Sustainability is a difficult topic. First, what does it even mean? We all have an idea, but do we really understand it? It implies eternity, but we also know nothing lasts forever.
Simply put, sustainability is about harmony. When systems or entities live in harmony with their surroundings, they become more durable. They cease to fight against that which they cannot change, making them more resilient.
Building environmentally sustainable societies is a tall task, and it’s one that requires big solutions. But the process begins with us. If each one of us looks for dissonance in our lives, and works to restore harmony, little by little we can make the system-wide changes needed to protect life on Earth.
But for this to work, it’s important to see the results of our actions. And one of the best places to look is in our own lives. Much of what we can do to live more sustainably also helps improve health and wellness. This immediate impact highlights the significance of our actions, giving us the confidence we need to persevere in our quest to protect Earth from catastrophe.
Consider these five sustainability hacks and how they also contribute to health and wellness.
Reusable Water Bottles
The amount of plastic water bottles we consume daily is astonishing. And even with recycling, the amount of waste we produce is mind boggling. Furthermore, plastic is an oil product; the more plastic we use, the more oil we use. This is no good for anyone.
Switching over to a reusable water bottle means you’ll never need to buy another plastic water bottle again, taking us one step closer to eliminating these terrible things once and for all.
On the wellness side, though, a plastic water bottle is your way of saying yes to hydration. The majority of people in the U.S. suffer from chronic dehydration, and this can cause lots of short- and long-term health problems.
If you carry a water bottle with you wherever you go, it’ll be easier for your to stay hydrated and to keep up with this all-important aspect of health and wellness.
Generally speaking, humans are pretty dirty. We create lots of waste, and our bodies do too. As a result, a massive industry has emerged around hygiene.
But cleaning products can be harmful to both you and the environment. Many of them use strong chemicals or surfactants (the substances that makes soap sudsy). These have harmful effects on both the environment (all drains lead to the ocean, remember), and also on your body; alcohol-based soaps can really dry out your skin.
A simple solution is to use environmental-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products. They do the same thing as chemical products, but their environmental impact is less. And they are often much better for your body. It seems like a small thing, but that’s the point. This tiny change in lifestyle can have far-reaching effects on our efforts to be healthy and sustainable.
Ever since climate change and global warming became a thing, people have been talking about reducing carbon emissions in transportation. We’ve made some tremendous progress, but there’s still a ways to go.
Choosing to ride a bike or walk when going somewhere locally is a good start, and carpooling to work or school is also a great way to reduce impact. This much we know, but how does this contribute to wellness?
The bike riding part is obvious: more exercise is always better
. But carpooling? We must remember to take a holistic approach to wellness. Physical health is important, but so is mental and spiritual well-being.
Carpooling eases our transportation expenses, and it also increases the time we spend meaningfully interacting with others. Many of us stress about money, so anytime we can reduce this stress is good for us. And this time, it’s also good for Mother Earth.
Fair trade/organic products
Modern agriculture, defined by the heavy use of fossil fuels, chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), produces low-quality food and degrades environmental conditions. Eating more organic food
contributes to food system change, and it also helps improve health.
Fair trade products have a similar effect. Economic inequality is a major contributor and symptom of climate change
. The economic relationships stemming from fair trade supports development and makes it easier for populations around the world to address issues of environmental sustainability. Plus, you’ll get a confidence and positivity boost knowing your money is supporting someone else’s quest to live a good life.
Less lights and shorter showers
Paying bills is a reality of life, but it’s also a major source of stress. Every little thing that reduces your obligations will make you happier, as you’ll have more time and resources for the things you really enjoy.
Work to reduce electrical and water consumption by putting lights on timers, making sure to turn them off when you’re not in the room, taking shorter showers, relying less on air-conditioning and heat, and so on. These seem like small changes, but they can have a huge impact.
Sustainability is Wellness
By working to live more sustainably, we’re also improving wellness. And by focusing on wellness, we’re reducing environmental impact. Start taking a wellness approach to sustainability, and together we can build a better world.