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    5 Simple Sustainable Living Tips to Improve Your Health

    By Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN | April 22, 2018

     

    Sustainable-Living-Practices-MeganFaletra-WEB

    Earth Day is the perfect time to think more about how our choices affect the world around us. Whether you’re already an earth-loving master recycler or a beginner looking to learn more about sustainability, embracing a more sustainable way of living can be a wonderful way to improve your own health and the health of our planet.

    But, getting started may feel a bit overwhelming, which is why we have listed some of our favorite simple tips to help you begin embracing sustainable living in your own life today.

    Tip #1: Say Goodbye to Plastic Water Bottles for Good!
    Statistics show that if we don’t change the amount of plastic we consume and dispose of soon, by 2050 there may be more plastic in our oceans than there are fish. Luckily, there is a lot we can do in our daily lives to keep this from happening. Simply switching to a reusable glass or stainless steel water bottle is an excellent way to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles entering our landfills and oceans. It’s also so much better for your health, as endocrine-disrupting chemicals are present in plastic water bottles and can leach into the water over time. This isn’t good for your hormones or your health and is just another reason to choose the reusable option.

    Tip #2: Switch to Reusable Food Storage Wraps and Containers
    Switching to reusable bees wraps or cloth bags is a great way to reduce your need for plastic wrap and ziplock bags for food storage. Switching your plastic tupperware to glass tupperware is also a great way to not only reduce your exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (found in the plastic), but will also help to limit your plastic use on a daily basis. Once you buy glass tupperware containers, you can have them for years, making them a much better long-term investment as compared to plastic tupperware that gets gross and discolored pretty quickly.

    Tip #3: Embrace Bulk Shopping & Bulk Food Storage
    Buying in bulk (and no we don’t just mean at Costco) is a little-known secret that can help save you a ton of money and is much better for the environment. Next time you’re at the grocery store, see what options they have for bulk. They may very well have many of your pantry staples! Now the next time you go to the grocery store, take some small organic cotton bags with you and use those to store your bulk goods. When you get home, pour your new bulk goods into glass mason jars and enjoy how pretty they look sitting on your counter or in your pantry! Buying and storing in bulk not only is more cost effective, but it’s also an incredible way to reduce your overall plastic waste, accumulated simply from the packaging of foods.

    Tip #4: Reduce Your Household Food Waste by Planning Ahead
    The reality of the fact is that here in the US, we waste close to 40% of all the food we produce. This is a giant environmental and public health issue that cannot be ignored. But what can you do at home as an individual or family to reduce your waste? The next time you are prepping some veggies for lunches or meals for the week, make a note to save the scraps in a large bag or bowl. Place them in the refrigerator, and at the end of the week, use all your collected scraps to make a delicious homemade veggie broth. You’ve now turned something that would have just gone to waste into a delicious, nutrient-dense base for future soups.

    It’s also a great idea to get in the habit of planning your main meals for the week and making a list before you go to the farmers’ market or grocery store. Having a general plan of what you need to purchase and what you already have at home is a great way to ensure that no food goes to waste in the refrigerator.

    Tip #5: Make Your Favorite Nut Milk at Home
    This is a super simple tip, but for all the plant-based folks out there, making your own homemade nut milk is so much better for you (no more of those gums and fillers!), and at the same time reduces the need to purchase your nut milk in yet another plastic container. So, it’s a win for your health and the environment! Sounds good to us!

    Just by making these few simple swaps, you’ll quickly be on your way to living a more sustainable life and will be able to feel amazing knowing that you are doing something so good – both for yourself and for the planet.

     

    Happy Earth Day!