Going green isn’t just good for the environment; it’s also good for your wallet and your health. You’re probably familiar with the following phrases:
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Waste Not, Want Not
- Green is the New Black
- Zero Waste
But what do they all mean? Environmentally conscious Las Vegas-based company Western Elite has a great explanation regarding this mindset: What Does Going Zero Waste Mean? In addition to their suggestions for what a zero-waste lifestyle looks like, we have seen more ways you can go green in your life without making too many sacrifices.
Go Green to Save Green
1. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
This one should be a no-brainer, but recycling is one of the easiest and most effective ways to go green. And it’s not just about recycling paper; you can recycle glass, plastic, metal, and even some types of electronics. So, before you toss that empty soda can in the trash, think about whether or not it can be recycled. Chances are, it can!
2. Compost Your Food Scraps
Composting is another great way to reduce your impact on the environment. If you’re unfamiliar with composting, it’s basically just a process of breaking down organic matter (like food waste) into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that can be used in gardening or agriculture.
- Amount of food wasted annually in the US: 108 billion pounds
Not only is composting great for the environment, but it can also save you money on fertilizers and other gardening products.
3. Eat More Plants
Eating a more plant-based diet is not only good for your health, but it’s also good for the environment. Meat production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so by eating less meat, you can help reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, plant-based diets have been shown to improve heart health, reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, and even boost cognitive function. So, there are plenty of reasons to go green with your diet!
If you have questions about your nutrition, it may be helpful to reach out to an expert, such as the team at Total Health and Fitness. Based in Utah, they offer exercise and nutrition programs that are customized to help you reach your goals, whether they’re strictly fitness-based or are also environmentally conscious. To stay committed to going green in your diet and lifestyle, it needs to be sustainable; a dietitian can help you make the right choices to maintain your new diet program long term.
4. Buy Local & Sustainable Products
When possible, try to buy local and sustainable products. This includes everything from food to clothing to building materials. Not only does buying local support businesses in your community, but it also reduces the environmental impact of transportation and helps ensure that the products you’re buying are made sustainably. Win-win!
5. Drive Less & Walk More
One of the best things you can do for the environment is to drive less and walk more. Walking or biking instead of driving whenever possible reduces air pollution and cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s not just good for the planet; walking or biking also has numerous health benefits like improved cardiovascular fitness and increased muscle strength. So next time you need to run a quick errand, leave the car keys at home and walk or bike instead!
6. Use Reusable Bags & Water Bottles
When shopping or traveling, remember to bring along reusable bags and water bottles. This will help reduce waste from plastic bags and single-use water bottles while also saving you money in the long run (reusable bags and water bottles are often cheaper per use than their disposable counterparts). Plus, you can often purchase reusable products from your favorite local businesses, so you’re not only supporting small, but the environment to boot.
- Number of plastic bags used and thrown away in the US: Five trillion annually
- Number of plastic drinking straws used in the US: Half a billion daily
- Number of plastic water bottles produced in 2021: 583 billion
- Number of coffee cups thrown away in the US: 50 billion annually
- Number of polystyrene (styrofoam) cups thrown away in the US: 25 billion annually
- Amount of plastic packaging used in 2017: 146 million metric tons
You don’t have to cut out your daily cup of coffee, but you can help keep 365 non-biodegradable cups and lids out of the landfill by using a thermos or insulated mug for your java instead. Or, have your soda in a reusable tumbler with a metal straw to keep styrofoam and a straw out of the trash.
7. Live an Active Lifestyle
Studies have shown that leading an active lifestyle provides numerous health benefits including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can make a big difference in overall health, so complement your plant-based diet with movement! Furthermore, exercising outdoors has been shown to offer the following benefits:
- Increased endorphin production
- Increased Vitamin D production/absorption
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced depression
- Teaches the body to adapt to different terrain
- Lower blood pressure
- Opportunities to socialize
- It’s free!
You may feel lost trying to come up with ways to exercise outdoors, but you can turn to the elite expertise of trainers at a facility like Performance One. Strength and conditioning coaches can provide you with customized exercise programs that can be done indoors and out, with a variety of equipment or without. You don’t have to fall into a rut with your lifestyle; rely on the guidance of personal trainers who can customize your exercise programs to help you meet your goals without always having to spend your time in the gym.
Going green doesn’t have to be difficult; there are plenty of easy ways to reduce your impact on the environment without making major changes to your lifestyle. So next time you’re looking for ways to save money or improve your health, remember these 7 simple tips. Every little bit helps you and the environment!