Just as it is important to take care of our bodies, it is also important to take care of our planet. The good news? There are many ways you can tackle both of these tasks at once. If you’re looking for a few healthy, earth-conscious alternatives to improve your body and the planet—and consider these three tips for a better you and a better earth.
1. Use “greener” cleaners.
Just like many of the good things we do for our bodies are good for the earth, many of the chemicals that are harmful to us are just as harmful to the environment. We’re looking at you toxic, chlorine-based cleaners. While the effects may be positive when it comes to killing harmful germs, many of the cleaners on the market aren’t good for our bodies or the earth. Start using green cleaners by checking the labels to make sure they’re non-toxic, bleach-free solutions.
You can even save money and make your own healthier cleaning solutions using essential oils mixed with materials you may already have on hand—like white vinegar, baking soda, water, natural dish soap and even plain vodka. Do an online search for easy DIY recipes. Whether you buy or mix, the goal is to kill germs without killing brain cells and help keep the earth safe.
2. Bike to work, carpool to school, or wherever!
Even though nearly half of U.S. workers reported working from home, there are still ways we can cut down on our carbon emissions. Consider adding a basket to your bike and cycling to the supermarket. Riding a bike is as good for the environment as it is for your health. Cycling is a great way to burn calories (between 40 and 60 per mile), stay in shape and keep the ozone intact. For safety’s sake, be sure to wear a helmet. And if you cycle after dark, make sure your bike has lights or reflectors. Just like driving a car—always follow the rules of the road.
Earth Day is a great opportunity to challenge yourself and your family members to find ways to reduce vehicle use and carpool to a destination. You can check out a list of Michigan’s carpool lots and find co-workers and friends who might want to ride to work together.
3. Spend more time outside, and leave the lights off indoors.
Walking, hiking, climbing, running, exploring, adventuring and just plain moving around outside can be great for your heart, your mind, your skin, your muscles and more. Here’s an added benefit: when you’re exercising outside, you’re saving energy inside, which is “A-OK” on Earth Day and every day.
Can you imagine the amount of energy the world could save if everyone turned off the power at home to go outside for just an hour a day? Earthhour.org did. Check out their research showing how much energy we can save if we went powerless for just one hour. Now imagine how great we’d all feel if we spent that hour exercising!
There are so many other ways to improve your health and the environment at the same time—and Earth Day is a great day to get started. You could get a walk in while volunteering with Michigan’s Adopt-a-Highway program.
Or save electricity at the gym or at home by skipping the treadmill and using your own body weight to work out. Try free outdoor Priority Health Fitness Court near you. Our planet will thank you.
Priority Health members can check the Wellbeing Hub to see which activities or programs are right for them based on their health plan. If you’re not a member, talk to your health insurance provider to see if any programs in your part of Michigan support your health and environmental goals.