Industrialisation and advances in technology in just the last few decades of human civilisation has brought us so many magnificent and life-altering inventions, from air travel to the internet to antibiotics. But the good stuff has, unfortunately, come with the bad. Our modern practices are often accompanied by so much waste, and that has had a negative impact on mother nature. With the effects of global warming now a harsh reality, it is more important than ever that everyone takes the necessary steps to reduce, reuse and recycle.
If the large-scale, global effects of climate change have yet to hit home for you, here are some really excellent reasons why you should consider going green that’s on a more personal level.
It Is Good for the Waistline
Choose to ride a bicycle and walk when you can. When you do so, you are reducing your carbon footprint and burning a ton of calories at the same time. You can lose up to 130 calories when riding a bicycle for 20 minutes at a moderate pace and burn between 100 to 200 calories on a half-hour walk, depending on intensity. You could easily achieve this on a daily basis by leaving your car at home and making the trek from work back to your apartment (if your commute is long, you could take public transport part of the way), as well as walking or biking to run your errands. A wonderful option if you are looking to lose inches around the waist!
Your Family Will Breathe Easier
Too many toxic chemicals in your home (by way of cleaning agents and pesticides) is not only bad for the environment on a larger scale, it can also affect the health of your family, especially when you have young children or family members who have compromised immune systems, respiratory issues or a tendency toward skin irritation and other forms of allergies. You can replace your harsh cleaning products with ones that are ‘greener’ and contain more natural ingredients. Or you can even make your own natural products using basic kitchen items such as vinegar, lemon and water, which can clean just as well as your store-bought brands.
It Does Wonders for Your Skin
Switch to green cosmetics and skincare and even consider making your own from natural ingredients. When you consider the fact that our skin is the largest organ in our body, we really should be taking more care when it comes to the chemicals that we are rubbing onto it; anything that we apply enters directly into our bloodstream. Instead of applying products that contain a plethora of unknown synthetics ingredients, artificial fragrances and preservatives, choose as much as possible those that contain natural ingredients. While you are at it, take the additional step and pick products that are packaged in recycled materials and biodegradable packaging.
It Is Better for Your Health
The livestock industry does not just produce a significant amount of methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas, it is also a major cause of deforestation as a lot of land is needed to house the cattle and grow the food that is needed to feed them. As a matter of fact, the industry is estimated to be responsible for almost 20 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by humans. Furthermore, the overuse of antibiotics to hinder the spread of disease among livestock has unfortunately contributed to the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, which puts us all at higher risks of untreatable diseases and epidemics.
When it comes to the individual, research has shown that reducing your meat intake and increasing consumption of vegetables and fruit can lower your risk factors for health issues that include cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
It Supports Local Businesses
Buying fresh produce from nearby farms (and purchasing clothing made by seamstresses in your area) not only supports the local economy and local businesses, but it can also significantly reduce carbon emissions that come from transporting the items from far-flung lands through all the various shipping modes (air, sea and land). Some experts have also suggested that harvesting fruits and vegetables before they ripen (which is a common practice when fruits and vegetables are meant to be packed and shipped off) means that the produce was not able to reach their nutritional peak; yet another reason why you should buy your fruits and vegetables that are grown locally—if you can.
It Cuts Your Utility Bill
Saving for your child’s college fund? Have a vacation you’ve been dreaming of but cannot afford? You can support the environmental cause and save a significant amount of money at the same time when you decide to go green in your own home. Start with easy steps such as switching off lights and fans when you leave the room, turning off the shower when you are shampooing or soaping, and showering instead of drawing up a bath. You can also think about switching to energy-saving and water-efficient appliances when it comes to things like your air-conditioner, washing machine and toilet flush. Then watch as you rack up the monthly savings from your utility bill! Talk about a major incentive to go green.