Who doesn’t appreciate an outdoor run in the crisp fall (or spring) weather? Next time you lace up those kicks, take a minute to think about how your healthy lifestyle could be helping the planet. Here are some simple ways you can incorporate planet-friendly habits into your “health nut” lifestyle.
Healthy living in the kitchen
Eating well is probably near the top of your healthy to-do list. You may already know shopping organic and buying local can cut down on pesticides in the soil and reduce carbon emissions from shipping food long distances. But there are other ways you can help in the kitchen.
Cut down on the amount of packaging you throw away by using your own produce bags, reusing glass bottles and plastic containers, and opting for foods that come in minimal packaging. Want to eliminate packaging entirely? Shop at stores offering bulk bins. Litterless maintains a list of zero-waste grocery stores around the United States. (There are more than you may think!)
Even if you’re not near a zero-waste store, product manufacturers are becoming more aware of using post-consumer recycled paper and recyclable materials in their packaging, so take the time to consider how food is packaged and recycle where you can.
Cycle more for the planet
If you’re already a cyclist, you won’t have trouble switching from a car to a bike for everyday errands or the work commute. But even casual riders can swap wheels once in a while. Are you worried about riding a bike in your city? People for Bikes tracks roadway data (worldwide) – visit their Bicycle Network Analysis to look up your city and view high-stress and low-stress roadways near you. A little planning could lead to more time on your bike and fewer carbon emissions in the air.
Cycling not your thing? Not a problem! You can still cut down on car usage by combining weekly errands into one trip, and cut down on emissions by avoiding idling. The Environmental Protection Agency created a list of ways to reduce pollution from vehicles.
Health conscious gear
If you’re like most health nuts, you have a pile of workout clothes that could fill two or three commercial-sized washing machines. Next time you’re shopping for new shorts and tanks (or your 57th sports bra), take a closer look at the label. A growing number of companies manufacture eco-friendly workout clothes that are made from recycled plastics and sustainable bamboo fabrics – and they’re just as comfortable and durable as traditional gear. Even Adidas has a line of shoes made from recycled ocean plastic. New sustainable workout products enter the market each year, and as sustainable living becomes more mainstream, expect to see more selection.
Now that you’ve fine-tuned your healthy (and green!) lifestyle, don’t forget to sit back and enjoy it. If you need a beverage while you’re enjoying that post-workout bliss, be sure to check out our previous post in the series, Green Living Tips: The Coffee Connoisseur. What’s coming up next? We’re looking at you, Millennials.