On Earth Day we join millions of people in building a healthy environment to protect the Earth.
Some pledge to recycle more while others plant trees.
But there’s so much more to it than cutting down less trees and decreasing pollution.
And it benefits you.
That’s right – on Earth Day you can take action towards building a more conscious and healthier you.
Just like the future of Mother Earth, it’s all in your hands.
Here are the top ten things you can do to save the Earth and become a fitter, happier you – at the same time!
1. Instead of driving or taking the bus, Walk
I love to walk. Seriously, if I can, I walk everywhere. One summer I went to visit my sister in an area in Brooklyn that has more than its fair share of buses. My straight hair turned curly as I walked to her place on a very hot and humid day. 20 minutes in and I felt like the sun was walking right next to me.
I would have given anything for an air conditioned room. Then I saw the bus coming my way and thought, “Oh thank God. I can cool off.”
But something about it seemed like I was taking the easy way out. My heart was pumping, my legs felt nice and loose and my body seemed like it was anxious to keep moving. I felt how I usually do when I take a kickboxing class. It was as if I was cutting my exercise short if I took the bus.
I let the bus pass me and felt so proud of myself, sweaty and all.
There’s something about knowing that instead of sitting my butt on the train, I actually mobilized my body to get me to where I need to go.
It gives me so much energy and helps me calm my mind. And that’s what walking will do to ya. It improves your mood, strengthens your muscles and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Plus, you can’t pollute the air by walking now can you?
2. Instead of watching tv, go for a run, bike ride, or hike
Another way to get your body moving is to eliminate how much time you spend inside. Having your lights on and watching television all day wastes energy. So in conjunction with tip number 1, get outside whenever you can.
Take in the natural environment.
It’s good for your mind, body, and the Earth.
3. Eat local, whole foods
Have you ever heard the term “whole foods?”
No, I’m not talking about the fancy supermarket!
I’m talking about non-processed foods.
That means anything that isn’t packaged or treated, like fruits and veggies.
You gotta eat them! Doing so ensures your body gets its necessary nutrients like calcium, fiber and even protein. You’ll have better blood sugar levels, digestion, and less muscle pain.
But here’s the catch…you have to buy them at your local market.
Local foods require far less pollution to get from the farm to your table.
Also: Buying local produce guarantees that your fresh fruit and veggies are indeed fresh. According to the Earth Day network, it takes about seven days for a piece of fruit to go from farm to your supermarket. Within that time whole foods lose up to 45% of their nutritional value.
I mean at that point what’s the point of eating a banana?
4. Instead of eating meat all the time, get your protein from other sources:
Did you know you can get your protein from sources other than meat?
Protein is one of the major nutrients your body needs to build strong muscle, bones, and blood.
But according to the Earthday.org website, producing one calorie of meat requires nearly twenty times the amount of energy as one plant calorie!
The meat industry requires more land, more water, and produces 36 billion tons of greenhouse gases.
All of which has been linked to climate change.
So instead of always hopping over to your grocery wrapped chicken breast or prime steak, give other sources a chance like beans, nuts, and seeds.
You can also go for eggs, yogurts, and some cheeses.
And just like I mentioned in number 3, buy locally.
5. Buy a reusable water bottle:
If you’re not drinking enough water than you should start. Like right now! Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Honestly there are so many benefits to drinking water that it would be crazy not to.
For one, drinking water keeps you and your muscles hydrated while exercising. It can also make you feel full and regulate digestion which has been known to help people lose weight.
But let’s stop buying water from our supermarkets.
According to Earthday.org, “Currently about 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year to make bags, bottles, packages, and other commodities for people all over the world. Unfortunately, only about ten percent of this plastic is properly recycled and reused. The rest ends up as waste in landfills or as litter in our natural environment, where it leaches dangerous chemicals into the nearby soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife alike.”
So is that a good enough reason to buy your own water bottle? I know it keeps me on track of my water intake. It’s such a part of my routine that I have never forgotten to bring my water. Ever.
Bringing your own water will also save you money. I mean who wants to spend a dollar or so every time you work out?
Need some help finding a water bottle? Here are some suggestions: 9 Reusable Water Bottle Recommended by Gizmodo’s Staff
6. Instead of buying lunch, Meal Prep:
Talking about plastic, those bags you get every time you buy lunch end up as waste just like plastic bottles. Or in a cabinet in your kitchen.
Now I know you’re probably thinking, “But I reuse my plastic bags for my garbage.”
That could be true.
But what about those really tiny ones that don’t even fit the smallest of garbage cans? The ones they use to separate your jewelry from the rest of your purchases or when all you buy is a sandwich?
Yeah, I hate those too.
Meal Prep is the best way to eliminate those pesky bags not to mention drop a few pounds.
Meal prepping is the action of “prepping” your food ahead of time. On Sunday, make your meals for the next few days. Do the whole week if you’re up for it.
That way you don’t have to “think” about food, and you’ll only make healthy choices.
7. Put your wet clothes in plastic bags:
Now if you do end up with a plastic bag – reuse it! No brainer.
After working out, I put my wet clothes in a plastic bag. Putting your wet clothes in a plastic bag keeps them separated from your personal belongings in your gym bag.
This is extremely important to stop the spreading of bacteria which usually result in bad skin infections.
And of course to stop polluting our Earth.
P.S. Hang your clothes to dry once you get home or run the risk of being the smelly person in class.
8. Instead of throwing your food away, compost:
Did you know you can recycle your food waste? Food waste makes up 30% of waste in general.
But you can help decrease that by returning it back to the Earth.
Composting is a natural process of recycling organic material into rich soil. It provides your plants with its necessary nutrients, saves you money, and improves your diet. It helps your plants look better too.
Never compost? No worries. Click the video below to see how you can start.
So whether you have a backyard or live in an apartment, composting will help decrease your amount of food waste.
It will also help you eat those whole foods I mentioned in number 3.
9. Instead of using a notebook to journal your progress, use your phone:
We all have a smartphone. Honestly, can you think of someone who doesn’t?
So why not put it to use to track our progress!
It’s approximated that 68 million trees are used every year to produce paper – in the US alone!
Scary fact considering we need trees to clean the air, provide oxygen, and conserve energy.
Instead of wasting paper, use your phone to write down what you eat, what you did to exercise, and your goals. Journaling is one of the best ways to stay on track.
So go ahead put that Notes app to use. You’ve got your phone at hand anyway – might as well use it to help improve your health!
10. Donate old clothes as you shrink out of them:
So you’ve lost weight. You’re loving your new body. Time to buy some new clothes. How exciting!
But don’t throw your old outfits away. Donate them.
We all know how expensive workout gear can be. Instead of throwing it out where it will end up in a landfill, donate them to your local goodwill, church, or homeless shelter.
It will help eliminate the 12 million tons of textile waste that the US produces.
You’ll end up doing a good deed too which you’ll feel great about.
There you have it guys.
Get fit, give back, save the Earth.
Do you have any other ideas that save the Earth and get you fit? Share them below!
Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.