By Soji James, CPT, CSCS
Taking care of the environment and your personal wellness are both important. If you can fix two problems at the same time, though, it will help you leap ahead toward your goals. It’s like getting a 50% discount on two different problems.
I have compiled five simple and painless ways you can boost the environmental wellness of your area while you take better care of yourself.
By only wearing clothing that is appropriate for the activity, you can keep your clothes in the best possible condition, decreasing the frequency they need to be cleaned and extending their useful lifespan. For example, if you wear a suit to work or an interview, change as soon as you get home. This will avoid increased wear and accidental spills that then require more cleaning, or even risk ruining your expensive clothes.
You can also purchase eco-friendly activewear that will help you look your best while supporting sustainable businesses and minimizing pollution.
Some clothes do not need to be cleaned after every use, but should you wash your workout clothes every time you exercise? Probably. On the other hand, a business suit used for interviews doesn’t need to be dry cleaned after only two hours of use. Take it off and hang it back up, and it should be good to go for multiple uses. If you have been sweating in your clothes, though, there are dirt and germs that need to be removed, so don’t get too carried away with your desire to save water.
It’s important to keep your clothes neat and clean, and there are ways you can do that while minimizing the impact on the environment. Using the right water setting, washing in cold water, and hanging clothes to dry all have a dramatic impact on energy use. You can save time and money while ensuring you look your best.
Gardening is a great exercise that gets you out in the fresh air. If you compost your kitchen scraps, you can also reduce the waste you send to landfills. Current research also indicates that gardening reduces depression symptoms, and if you grow edible plants, you will reduce how much food you have to buy. At the same time, you will develop a new appreciation for the phrase “farm to table”.
Even if you live in an apartment, you can still enjoy gardening and composting. There is probably a community garden near you that needs your time and your kitchen waste. Community gardens are a great place for socializing, too. If you organize activities around gardening, you can make new friends and indulge in serious fun that has nothing but positive effects on your body, your mind, and the world we all share.
Buy high-quality tools and toys that won’t break or wear out fast, and look for eco-friendly producers.
If you have to constantly replace low-quality items, you’ll spend more in the long run and get less satisfaction out of your purchases. The cycle of constant replacement is a drain on natural resources, creates more waste, and adds to the overall pollution burden of the Earth.
If you acquire a high-quality water bottle, for example, you can keep yourself hydrated without using disposable cups and single-use bottles. Many people live in areas with poor water quality, high mineralization, or an unpleasant taste from old pipes. The LifeStraw Go has a built-in filter that ensures your water always tastes clean and fresh, regardless of the source. This water bottle can be used to make unsafe water drinkable, and the filters are cheap enough to use for your regular drinking water. The LifeStraw Go allows you to reduce the number of water bottles you need while ensuring you always have safe, delicious water at hand for all your hydration needs.
If you add running exercises to your daily routine, you’ll quickly build up to where you can bike or run to work. You’ll find that, after a short acclimation period, you’ll have more energy and a stronger immune system than people who don’t run.
Walking, running, or biking to work will get you a workout and reduce pollution and traffic. It does require a little more planning, however. It will take longer, and you will work up a sweat. Karma Wellness flavored vitamin water can help you hydrate on your commute, and it is fortified with vitamins and minerals to help keep you running smoothly.
Biking or running to work will also boost your mood and energy levels. These improvements will probably increase your productivity and save you time when compared to people who drive.
Learning how to cook is the single most powerful way most people can help the environment. The impact of restaurants on the environment is very high, and it has a big impact on your wallet, too. Restaurants also use a lot of plastic and single-use items, which go straight into landfills. They also load food with sugar, fat, and salt, which can be problematic in your diet.
Where you source your food is important, too. The benefits of organic food go beyond the surface-level concerns of factory farms and synthetic chemicals. When you buy local organic foods, you keep your money close to home and shorten the supply chain, relieving congestion on the roads and decreasing the fuel burned to get your food to your table.
Beyond Meat recipes are a delicious way to embrace Meatless Mondays and explore the world of vegetarianism. A plant-based diet is also easier on the environment. Meat production uses far more resources and pollutes more water and air, so every animal protein you replace has a huge impact.
Focusing on the 7 dimensions of wellness will help you as you seek new ways to be more effective and efficient. The world just keeps getting busier, so unless you multitask it’s really hard to take on anything new. So why not combine goals? You can use things like Onnit New Mood to help you sleep better and reduce stress and find activities that help you accomplish more than one goal at the same time.
Small changes compounded over time can lead to big things down the road. For example, we invest and use compounding interest to save for retirement. The butterfly effect is the idea that a small change now can lead to drastically different outcomes down the road and is often used when talking about the Earth. What small changes can you make today that will lead to a healthier, wealthier, and more environmentally friendly you?