Living Well

Happy Earth Day: My top 10 tips for healthy, eco-friendly living

April 21, 2015

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the national observance of Earth Day! I wanted to share a few tips you can use everyday to lead a healthier, more eco conscious life.

1. Take your shoes off.

Don’t get me wrong, I love shoes. However, the soles of our shoes can trap things like lead dust, animal feces, dirt, and nasty chemicals. It’s important to wipe your shoes on a mat and remove them at the door.

2. Switch out your lightbulbs.

Instead of using traditional incandescent light bulbs opt for energy-efficient bulbs. Not only do they use 25%-80% less energy they can last 3-25 times longer than traditional bulbs.

3. Don’t panic, it’s not organic.

Buying everything organic can be costly and just isn’t necessary. The Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen can be a useful reference when deciding whether to purchase organic or conventional produce – but as always, any fruits and vegetables are better than none at all.

4. Go meatless more than just Monday.

It’s no secret that a balanced vegetarian/vegan diet are both healthy for your body and the planet. Try incorporating more plant-based meals into your weekly menu.

5. Purchase rechargeable batteries.

Rechargeable batteries are an inexpensive, easy way to protect the planet. Over time, you’ll save money and produce less waste then you would with conventional batteries.

6. Shop brands that value the environment.

It’s important that we remember that as consumers we vote with our dollar. When I’m shopping for anything whether it be makeup, clothing, or household items I try to shop for brands that prioritize the wellbeing of the planet.

7. Keep a to-go cup in tow.

Instead of wasting a cup, lid, and sleeve every time you get a coffee try keeping a ceramic mug and lid in your car or at your desk at work. Bonus: Most coffee shops offer a small discount to those who bring their own cup.

8. Pack smart, snack smart.

Nix the disposable plastic snack baggies and choose reusable containers for your snacking needs. I love the brand Lifefactory because their food storage containers are both stylish and compact enough to fit in my purse.

9. Buy in bulk + cook in bulk.

Buying in bulk is a surefire way to save money and resources. A well-planned, well-rounded shopping list can prevent multiple trips to the grocery store each week. I buy all of my produce in bulk as well as things like coffee and household needs. A smart, savvy way to use your stove/oven less is to cook in bulk. Try to prepare a recipe such as a soup or grain dish you enjoy and can eat off of all week.

10. Stop and think.

Before you purchase anything new try assessing whether it’s something you can make yourself, borrow from a friend, find at a thrift store, or use something that you already have.

Featured image by Nicolas Raymond.

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