria, so it is better to avoid it if possible. Instead, shop for vegetable-based, eco-friendly soaps. They will still keep you clean but also avoid the potential risks.
Many beauty products are known for their questionable ingredients, including many carcinogens and chemicals, such as formaldehyde. When leaked into the atmosphere, formaldehyde is harmful to animals. For humans, it is even worse and can lead to eye irritation and an increased risk of asthma and allergies. Protect yourself and the world with natural makeup products like crystal deodorants, which contain less aluminum and more natural ingredients. Also, read the labels on your products carefully and choose those that avoid animal testing.
It is also important to beware of the household cleaners you use regularly. Many polishing agents and glass cleaners contain ammonia because it doesn’t leave streaks as it evaporates. However, ammonia is very dangerous for the environment as it affects the health of plants and many animal species, and once it gets into the water, it can affect aquatic creatures as well. For humans, it can lead to breathing problems, including chronic bronchitis and asthma. The same health hazards apply to cleaners that contain chlorine and sodium hydroxide. To help the planet and yourself, make your own cleaners at home. Most of them only require a bit of vinegar and baking soda.
The way you eat and the foods you buy can also make a big impact on your well-being and the health of the environment. Whenever you can, choose to shop for food in your own town and take a special interest in local farmer’s markets. When you go to a farm stand, you are finding food that goes straight from the field to your home while avoiding many of the dangerous elements that can be found in foods in the chain grocery stores.
Since many foods at the grocery store have to travel a long distance, they are often sprayed with pesticides so they can be stored for long periods of time and incur minimum damage. For humans, these pesticides can lead to anything from dizziness and nausea to seizures and difficulty breathing. When the pesticides are sprayed, they also leak into the soil and surface waters, which inevitably infects the water supply and the animals that drink it.
The other problem is how the food is transported. Buying from grocery stores means that you are purchasing food that has traveled hundreds of miles via truck, and these vehicles produce dangerous exhaust in the form of carbon monoxide, ozone, benzene, and other dangerous chemicals. Carbon monoxide can lead to nausea and headaches, and of course, it affects the greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere, which has been linked to climate change. However, you don’t want to leave it all up to the transportation companies. By doing your part and choosing alternate forms of travel like biking or walking whenever possible, you can reduce your vehicle emissions as well and be healthier for it.
As humans, we are connected to this earth, and we can only prosper as long as our planet can survive and evolve. By making modifications to your lifestyle, you can be part of the solution and feel better in the process.