Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices That Benefit the Planet
We all know that we should be doing more to help the planet, but it isn’t always easy knowing where to begin. There aren’t many of us who can afford to replace our washing machine or dryer to more energy-efficient models. However, it’s not all bad news – even small changes can mount up and make a big difference. If everyone on the planet made these small changes, we could make an enormous impact on global warming. For example, take shorter showers by installing a waterproof timer in your shower. Set it to five minutes, or better yet replace your shower-head with a low-flow or water-saving model. It’s better for the planet, as switching the shower-head could help you save almost 15000 gallons of water per year. It’s almost better for you, as hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils – you may notice that your skin is better hydrated after you’ve been going with this routine for a while. You can also clean clothes at home instead of buying clothes which are dry clean only. This is because cleaners use hazardous chemicals to clean garments – these eventually break down into other chemicals which damage the ozone layer. You may be able to hand wash many dry clean items in cold water, too. This works out better for you too, as these chemicals have been linked to dizziness, nausea, skin irritation and headaches.
Air fresheners may make your home smell more pleasant, but they could be causing damage to your health and your surroundings. Indoor air may be up to three times more polluted than outdoor air, so open the windows and let fresh air circulate rather than relying on air fresheners. If you’d rather add a scent to your home, place orange peel and sage leaves in little bowls around the home for a nice smell to each room. Air fresheners contain chemicals which have been linked to birth defects, reproductive problems and hormone abnormalities. Even those which are labelled as unscented or natural aren’t chemical free. They also contain allergens and cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde. Organic coffee is better for the environment as it uses no pesticides or chemicals which would ordinarily filter into the soil and damage water supplies. They also contain fewer synthetic agents which means that they’re healthier beans for you too. When it comes to your morning shower, skip the liquid soap and opt for the bar form instead. Although they may be more convenient, liquid forms contain triclosan which is toxic to wildlife. It’s also easy to overdo it with liquid varieties, which means your skin can be dried out more easily.
Technology is an easy way to overdo it and waste energy. For example, try switching your computer to sleep instead of leaving it active for ages – you can adjust it to switch itself off to sleep mode after five minutes of inactivity. Animated screen savers use energy and are unnecessary, which means that they’re bad for the planet. Even such a small gesture to environmental wellness can make a difference. Other ways you can improve your carbon footprint is to switch off lights when you’re not in the room, turn off electrical items such as TVs when you’re not using them, and by switching to energy efficient light bulbs and products where you can. While you may think it won’t make a difference, small gestures all add up to make a positive impact on both the planet and on your health too.
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