6 Tweaks to Your Wellness Routine That Are Good For You and the Environment
A truly healthy life is well rounded; you're not going to get the most out of your daily workouts if you're not also eating well and taking care of your mental health. The same principle extends to the environment — after all, you can't take care of your physical health without also considering the planet's health.
Over time, scientists predict that climate change could threaten our access to clean water and increased pollution could reduce air quality worldwide, among other risks to our long-term health. The easiest way to make a difference? Make eco-friendly habits a normal part of your daily routine. These six strategies are a great place to start.
Prioritize Plant-Based Recipes
Eating your veggies isn't just good for your health. Opting for fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains over meat can also help reduce your carbon footprint. Because the production of animal products generates more greenhouse gases than any other food, eating vegetarian meals just a few times a week can have a real impact on the environment.
The simplest way to ensure you drink enough water is by always having a water bottle on hand — but if you're relying on single-use plastic bottles, it might be time to rethink that habit. Nearly 70 percent of plastic water bottles don't get recycled. Instead of buying a new bottle whenever you get thirsty, carry around a Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle ($17). When you refill it, the built-in feature filters and reduces chlorine levels (both in taste and odor). And just by using the filtering water bottle, you're reducing your consumption of single-use plastics. Each Brita filter can replace up to 300 single-use plastic water bottles.*
*Compared to 16.9 oz single-use plastic water bottles
If you're a runner, it might be time to test out a new fitness trend: plogging. This Swedish term just refers to picking up litter while jogging. Next time you head out for a run, bring a bag and rubber gloves so you're ready to scoop up any wrappers, bottles, or other trash you spy along the route.
Eat Seasonally and Locally
Whenever you can, opt for locally grown and in-season produce. Choosing fruits and vegetables grown in your region during their peak season means they didn't have to travel far, keeping greenhouse-gas emissions low. Plus, in-season produce usually costs a bit less than out-of-season fruits and vegetables flown in from miles away!
Take Up Cycling
Next time you need to pop around the corner to pick something up, consider cycling instead of driving. Talk about a win-win: biking around town not only gets you to your destination without any emissions, but it also gives your legs a workout.
Getting your hands dirty really does make you feel better. Working with soil and spending time outdoors have proven mental health benefits, including releasing feel-good chemicals in the brain and promoting feelings of relaxation. And of course, starting a garden has all kinds of environmental benefits, from creating a habitat for local insects to improving air quality.