Happy 2021 everyone! This past year has been a rough one, and although there is much to be sad about, there is also much to celebrate. We have a new year, a new President (who just rejoined the Paris Agreement BTW!!!) a FEMALE Vice President, and there is now a Ninth Executive Order which is meant to protect the environment and public health while using science to tackle the climate crisis. This is a BIG deal!
So, let’s do our part! I know you’re probably pretty bummed that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, but there’s something about a new start that always feels both exciting and inspiring. Every year I create this huge goal for myself and almost never follow through. Big resolutions can be pretty daunting. How about you, what’s your goal this year? Is this your year to be healthier? Save the world? Drink more water? I’ve found that goals can be much more attainable when we put them into simple baby steps. Here goes…
6 (socially distanced) habits to pick up that can make for a healthier you and a healthier world:
Plant a garden
Whether you choose indoor or outdoor (depending on the weather), having fresh herbs/veggies around may inspire you to eat healthier. The actual act of gardening burns calories and can be great reason to get a little bit of sunshine and fresh air from those very same plants. Eating more whole foods and less packaged/processed food is great for your health, your wallet, and the earth. Growing your own food also reduces the carbon footprint compared to the transportation it would normally take to get your food to you.
Keep your lights on less and your curtains open more.
Turning off your lights is one of those simple tips we learned in kindergarten, yet we don’t always seem to follow through with. How many times have you left the room and left the light on? This is a simple step that saves energy, reduces carbon emission and green house gasses, and also saves you money on your electric bill. This is a win, win for everyone. Open those shades and let that light shine on in, we’re in NH – we need more Vitamin D!
Take a walk outside and pick up litter
Taking a walk is good for your heart, your body, and your soul. This allows you a moment to breathe in fresh air – a moment to think on your own – along with some good work on the muscles. Picking up litter is a great way to clean up your own community and to help your wildlife from getting sick. Our land and ocean do not need any more trash. So grab some washable gloves, take a walk, and start picking up! Remember, even a few pieces of trash on a 15-20 minute walk can make a difference.
Walk/bike when you can instead of drive
Although walking/biking may be weather dependent I truly believe that we drive far more often than is necessary. Whenever my wife and I go on vacation, we find ourselves walking miles and miles everyday to see new sites, visit beaches, or get food. It was then that we realized how much more capable we are of walking just as often at home. Choosing to walk/bike instead of driving saves on gas, is great exercise, and reduces carbon emissions.
Use a reusable water bottle and drink more water
I can’t say this one enough (maybe in every blog post lol), buy a reusable water bottle and STOP buying plastic water bottles. This has to be one of the most simple steps you can take – yet I see people with single use plastic water bottles every day. A reusable water bottle means less plastic and more money in your pocket.
Eat less meat and more veggies
According to foodtank.com, “the total amount of water needed to produce one pound of beef is 1,799 gallons.” Along with this little known fact, animal agriculture is also known to grossly contribute to greenhouse gasses in a way far worse than even the transportation industry. As for your health, switching to a plant-based diet has been known to treat and reverse the progression of heart disease. Even choosing to join in on Meatless Monday can be a great contribution – and the animals will appreciate it too.
I know that these may seem like simple changes, but the simpler they are, the more likely you are to adapt them as new habits. Already got these down? How about composting? Buying in bulk? Buying local and/or second hand? What healthy, green habits have you challenged yourself to take on – and what should we add to our list?