A couple of months ago, I read a post that, quite honestly, alarmed and shocked me. I won't mention this person, their blog, or their post to protect their identity but it essentially discussed how we should only be eating one meal per day to save the environment. I wanted to talk about how to live a green and clean life for a long time and once I read this post, I honestly debated back and forth because I knew I would want and need to discuss this topic being a health and nutrition professional. From a greener world stand point, would eating less make the world cleaner-maybe. Are there several other and much more efficient ideas to help keep the world cleaner-YES. I will get into different ways to save the environment later but first, I have to address this.
I know this person was not thinking about this or putting this into consideration, but this is not something to spread around and promote to people for it can have super damaging affects on those who suffer from disordered eating. People who have disordered eating already struggle internally to either eat less or eat more so to read articles or hear people saying that eating once per day or one meal per day will help rescue the environment, only reinforces their disordered eating. People who eat less may interpret this that what they are or were doing before was correct so they should either continue or go back to their old ways; people who consume more than recommended for their body type and physical activity levels may feel even more self conscious about themselves and may fall into the other side of disordered eating and not eat enough, or become further depressed and consume even more. As I said before, I do not believe this person put that into consideration and I am in no way trying to attack or bash this person, however I do hope that if this person reads this post they will consider how this kind of thinking can damage other people, especially those who suffer from disordered eating.
Okay, now that I disclosed that information, I would love to share my biggest tips on how you can live a greener and cleaner life!
I already know, this is super obvious, boring, and unoriginal to add to my biggest tips (and guess what, the next one will be too) however I feel it needs to be addressed. I try to be as environmentally conscious as I can and even I sometimes find I place recyclable items in the garbage and I have to dig it out. After finishing a product, whether it be a jar of peanut butter or your body wash, check to see if there's a recycling sign and if so-reduce, reuse, recycle!
Just don't. I feel this one needs no explaining and quite frankly, I feel silly even adding these first two on here but a couple of months ago I saw someone while stopped at a traffic light throwing garbage outside of their car. Why. I don't understand why people do this. Please, the next time you finish your sandwich and are holding the plastic wrapping, take the time to arrive at your next destination and find a trash can as opposed to throwing it out of your car for the birds to get.
So this kind of resolves part of the recycling step however if you can, try to avoid plastics when you can. Plastics are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to damaging the planet, it lays waste in landfills and kills land and marine life. When plastic rings used for sodas or any other beverages are thrown out in the ocean or on land- birds, sea turtles, and other creatures either get stuck in those rings which may cause suffocation, or they eat the plastic which leads to gastrointestinal issues or death.
It breaks my heart when I see photos and videos of birds or sea turtles with plastic rings wrapped around their neck and when finally removed they're bloodied or there's a big indent in their neck.
The biggest thing to avoid when you can is plastic water bottles, they are one of the biggest manufactured plastic products out there because they are used daily by the majority of people. I recommend getting a glass water bottle that is dishwasher safe and you can re-use. A brand I like is BKR because they also offer really cute silicon sleeves for your water bottle which are also dishwasher safe. I love using my BKR water bottle, especially when I work and when I go out in the car. Now, if you like to have plastic water bottles for emergency purposes, absolutely keep them on hand. I have two packs of plastic water bottles just in case if we run out of water, however once you have used the water, please recycle the plastic.
Did you also know that plastic can be found in skin care products?! Neither did I until recently. It's a form of liquid plastic called polyethylene and sometimes you can find it in different skin care products, such as sunscreen. This is problematic because when you wash it off your face, it gets in the drains and affects the marine life. So next time you're out on your next skincare run, please be sure to check the ingredients and if polyethylene is used, DITCH IT.
If you haven't watched the documentary The Game Changers on Netflix, do yourself a favor and watch it. It's so incredibly informative and gives legitimate, scientific proof on how living a plant based lifestyle gives you a better quality of life, strengthens athletic performance, AND helps improve the environment. Honestly, there's nothing bad or any downsides to leading a plant based life. In fact when I was still in school and interned with the university's Registered Dietitian, she told me, "I don't recommend over-eating on anything, except plants". Health wise, increasing plant protein intake can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure by improving blood flow and the quality of blood in our bodies. In terms of a greener Earth, not a lot of people realize this, but the meat industry is having devastating effects on our biodiversity. Let me explain-these industries were created to "house" different animals such as chickens, cows, and pigs, grow them, and then slaughter them for us to consume. In order to grow these animals they require food and water so we're utilizing TONS of water to not only keep these animals hydrated, but to also grow the vegetables and grains that they eat. This is why I highly recommend this documentary because they touch on this subject and go further into it and it's crazy because I feel that this is not discussed often enough. Fifty-sixty years ago, plant based diets only really consisted of salads, boiled vegetables, and beans. We have learned so much since then and have found and adapted to creating tastier plant based protein options. Restaurants are even featuring other plant based options as opposed to just salads. If you're considering switching to plant based but unsure where to start, I have several different posts on different plant based recipes and specific brands to look for (which you can read one of them here).
Support Green Brands
Lastly, you can help support a greener Earth by supporting brands that fight to keep it green. As mentioned before, you can get rid of single-use plastic water bottles by switching to reusable glass ones which you can get from BKR. Another great clothing brand is WholeSome Culture, they have super cute clothes and are dedicated to helping others in need and improving the environment by using sustainable materials (including recyclable packaging), giving back to different animal rescues, and donating extra clothes as opposed to destroying them. Even skincare products are leaning towards a greener approach, brands such as The Ordinary and Youth To The People utilize glass as opposed to plastic packaging which is amazing for the environment and makes the product look prettier in my opinion. Please support different brands like these who were created to help make a difference.
Have any other tips or ideas? Let me know in the comments below as I return any and all thoughts! As always, peace and love ✌🤍
The Earth is a fine place, and worth fighting for.
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