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Health for Yourself and Your Environment

by Cory Phillips

So I know we usually talk about topics that have to do with taking care of our own physical and mental wellness, but what about taking care of the Earth we live on? I know this has been a big topic in recent years and most people do care about taking care of the environment. But how much are you actually helping to preserve it? Below are a few things you can do to help take care of our planet.

1. Recycle - big no brainier here, but beyond just recycling bottles and cans, try recycling all plastic packaging like ziplock bags, grocery bags, or any soft plastic container that food comes in (like shredded cheese or chip bags).

2. Use reusable products - whether it's reusable grocery bags, produce bags, water bottles, or straws & silverware for eating out. Practicing this over time with enough people would make a huge impact on how much waste and environmental pollution we create.

3. Stop using pesticides/weed killers and other environmental toxins such as Roundup - a lot of these heavy toxins have already been banned by almost all first world countries except the USA and have been shown not only to have serious side effects for the environment/wildlife, but also our own health. For most weed/pest issues around your house, a quick Google search will point you in the direction of a less toxic and just as effective solution to the issue you are having.

4. Start composting/gardening - these go hand in hand. If more people started growing their own food in their backyards, the less for they would have to buy and the less natural habitat would have to be cleared to put in more farm land. The non meat/dairy food that becomes too old to to eat can be composted and used as fertilizer for your garden instead of being thrown in the trash to be sent to the landfill.

5. Conserve energy/use energy efficient appliances - by now most of us have the ability to regulate the heating and cooling systems in our houses so they shut off or work at a lower setting while you are at work or asleep at night. Also, switch out old lights and appliances for new energy efficient versions.

6. Eat less meat (or try to buy from local farmers) - everyone will fight me on this one but it's just cold hard facts. Animal agricultural accounts for 18% of greenhouse emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. Farm waste run off is a huge reason for the algae blooms that are popping up off the coasts in Florida and other areas and are killing off the ocean life due to the high amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in that waste. So the more conscious you are of where your meat is coming from and how much you are consuming compared to plant alternatives, the more you could help the environment.

Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you to take the next step in not only taking better care of yourself but also the Earth we live on!

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