Easy Tips for Eco-Friendly Living
Cancer is a very complicated disease. Some people get cancer because of their genetics. Others can get cancer from their environment. Still others may deal with a combination of the both and never face a cancer diagnosis. O, living an eco-friendly lifestyle can be a very positive way to increase your odds against cancer while also improving the living space around you.
Wasting Food Hurts the Environment
Americans waste literally tons of food each year, enough some studies say to even help solve hunger in the United States. But what if we didn't? What if we were much more mindful about eating all that we farm and purchase?
For one thing, wasted food creates nearly 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Nearly 80% of food waste ends up in garbage dumps where it turns to methane gas, a gas more potent than carbon dioxide at creating the greenhouse effect. Garbage dumps are the third largest contributor of greenhouse gasses.
Wasted food also means less energy used to create food. With less demand, there's less need to grow, ship, and preserve food in the first place.
Don't know what to do with your extra food? Consider creating a stew! HERE, you can find a few great recipes for making stew out of your leftovers! A quick, fun and easy way to be more eco friendly!
Recycling Limits Trash
Talk about being eco-friendly will always lead to talk about recycling. However, it's not just tossing your glass and paper into the recycling bins. It's also being a more conscious buyer.
For instance, increase demand for items made from recycled material by only buying items that come in recycled packaging. Boxes, paper, gift wrapping and other everyday paper goods are just as good when they're made from recycled paper. So, generate a demand by only buying recycled.
Also, consider what you toss. Single use plastics, like plastic bags or plastic storage bags, can be used many times before they're no longer usable. You can also demand bags made from recycled materials or plant-based material to reduce your footprint and keep items out of the landfill.
Finally, batteries create a significant source of pollution that is both highly cancer causing but also recyclable. Most states require consumers to return their car batteries to the store where they buy their new car battery, but that isn't the same with batteries for mowers, drills, or flashlights. However, those batteries are recyclable too. A great program is at every Home Depot. They'll take your old batteries without question and make sure they're recycled. All you need to do is bring them and drop them off.
Wear Sustainable Clothing
Wearing sustainable clothing is not only a very easy thing to do, but it also feels good. Clothing made from bamboo, for instance, is not only much softer than cotton or polyester, but it's also hypoallergenic. That means that it actually fights skin infections while it keeps you warm and fashionable.
But don't just buy any type of sustainably sourced clothing. Buy clothing that's organically made. Organic clothing means that the manufacturing process doesn't use harmful chemicals or acids to break down fibers. Organic clothing uses natural processes that don't pollute, something you especially don't want if you're trying to be eco-friendly.
Chia's Silver Lining carries a number of items made from organic bamboo fabric. For instance, our Luxe Bamboo pillow cases are sustainably made to ensure you're putting your head against not only soft fabric, but chemical free fabric.
Cut Back on Plastic Use
As research catches up with consumers, scientists are finding that plastics have become one of the worst sources of ecological damage. Single use plastic are the worst form of plastics as they're quick to break down and quickly intended for the trash; however, all plastics eventually break down to micro plastics. These small forms for plastics lodge into the lungs of fish, animals and even us. It's even been found in our blood.
Fortunately, it's easy to cut back on plastics:
- Bring your own bags to the store. Instead of using single use bags that will only be tossed once you go home, use durable bags made of cotton or burlap. When they're no longer usable, you can compost them.
- Use wax paper instead of plastic wrap. Wax paper seals well and cuts down on bacteria, just like plastics, but break down safely without harming the environment.
- Don't buy items wrapped in plastics: Some foods, vegetables and even gifts are wrapped in packaging made of plastics. Demand better by buying items that are in ecologically safe materials, like recycled paperboard.
Sometimes, you still need to use plastics. However, if you must use plastic, do your best to recycle!
Plant a Garden to Save the Planet
For the price of some dirt and seed (which you can get for free), you can grow your own vegetable garden and get a ready supply of fresh, clean, organic food.
Gardens also provide an easy source of exercise and a powerful way to relax. Physicians say that not only are there cardiovascular benefits to gardening, but when faced with personal health challenges, gardening provides a powerful example of life.
“Gardening gives you a chance to focus on something and put your mind to work with a goal and a task in mind,” said Dr. Robert Hutchins, Medical Director for the Chapel Hill School of Medicine's Internal Medicine department. This “is helpful especially now with so much illness and death and talk of death, just to see things growing and things thriving.”
To make your garden successful and easy, consider the following:
- Consider raised beds: Raised beds make gardening easy for anyone with health issues since you can make them specifically for your height and they make gardening easier for your back. They also ensure that you're gardening with healthy dirt that doesn't include lawn poisons.
- Use Starter Plants: First time gardeners do well with starter plants instead of seeds. This allows gardeners to make mistakes when timing the start of their garden and still have a productive garden through the summer.
- Know Your Dirt: If you're gardening in a city or where you know the dirt may be contaminated with lawn chemicals, it might be wise to find another location. Many suburbs have poor soil quality or high levels of clay, which also make gardening difficult. If you suspect the quality of your dirt, consider buying fresh dirt from a local nursery.
- Compost: There is nothing more ecological than using your vegetable waste to make nutritional soil. You can easily do this with a simple kitchen bin to catch waste and a place outdoors that you stir. For complete instructions, see NPR's article on composting.
Once you put these five simple tips into motion, you'll be right on track to living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Eco-friendliness isn't just good for you, it's good for all of us!