10 Healthy Habits to Help Our Planet this Year
As we step into a new year, it’s the perfect time to adopt healthy habits that not only benefit our well-being but also contribute to the health of our planet. Small, consistent changes in our daily routines can make a significant impact over time.
10 Healthy Habits to Help Our Planet
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Start by minimizing your waste. Be mindful of your consumption and opt for products with minimal packaging. Reuse items whenever possible, and make recycling a non-negotiable part of your routine. Make note of your weekly recycling and compost pick-up dates for your community — it’s easy to find on your local city or district website!
2. Conserve Water
Be mindful of your water usage. Fix leaks promptly, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, and consider installing water-saving appliances. You can also consider taking shorter showers, waiting until the dishwasher is completely full before running it, thawing foods in the fridge instead of running it under hot water, and keeping oils and fats out of the drain (it can back up the pipes and lead to flooding). Conserving water not only helps your utility bills but also protects this precious resource.
3. Switch to Sustainable Transportation
Choose eco-friendly transportation options whenever possible. Consider walking, cycling, carpooling, or using public transportation. A study in Montreal found that a round trip on public transit required an average of about 2500 steps and could provide 25% of the daily physical activity recommended for good health. If feasible, invest in an electric or hybrid vehicle to reduce your carbon footprint.
4. Embrace Plant-Based Eating
Adopting a plant-based diet or incorporating more plant-based meals into your routine can significantly reduce your environmental impact. Plant-based diets generally require fewer natural resources and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
5. Energy-Efficient Practices
Conserve energy by turning off lights and electronic devices when not in use. Consider using energy-efficient appliances and switch to LED bulbs. Easy energy conservation ideas include air-drying your clothes, unplugging devices (and chargers) that aren’t being used, switching out incandescent lightbulbs for energy-efficient lighting instead, and turning off lights whenever you leave a room. Additionally, explore renewable energy options for your home if possible.
6. Support Local and Sustainable Brands
Choose products from local and sustainable brands that prioritize eco-friendly practices. This supports local economies and ensures that your purchases align with environmental values. When we buy from independent, locally owned businesses, rather than national chains, a significantly greater portion of our money is then cycled back through our local economy — to make purchases from our friends’ businesses, to aid our neighbours in need, and to support our local farms — ultimately strengthening the base of our whole community.
7. Create a Home Garden
Cultivate a small garden at home, whether it’s a few potted herbs on your windowsill or a backyard vegetable patch. Growing your own food can reduce your reliance on store-bought produce, cutting down on transportation-related emissions.
8. Educate and Advocate
Stay informed about environmental issues and share your knowledge with others. Advocate for sustainable practices in your community and support initiatives that promote environmental conservation.
9. Reduce Meat Consumption
If going fully plant-based is challenging, consider reducing your meat consumption. Opt for meatless Mondays or designate specific days for plant-based meals to lower your overall environmental impact. Almost all of the nutrients in animal proteins can be obtained through nutrient-rich plants, and wholegrains, fruits and vegetables also have the least environmental impact.
10. Practice Mindful Consumerism
Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you truly need it. Choose products that are durable, repairable, and made from sustainable materials. There are thrift stores everywhere that offer a diverse selection of secondhand clothing, as well as buy nothing groups on Facebook that are available to peruse through to see if something catches your eye. The environmental benefits of secondhand clothing include lowering your carbon footprint and keeping clothing out of landfills. By being a mindful consumer, you contribute to a circular economy.
Habits for a Happy Planet
Incorporating these habits into your daily life not only benefits the environment but also enhances your overall well-being. Let’s make a collective effort to create a healthier planet for ourselves and future generations. If you’re looking for more ideas for healthy habits to incorporate into your lifestyle as the new year begins, check out our blog or check out these suggestions for more ideas: