Just as many people take an “all or nothing” attitude toward healthy eating, many also take the same approach to caring for the earth. Just like taking small steps to improve your diet, even though you don’t have to eat a “perfect diet” all of the time, can have a great impact on your health, small steps you take to help the environment can have a great impact on the Earth. Here are two small steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint that will improve the health of the earth and your health, even if you can’t be “perfect” all the time!
1. Can’t Walk or Ride Your Bike Every Day, Everywhere? Commit to Walking or Biking when Possible
While it would be ideal to get rid of your car and the toxic emissions it produces and start biking, walking, or taking public transportation everywhere, this is an unrealistic goal for many people. You may have a job you drive 50 miles to get to every day and a lack of public transportation. Or, you may live in a very cold area where walking or biking during the winter would put your health at risk.
If you can commit to walking or biking everywhere, then that is great! If you can’t, then don’t think that committing to walking or biking only during the summer or to every place you go other than work is pointless if you use your car sometimes. It isn’t! If you use your car half of the year and lose it the other half, you are still reducing your personal vehicle emissions by half!
Healthy Bonus: You may be amazed how much weight you lose and how much you can improve your health otherwise just by walking instead of driving a few months out of the year or a few times a week.
2. Don’t Have Access to Filtered Water All the Time? Use a Water Filter at Home
If you avoid drinking tap water, like many health-conscious people do today, then you may rely on bottled water. Realize that even when you recycle those bottles, they still take a toll on the environment.
Recycling is the last step in “reduce, reuse, recycle” for a reason, and that is because recycling plants rely on a lot of energy and produce toxic emissions. Never think that just because something can be recycled and you do put it in the recycling bin that it is just as “green” as not producing the waste in the first place.
Using a home water filter is much better for the environment than drinking bottled water. Commit to installing one on your kitchen tap at home (you can find very affordable ones). Then, try to carry a stainless steel bottle filled with water or your other favorite beverage to drink on the go. If you are out and about on a sunny day and the only way to quench your thirst is to purchase a bottle of water, then do it if needed and recycle the bottle. Just commit to drinking your home filtered water any time it is humanly possible.
Health bonus: Water in plastic bottles is not only bad for the environment, but all plastic contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can easily leach the liquids and foods in them. Reducing the number of foods and beverages you consume that come in plastic containers can be a great step to better health and even weight loss.
Realize that taking small steps to do your part for the environment are always better than taking no steps. Commit to doing what you can, when you can, and you can still feel good about helping to preserve the planet for future generations!