12 tips to keep the Earth healthy
Since its inception in 1970, every April 22 is known around the world as Earth Day.
Join the billion people expected to participate this year by taking measures to promote a healthier you and a healthier planet.
Whether at home, work, the gym or a grocery store, EarthShare.org shares some eco-friendly tips to “green” your everyday life:
- Become energy-efficient: Light your home with energy-efficient bulbs (check for the Energy Star label on packages) and turn the lights off when you leave a room.
- Reuse: Rather than stocking up on disposable items, try reusable products such as cleaning cloths, cups, plates and rechargeable batteries.
- Conserve water: When doing laundry, consolidate loads rather than doing several small ones, and opt out of the hot setting to wash more in cooler water.
- Consider your commute: Reduce fuel costs and usage on your commute through carpooling, mass transit, walking or riding a bike to work.
- Save energy in your workplace: Shutting down your computer when you’re not using it is the single greatest energy-saving opportunity in the workplace, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. And, don’t forget to turn off scanners and printers when not in use.
- Choose “green” office furniture: When buying office furniture, avoid those made with tropical wood or volatile organic compounds that can be emitted from some foam cushions or furniture glues. Instead, opt for furniture that incorporates recycled steel or aluminum in the design.
At the grocery store:
- Buy non-toxic cleaning products: Choose products that are biodegradable, phosphate-free, chlorine-free and unscented.
- Bring your own reusable bags: If you shop once a week, within five years, you’ll have kept anywhere from 250 to 1,000 grocery bags out of our landfills.
- Shop wisely: Bulk foods typically have less packaging, and therefore, generate less waste. If you can’t buy in bulk, choose products with minimal packaging. Also, be sure to shop the perimeter of the store where fresh fruits, vegetables and meats can be found. The interior of the grocery store is typically where you’ll find packaged, processed foods.
At the gym:
- Avoid disposable water bottles: Rather than using disposable water bottles, bring your own to quench your workout thirst. This simple change reduces the amount of waste in landfills and is also cost-effective.
- Carpool with a friend: Bike or carpool to the gym to reduce fuel use while also increasing the amount you exercise and providing moral support to keep you on track.
- Work out in the great outdoors: Supplement or replace your time at the gym with activities around the house such as yard work or in the great outdoors such as hiking, biking or tennis.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.