Overall wellness isn’t just about diet and exercise. There are actually 7 dimensions to greater overall health: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, social, financial, and environmental wellness. All of these components interact and intertwine. Each one is a part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Learn something new every day, right? But today we are only going to focus on one of these components: environmental wellness. Why? Because Sunday is Earth Day! A day dedicated to education and advocacy to protect our beautiful mother Earth. Why wait for the national holiday to treat our planet with a little TLC? Practice environmentally healthy practices everyday of the year with these tips and tricks!
1. Say NO To Plastic Straws
One of my favorite organizations, the Surfrider foundation, is calling for a reduction in plastic straw use. A whopping 500 million are used every day – and that’s just in the US! Where do a lot of these straws end up? Along our coasts and in our oceans. How can you help? Tell your waiter, “No straw please!” If you’re really attached to drinking out of one, you can order reusable ones from Amazon!
2. Bring Your Own Bags
Bring your own reusable bags when you go out shopping, whether it be at the mall or the grocery store. Not only will you be able to fit more items in one bag (HELLO carrying all groceries in one trip), but you’ll be doing the planet good. Plastic bags can take thousands of years to break down. Even more concerning, it has been estimated that one million birds and 100,000 turtles die from ingesting plastic each year. Scary and sad stuff. So be hip and eco-chic – transition into using reusable bags (the grocery stores usually have adorable ones!)
3. Reusable Water Bottles
Okay so this one has a two big benefits. One – you’ll use less plastic water bottles. And two – you’ll save a boat load of money! If you really wanna get fancy, purchase a Swell! They’ll keep your drink cold or hot for hourssss and they’re super attractive!
4. Purchase Environmentally Friendly Products
Package Free, an online retailer, has a mission of reducing waste and finding alternatives for single-use plastic products. You can buy anything from laundry detergent to lip balm. Or purchase items from retailers like Patagonia, who believe in reducing our impact on our environment. Patagonia takes responsibility for their products and examine how their buildings/facilities impact the environment. There are a TON of organizations like these. Do your research before shopping!
5. Buy Local Produce
By buying local produce (such as at a local farmer’s market) you reduce food miles. This is a term to describe the distance that food has traveled – all the way from where it was produced to where it is sold. The higher the mileage, the more fossil fuels consumed. Reducing food miles reduces air pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Plus – it creates jobs, keeps money within your community, and supports local businesses. It’s a win-win!
Love thy planet earth! Recycle, reuse products, and pick up litter you find lying around. Every little bit counts!
Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from arrowquip.com and reusethisbag.com