Going Green for the Health of the Planet and Yourself

By Amanda Winstead

It’s hard to turn on the television or hop on social media nowadays without seeing something about the state of the planet. We’re surrounded by news of climate change, waste, and what an unsustainable future might look like.

Now, more than ever, people understand that living sustainably and making eco-friendly choices are essential for the long-term health of the planet. Thankfully, more people are “going green” than ever, even when it comes to the purchases they make.

What might surprise you, however, is that making greener choices can also have a positive impact on your personal health, as well. Whether you’re already doing what you can to live sustainably or you know you could start implementing better habits, it’s important to understand the connection between the health of the planet and your own well-being.

Let’s take a closer look at how going green can improve the world around you while giving your health a boost. We’ll also cover a few practical ways you can implement more green living habits into your life to protect the planet and yourself.

Greener Habits Are Healthier Habits

Many habits that are considered eco-friendly are also naturally better for your health and well-being. Or, they might inspire you to take better care of yourself when you realize that small habitual changes can make a big difference.

For example, going green can improve your oxygen intake. A diet full of plant-based foods is often better for your health and better for the planet. Current food production practices contribute to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. By eating organic foods and adopting a more plant-based diet, you can help to lower the demand for these farming practices and improve the overall air quality. An organic diet also reduces the risk of getting sick from different chemicals and pesticides.

You can also be more sustainable when it comes to your cleaning habits. Using natural household cleaners instead of those laden with harsh chemicals can help you and your family breathe easier while doing less damage to the planet. Subbing out cleaners, detergents, and even shampoo and body wash with natural ingredients can help to alleviate skin and eye irritation, and create a cleaner, less toxic environment.

If you choose to purchase products labelled as “green,” make sure you understand some of the tricks used by greenwashing companies. Always read labels and do your research on specific ingredients so you don’t end up purchasing an item that isn’t as eco-friendly as it seems.

As you start eating healthier and focusing on being “green and clean,” you might be inspired to adopt other healthy habits, including:

  • Exercising more often;
  • Drinking more water (and reducing water waste);
  • Reducing food waste by meal prepping.

It’s okay to start small. When you realize how your habits can make a difference for your health and the planet, they’ll have a snowball effect. It won’t be long before you’ll want to make an even bigger impact.

Hands in soil: Going Green for the Health of the Planet and Yourself

Sustainability for Your Mental Health

Living a sustainable, green lifestyle isn’t just beneficial to your physical health. It’s also a great way to boost your mental well-being.

For example, simply spending more time in nature can greatly improve your mental health. According to the American Psychological Association, some of the biggest benefits of being outside include:

  • Reduced stress;
  • Improved mood;
  • More energy;
  • More happiness.

There are plenty of ways to give back to the planet while spending time outside. Having your own garden is a fantastic way to grow your own food and reduce your dependency on supply chains and unethical farming practices.

Walking or biking to work is another great way to boost your physical and mental health while reducing your carbon footprint. As a bonus, you can pick up small pieces of trash or debris each day on your walking “commute”, cleaning up the planet while boosting your mood before you get to the office.

It shouldn’t be difficult to come up with ways to spend more time outside. Soak up every opportunity to experience the great outdoors, and think about different ways you can help the planet while doing it. From rain barrels to compost piles, it’s easy to go green and reap the mental health benefits while you’re at it.

How To Start Going Green at Home

Of course, you can’t spend every second outside. Thankfully, it’s easy to go green at home and get the whole family involved.

Everyone wants their family members to be healthy and happy. Things like switching out your cleaning products and making nutritious meals are both great ways to start. However, there are other things you can implement at home that will benefit everyone’s physical and mental well-being while giving back to the planet.

You can reduce your home’s carbon footprint by making a few notable changes. One of the easiest ways to make a difference is by upgrading to energy-efficient appliances. While it’s a bit of an investment, you’ll end up saving money over time on your utility bills. The same goes for installing solar panels. It can be a bit pricey upfront, but you’ll save money on your electric bills, and you might be able to take advantage of certain tax breaks or “rewards” for installing them.

Finally, make sure your home’s HVAC system is well-maintained. Not only will an efficient system reduce your heating and cooling bills, but it will release fewer carbon emissions into the air. By keeping things clean and working properly, you can also improve the air quality within your home. That’s better for everyone, but it’s especially important for any family members that might have respiratory issues.

As you can see, going green for the health of the planet has many personal health benefits, as well. These tips are just the beginning. Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to sustainability, and get your whole family involved. When everyone understands the importance of a green lifestyle and how it benefits them now and in the future, they’re more likely to establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime.