You’ve more than likely heard of the “green movement” and have an understanding of the beneficial ways our actions can impact the environment. But, are you aware that a lot of these actions have additional health and well being benefits too?
While these may not be apparent at first, when you make some simple lifestyle changes you will soon notice an improvement on your mental health. Spending more time outside, whether it is in the garden or simply walking around instead of driving, can actually help to clear your head. It has long since been said that spending time with nature, as well as caring for others and the environment, can shape a person’s mind into becoming more caring.
This year why not make your New Year’s resolution a Green one which benefits both you and the planet. We know that this can feel a bit overwhelming so we’ve got three areas you can look at and adapt them so that they work for you.
Look after the land and the land will look after you, destroy the land and it will destroy you – Aboriginal Proverb.
Being a socially conscious consumer
This simply put is, don’t buy anything you don’t need.
If we take your wardrobe for example; you think you have nothing to wear but if you have a bit of a rummage around you’ll find something you forgot you own, pair that with something you’ve bought since and hey presto a whole new look. Try doing this a few times and you’ll slowly discover that you actually have loads of clothes and combinations to wear. This will not only reduce the amount you are consuming and increase your reuse but removes the stress of keeping with the K’s and gives you a unique style.
When you do decide to add some new items try to support a local business. More small businesses in your area can help to create a sense of community and pride of place meaning less cars on the road leading to less air pollution; good for the planet and good for you.
Going green with your diet
This doesn’t mean that you have to make drastic changes becoming a vegan overnight, if you are then great but it’s not for everyone. Make small changes and who knows one day you might just make that choice and become vegan.
Check where your food has come from. Many of us are unaware that our veg has been flown around the planet, some of which is also grown right here. On the bag or if it’s loose the price label the country of origin is shown. When picking up those carrots make the Irish choice, they might be a few cents more but consider the health benefits those few cents are costing you.
Less travel meaning less air pollution, you are supporting local producers meaning more jobs closer to home. In Ireland food waste is processed here, buying Irish produce and placing any food waste in your food waste bin means it gets processed right here into compost which is then used to grow new food meaning you are playing a part in the circular economy.
Limiting power usage at home
This one is a no brainer; let’s take one example, screens of all sizes. Once they’re off they’re not using any electricity and there are many studies out there which highlight the benefits of reducing screen time.
On top of improving your mental health, going green can lead to a more active lifestyle, which can help you get into better shape because many choices result in using your own two feet to get around instead of driving in a car.
Author- Declan Breen
14 Feb 2023
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