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4 Ways Going 'Green' Can be Good For You

Many of us enjoy the conveniences of modern life, and yet sometimes, we forget that these can come at a price. In this article, we will review some of the ways in which our activities can affect the planet. We'll also take a look at some things we can do in our everyday lives that can have a positive impact on our own health and that of the planet.

While it's true that greater attention is being paid to the way we humans affect the natural world around us, there is still much work to be done to keep the planet healthy. Much more attention is now focused on the health of our environment than back when 'green' was just a color.

As such, many of us who are concerned about the environment have become more conscious of the everyday lifestyle choices we make, including:

- The food we eat - How much energy we consume - Our travel methods - Which products we use

The lifestyle changes that effectively reduce one's negative impact on the environment are commonly referred to as going "green." While the main purpose of making these changes is to minimize our effect on the environment, there can also be several health benefits.

1. Eating Habits Grains, fruits, and vegetables that are not certified organic are usually grown with the help of pesticides and petroleum-based fertilizers, which can cause sickness and other health issues. Buying organic products that have not been subjected to this type of treatment can reduce your body's exposure to these harmful chemicals. You may even be fortunate to live near smaller, diversified farms that participate in community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs that make use of local growers and farmers. You can also try your hand at growing some vegetables at home. Compared to plant-based foods, meat must undergo several processes during production that consume more energy, and contribute more pollution and damage to the environment. Reducing meat consumption will not only minimize your carbon footprint but can also reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, and other dangerous health conditions.

If you do wish to eat meat, whenever possible, choose free range chicken and grass-fed and finished or pasture-raised livestock, since they are generally raised using more humane, environmentally sustainable methods.

Pre-packaged foods often use non-recyclable materials and require significant amounts of energy to manufacture. Most processed food products often contain excess sodium, sugar, or empty calories, not to mention preservatives to prolong their shelf lives. Staying away from these can help keep your body healthier.

Like pre-packaged foods, bottled water also takes precious resources and energy to produce, which contribute to carbon emissions. Chemicals from the plastic bottles, such as the organic synthetic compound Bisphenol A (BPA), can leach into the water and cause health problems. Instead, consider getting a reusable water bottle and look into installing an under-the-counter or whole house filtering system, or even a water filtering pitcher with replaceable filters to help reduce the impurities in your tap water. You'll probably save money, too.

2. Energy Consumption While opinions are strong on both sides of the conversation regarding humanity's impact on Earth's climate, one thing we can agree on is that air is essential to life on the planet. Whatever we can do that helps us to breathe cleaner, fresher air, with fewer contaminants and toxic byproducts, should be considered a good thing. Those can trigger asthma and allergies, even potentially causing lung cancer or heart disease. At home, switching over to LED light bulbs can bring down your energy bill and they are also more eco-friendly when compared to conventional incandescent bulbs or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). LED bulbs are more Earth-friendly in both their manufacturing process and use. Even using unfiltered natural light in your home can help reduce your energy consumption and may also provide you with much-needed solar ultraviolet (UV) light, which stimulates the production of Vitamin D in the skin. Sounds like a win-win!

Dr. Daggy says: "When we burn fossil fuels or wood, greenhouse gases aren't the only problem created. Other combustion products produce smog, and fine particulates (PM2.5) damage our lungs and cardiovascular systems. Burning coal releases other contaminants such as mercury, and coal ash can pollute waterways. Although the vision of clean energy has been around for a long time—Thomas Edison urged the development of solar energy more than a century ago—only in the last few years has renewable energy become cost-effective.

Coupled with energy efficiency, energy storage, and electric transport, we have the potential in the coming decades to move to a much cleaner and more sustainable way of living. And don't ignore indoor air pollution, which can be even worse than the outdoors. Safer cleaning products at home are part of the solution."

3. Transportation Methods Choosing to commute using public transportation or by riding a bike might seem a bit less convenient, but the amount of energy you'll conserve in terms of fuel consumption can be a huge boon to the environment. Not only can it help reduce pollution, but the exercise you'll get from walking to and from a bus stop or biking can also build muscles, improve heart health, contribute to weight loss, and provide numerous other health benefits. Telecommuting, or working from home, can also lower your fuel consumption. You can use the time you would have spent commuting to and from work to exercise or de-stress, which can improve both your physical and mental health. Other potential benefits of working from home are lower production of or exposure to air pollution, and the possibility of saving money by eating healthier, homemade meals.

4. Household Products Using chemical fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn or garden can harm the environment and affect your health. When it rains, these chemicals seep into the ground and contaminate the water supply. Some can be very harmful when breathed in or upon skin contact, which may occur while you're applying them. A healthier choice would be to use organic fertilizers such as mulch and environmentally friendly pesticides like garlic spray. Many household cleaners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ammonia, bleach, and other chemicals that can irritate the eyes and throat and contribute to chronic respiratory problems and allergic reactions. As an alternative, there are products such as Shaklee's Get Clean line that make use of sustainable ingredients from natural sources and don't contain any hazardous chemicals. These Earth-friendly products have been independently tested and shown to be more effective than many other conventional brands. Another great benefit of using these products is that they are very cost-effective, so they will save you money while helping improve your health. You can feel good that you're doing your part to save the planet, too.

The Get Clean Starter Pack includes:

- Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate - Germ Off Disinfecting Wipes - Nature Bright Laundry Booster and Stain Remover - Hand Dish Wash Concentrate - Dish Washer Automatic Powder Concentrate - Fresh Laundry Concentrate HE Compatible - And more! Get This

Thanks for reading!

Renee VanHeel

Call or text: 858-472-7295 Book a 15-minute free consultation with me. Click here

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