7 Healthy Habits That Benefit You *and* the Environment
Working toward bettering your health can go hand-in-hand with bettering the planet. Kickstart your journey by adding these healthy habits to your daily routine.
Taking steps toward improving your health and nurturing the planet initially seem like completely separate things. But these two goals are more intertwined than you think.
From swapping meat for plants to reducing the amount of time spent scrolling on your phone, many of the healthy habits you cultivate for your personal well-being can also have a positive impact on the world around you. Kickstart your journey by adding these healthy habits to your daily routine.
7 Healthy Habits That Benefit You and the Planet
1. Reduce Your Meat Consumption
There's plenty of perks to eating more plant-based. Consuming less red and processed meat reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. At the same time, you're also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock production and conserving water resources. Talk about a win-win.
2. Eat Locally and Seasonally
Local, seasonal produce tends to be more nutritious. According to Michigan State University, the shorter time period between harvest and when it reaches your table means it's less likely to lose its nutrient value. By opting for locally grown and seasonal produce whenever possible, you're also reducing transportation emissions and are able to support local farmers who prioritize sustainable farming practices.
3. Meal Prep
Meal prepping is a great way to ensure you're always getting in a healthy dinner, no matter how busy or tired you are after a long day of work. Planning meals ahead of time also reduces food waste. When you only buy what you need, you minimize the amount of unused or spoiled ingredients that wind up in landfills.
4. Use Public Transportation
Sure, hopping in your car is a quick and easy way to get around. But by walking or biking to nearby destinations, you're not just improving your physical and mental health (hello, exercise and fresh air!)—you're also reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
5. Practice Minimalism
Embracing a minimalist lifestyle can greatly benefit your mental health. Past studies have shown having less clutter can decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. Having less stuff also benefits the environment. The more we consume, the more resources we deplete, energy we use, and waste we generate. (Plus, extra bonus: By saying yes to less, you're also bettering your bank account.)
6. Use Natural Lighting
According to UCLA Health, past research has shown being in natural light can improve your mood and increase happiness. Good news—it's also great for the environment. Maximizing natural light saves energy and, in turn, reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
7. Practice Digital Mindfulness
Ready to finally unplug? The Cleveland Clinic says something as simple as doing a digital detox can lead to less stress, better concentration, and more meaningful social interactions with the important people in your life. By logging off, you're also benefiting the planet. Just one hour of scrolling on TikTok per day for a year, for instance, is the carbon equivalent of driving 143 miles in a car.
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