Earth Day - Five ways healthy people support a healthy planet
Are you more motivated by personal health goals or environmental health goals? If you’re like most people, personal health is more of a daily priority. But that’s ok! We know you love the planet, too, and you might be showing up for Mother Earth without even knowing it. Whether you’re all-in on a healthy lifestyle or are just getting started, chances are that you’re making daily decisions that are not only better for you, but also better for the planet. From air quality to food security to public lands and clean water, our personal health is directly connected to environmental health. Here are a few daily ways that you can do your best, both for your health and for the environment’s.
By choosing organic, you are avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, and artificial growth hormones. You may be choosing organic to avoid putting these things in your body, but by doing so you are also protecting soil, water, and air health. Supporting healthy food systems is one of the most effective ways we can do better by the planet, and choosing organic is a great way to start. Visit The Organic Center for more information about what the organic certification is, what it isn’t, and ways you can learn more.
Let’s start with the personal health benefits. Studies show that the absence of artificial light resets our body clocks back to a natural rhythm that is more in sync with the rising and setting of the sun. The effects of this? A better night’s rest. Along with that boost in Vitamin D, you’re also getting more physical exercise.Studies show that we are hard-wired to have an affinity for the natural world, but the less time we spend outside actually works against our feeling of gratitude and love of nature. In our everyday lives, this disconnection from Ma Nature translates to apathy. So, one of the best things you can do for love of the environment and your health is to spend a little time outside!
Participate in a waterfront cleanup
Get the family or office together for a volunteer day, or hour, or whatever ever you can spare! Not only is important for all of us to get up and out and move in the middle of the day, but these activities are great for the health of our local water sources. The Waterkeeper Alliance and Surfrider Foundation are two great national organizations with local chapters who are often organizing opportunities for you to volunteer, get outside, and help clean up. Some other tips for keeping things tidy on the move are to be sure to pick up after the pooch on your walks, and if you see litter while out for a jog or run, consider scooping it up and getting it to where it belongs...the bin.
Drive less. Walk/bike more.
One of the keys to a healthy lifestyle is to utilize any opportunity to move your body in a healthy way. So why not use the time usually spent sitting in your car for a workout? Studies show that Americans spend 300 hours a year in their cars. That’s a whole lot of time just sitting there burning fossil fuels. Why not map out a route to and from work, school, the store, or even the gym that is walkable or bikeable? It may be a little out of your comfort zone at first, but you’ll soon wonder why you were ever willing to spend so much time sitting in traffic.
Run your local Earth Day 5k!
Make Earth Day every day! Signing up for charity races on Earth Day and throughout the year is a great way to get involved, build your community, have some fun and get healthy. Whether or not you consider yourself an environmentalist, there are daily opportunities to do better by your body and the planet. Please join us in committing to making small choices every day that improve our health and the environment. Happy Earth Day!