You worry about global warming, plastic in our oceans and air quality. You’re not the only one. You know a lot about the environment and it doesn’t surprise you that if you want to save the world you need to change your lifestyle.
Some change is easy (bet you’re already on that stuff) and some change is inconvenient. As it turns out, us humans hate inconvenience.
The question then becomes, can you overcome your own human nature? Can you face the world head on and make real, inconvenient, change?
Check out these inconvenient, but totally do-able, daily lifestyle changes that can create a healthier planet and a healthier you.
1. Kick Single Use Plastic out of your life
Plastic is not only terrible for the environment but it’s also bad for you. BPA and other plastic chemicals can be absorbed into your bloodstream and wreak havoc on your hormones. Here are three ways to eliminate Single Use Plastic from your life forever.
Get rid of plastic shopping bags
Don’t leave the house without one of those little fold up bags. Have one in your backpack, purse or car at all times. Use a paper bag to line your garbage or don’t use a bag at all. No bag?! Here’s how: simply take your full indoor garbage can to the street side garbage, dump it, rinse the original container, and put it back under the sink. No plastic bag needed. Really.
Always bring a cup
Yes, we totally get it — when you have forgotten your cup at home it’s easy to slip back into accepting that paper cup (which is lined with plastic) and it’s plastic lid. But here’s the trick: no cup, no drink. Deprive yourself of coffee one time and you will never forget your cup again.
Buy bulk food
Frequent stores that give you the option to fill up in bulk. All those plastic bags that housed your penne noodles, your oatmeal, your nuts = gone. It’s brilliant. Use cloth bags, brown paper bags or reuse one of the many plastic bags you already have.
2. Dial down your meat and dairy intake
In North America, we eat a lot of meat and dairy which can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease. It also hurts our environment. From the clearing of rainforests to the incredible amount of water that goes into growing feed, meat and dairy products have a huge impact on our world.
Not ready to go vegan just yet? Jump on board the growing Meatless Monday movement to eliminate meat and dairy from your diet one day every week. Then, work to reduce your portion size throughout the week. Keep up your protein by adding legumes and nuts to your diet. Put nut butter on everything and make your own hummus and lentil curry (dal).
3. Buy Local
Have you ever noticed that when when you buy local your food tastes amazing? This is because your tomato wasn’t picked green and didn’t ripen in a truck over the seven days it took to get to your grocery store. Instead, everything is fresh and delicious and there is less impact on the environment. Look for local seasonal produce anywhere you shop and make a plan to head to your nearest farmers market on the weekend.
4. Walk or bike to work
Struggling to get your work-out in? Walking or biking to work is great for your heart and the world. By avoiding traffic, cyclists may actually get to work faster than their four-wheeled counterpart. Live far away? Walk to and from your transit station and revel in the fact that the 20 minutes extra you spent commuting today is establishing you as conscientious citizen of the world.
5. Take time for yourself
Do yoga. Get a massage. Read a book. Do the things you love that make you feel good. The best motivation comes from a place of self love. It never helps to beat yourself up. What helps is to set yourself up to feel incredible. The better you feel about yourself the easier it is to overcome inconvenience and make a difference.
A few links we recommend:
Plastic Pollution Coalition - OPEN YOUR EYES - Overview Narrated by Jeff Bridges (2016)