Here at Integrative Nutrition, we’ve been advocating for a healthier, happier world for over 25 years, and that definitely includes planet Earth!
Sadly, over these past few decades, the state of the environment has only gotten worse. Climate change predictions have come to fruition, creating stronger-than-ever storms, wildfires, displaced populations, immense pollution, and even wildlife extinction. Along with that, our soil and agricultural systems have become depleted, leaving many foods with only a fraction of the nutritional value they once held, and a population that is increasingly sick.
But we’re not here to bring you down and remind you of what you likely already know. We’re here to tell you that a healthy environment is worth fighting for! Health Coaches, environmentalists, and policy-makers all over the world are joining forces to help the planet thrive again, and you can help.
Here are 7 things you can do for the environment that will actually make a difference!
While some will point out that not all of the materials we put in recycling bins actually get recycled, a good percentage does, so it’s worth the effort. If you’re out and about, don’t toss in the trash what you could recycle if you just hold on to it until you get to the right bin. You can also encourage recycling in your workplace or school if it’s not already there!
2. Avoid plastic packaging.
There is definitely too much plastic in this world, which not only creates too much waste, but also pollutes your food. Carry a reusable glass or steel water bottle when you go out, purchase things like grains from the bulk section of your supermarket, and opt for healthier snacks that don’t come in plastic.
3. Source your energy from renewables.
If you are a home-owner, explore whether solar panels are feasible as there are many rebates available and installation is often free. If that isn’t possible, you can likely still get your power from renewable sources such as solar or wind, while remaining with your current provider. Clean Choice Energy is an example of a solar/wind company you can source from while still using National Grid.
4. Eat a plant-based diet.
Livestock maintenance contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, especially beef. According to one calculation, if everyone in America switched from beef to beans – without making any other lifestyle or energy changes – the United States could still come close to meeting 2020 gas emissions goals as pledged in 2009. Eating a plant-based diet as much as possible and reducing your beef consumption is an effective way to help the environment, and it’s good for your body too. Couple that with buying local and organic whenever possible, and you’re making real strides towards minimizing your carbon footprint.
5. Conserve and plant trees.
Old-growth forests don’t just make for an adventurous vacation destination, they absorb and store carbon at an average rate of 48 pounds per year, per tree. By the time a tree reaches 40 years old, it can sequester as much as 1 ton of carbon dioxide every year. That’s a lot! Keeping existing forests standing is critical, and planting new trees is an investment in the future. You can donate to organizations that focus on conservation or tree-planting, volunteer to help them do their work, or get outdoors and initiate your own eco-loving project.
Now, more than ever, we need leaders and policy-makers who can advocate for sensible environmental protections, investments, and regulations. Being informed and engaged in local and national politics when it comes to the environment may not sound like a fun, Instagram-friendly way to show love to Mother Earth, but this is how real change happens.
Food waste contributes to landfill volume, emits greenhouses gasses, and makes for a lost opportunity when it comes to creating naturally enriched soil that can grow new healthy food! Whether you live in the country, the suburbs, or the city, there’s probably a composting option near you, so give it a try!
When you start from the inside out, with self-care and clean food, you’ll find that the choices that are good for the environment are also the ones that are good for your personal health. That’s what holistic wellness is all about!
How do you help protect the environment? Comment below!