Five Tips for Being Green and Healthy

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Green living is being embraced by increasing numbers of people. Saving energy at home, using less gasoline, conserving fresh water and recycling paper, plastic and glass products all contribute to a greener lifestyle and a lower carbon footprint. But there is another reason for going green: green living is healthy.

Here are five tips for living a green and healthy lifestyle.

1. Walk (or run) up the stairs rather than taking the elevator. Elevators require energy moving people up and down in buildings. Unless you need to go to the 68th floor, consider taking the stairs rather than the elevator. Walking or running up stairs is an easy step you can take to include some aerobic exercise in your routine every day. The benefit to you will be a healthier heart and help in losing weight, if that is one of your objectives.

2. Start a garden at home. In addition to some exercise, gardening benefits health by allowing you to make sure that your homegrown fruit and vegetables are chemical and toxin free. And by growing some of your food at home, you reduce pollution and save fuel by not having that food shipped to you from across the country, or even from halfway around the world.

3. Substitute a bike ride or a walk for a trip in your car, when possible. In addition to saving gas and reducing the size of your carbon footprint by eliminating the emissions from your car, walking and/or riding your bike is a great way to get some exercise. Walking for 30-45 minutes a couple of times per week, or taking a 1-hour bike ride, will also help you lose 5-10 pounds over the course of a year by burning some extra calories each time.

4. Make sure your television and other electronics are plugged into switchable power strips, and switch them off. The amount of electricity lost each year due to the vampire energy drain of most electronics is shocking. Your television uses more power when turned off then when turned on over its lifetime due to the vampire energy used to keep it constantly warmed up. Similarly, your computer, video game players, and chargers are all pulling a little bit of power, even when they are not in use. The health benefit will come if you further reduce your time spent sitting in front of those electronic devices. Spend time with your family and friends instead. Healthier relationships lead to a happier, less stressful life.

5. Eat less meat. Meat requires more water, land and energy to produce than vegetables. Eating less meat while increasing your intake of fresh vegetables is widely viewed by medical authorities as healthier.

Many green lifestyle choices are also healthier, so going green can provide you with the benefit of a healthier life.

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January 2023