Can you cut 1 Tonne of carbon pollution out of your life?Take the challenge
Imagine being able improve your mind, body and soul whilst saving the planet. Sounds like a dream come true, right?
Did you know that by decreasing your impact on the environment and making sustainable decisions, you can also increase your mental health? Living a low carbon lifestyle can reduce negative feelings and stress and improve happiness in a variety of different ways!
Saving the world is good for your body
Instead of driving short distances, walk, run or cycle.
You'll increase your fitness, cut your travel expenses and lose weight! By pushing a bicycle, you are exercising every part of your body. Cycling can help protect you from heart disease, obesity, arthritis and stroke.
Walking, running or bicycle riding also suits a dual purpose, as you're exercising whilst travelling. You'll save money normally spent on gym passes, fuel, registration and parking with these economic modes of transportation.
Eat Naturally, Shop locally and Grow Your Own Vegetables:
We already know why we should avoid plastic. Buying fresh ingredients and placing them in environmental bags not only helps reduce packaging, but you'll cut back on eating processed foods. Meanwhile, diets high in vegetables have been proven to reduce the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
Carbon emissions from transporting food thousands of kilometers and refrigerated storage are a massive contribution to climate change. Pesticides have been linked to nerve, skin and eye irritation as well as headaches, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Studies have shown that even low doses of pesticides can increase the risk of cancer.
Therefore, avoid shopping at supermarkets and shop locally, buy organically and grow your own vegetables.
Gardening is great for both relaxation and exercise. Growing your own vegetables and herbs can also decrease the grocery bill, thus the benefits are threefold.
Avoid Plastic Bags
You don't need plastic bags in your life. Think about when you go shopping and you're getting garlic,or loose leaf onions, or fruit and vegetables. An outer layer already protects them and prevents dirt from getting in. BPA in plastic is also incredibly bad for us, causing health concerns such as deformities, premature puberty and the increase of breast cancer. Click Here to find out more
Avoid Palm Oil
Not only is palm oil bad for the environment, but it's also high in saturated fat. Diets high in saturated fat have been linked to strokes and heart disease. Saturated fats can also lead to obesity, weight gain and the inability for you to fit into your gym pants. Palm oil is estimated to be in half of all packaged products sold in supermarkets. Look after your health and the environment by avoiding palm oil.
Sustainablity is sweet for your skin!
Avoid synthetic fabrics
Three quarters of the clothing we wear is made from synthetic fibres. Studies have shown that synthetic fibres, i.e. lycra, nylon and polyester can cause skin irritation, i.e. dermatitis. They can also trap moisture leading to fungal infections. The fibres from these synthetic fabrics are released into the environment and end up being part of the eight million tons of plastic that enter the ocean every day.
Bamboo clothing is a great alternative. Bamboo clothing is light, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, odour resistant, durable and often 100% biodegradable.
Microbeads aren't friendly to fish, or us!
Try to avoid products containing microbeads. Not only are microbeads damaging to the environment, they are also bad for our health. Fish and sea life consume these plastic particles and we consume this seafood, thus the inevitable migration of indigestible plastic beads in our own stomachs.
Read this article for skin and planet loving alternatives to microbeads
Choose natural skin Products
When shopping for toiletries and beauty products consider the amounts of chemicals that you will be rubbing on to your skin, lips, eyes and hair. Often these products contain a variety of carcinogenic products and skin irritants that cause pre-mature ageing, dry skin, allergies and dermatitis. Such products have been found to contain parabens, which are absorbed into the bloodstream and have been found in breast cancer tissue.
Investigate alternative natural and organic moisturizer sources or make your own natural toiletries that are good for you and the environment!
Being planet-friendly is great for the mind + soul!
Go without technology
One day a week, or one hour a day, unplug technology. Researchers recently discovered that 1 in 3 people felt worse after visiting Facebook and more dissatisfied with their lives. Turn off your phone, laptop and television and write a letter (cathartic), read a book (good for your mental health), have a candlelit dinner (romantic) or go for a walk (great for your physical and mental health).
Clean up our beaches
As a fun activity, take your friends and family to a picnic at the beach where you spend half an hour picking up rubbish. It has been proven that doing selfless acts increases the satisfaction and well being levels in the brain.
So there you have it. Your mental, emotional and physical well being is taken care of as you reduce your impact on the environment.
All images: Unsplash