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How to Live a More Eco-Conscious Life—And Why It’s Good for You

written by Skye Sherman - Sep 2, 2019

Photo Credit: by innoventionclub, from
Photo Credit: by innoventionclub, from

Eco-conscious living is a trending topic, and there’s never been a better time than now to jump on the train. Whether you opt to live a more eco-friendly and conscious life for the sake of the planet or for your own health, there are plenty of good reasons to make a few simple changes in your life that can have dramatic impacts on both you and the world around you. Whether you focus on protecting the reefs, cutting down on carbon emissions, eliminating waste, or all of it at once, you too can make a difference.

Ready to help save the planet with simple changes to your everyday routine? Then read our suggestions below.

Living simply and minimally

Covered in clutter? If the sheer amount of unnecessary things you own is beginning to suffocate you, consider taking on a minimalism challenge and simplifying your life. Clutter can become a dusty and stressful wasteland that drags you down both physically and mentally.

Here’s an example of a month-long minimalism challenge: on the first day, throw away one thing. On the second day, throw away two things--and so on for a full 30 days. By the end of one short month, you’ll have cleansed your life and your home of hundreds of things that you simply don’t need. Not only will you release items out into the world where others need them, you’ll feel much better about your newly simplified life and make room for the things that matter most.

Cutting down on waste and using plastic alternatives

It’s easy to cut down on waste. One of the first and simplest steps you can take is bringing reusable bags to the store for any shopping trip. Instead of accepting plastic or paper disposable bags at the store, why not fill up your own bags that you can use again and again? This small change can help to dramatically cut down on waste consumption, especially over a lifetime.

At home, you can cut down on your paper consumption (and save trees in the process) by limiting how much paper you use and avoiding the use of paper for situations that are avoidable, such as printing out emails or unnecessarily consuming paper goods when you could be opting for an alternative. And for the paper you do use, you should make sure to be recycling all of it so that it’s not just thrown into a landfill.

You can also save paper in use cases around your household. Instead of paper plates, dishes, and cutlery when friends or family come over, stick to dishes you can wash and use again. It may take more time in the kitchen during cleanup, but you’re saving a whole lot of trash from piling onto a landfill. When you’re cleaning up around the house, don’t use paper towels to clean or wipe counters. Instead, use rags or cloths that you can simply wash and use again when you’re finished. This will also save you money, and the savings will add up to quite a bit over time.

Choose pre-owned items when you can. Borrow instead of buy. Not only does it cut down on unnecessary waste, it will help both you and the person desiring to get rid of the stuff they’re not using anymore. Switch to reusable Ziplocs and plastic wrap in the form of beeswax cling wrap for preserving food and cloth or fabric bags when it comes to packing snacks for lunches.

Taking these simple steps will help to dramatically cut down on your waste production and help save the planet in the process.

Eating a more planet-conscious diet

Switching to a more planet-conscious diet is beneficial to the world at large and your own health. Incorporating more whole foods and plant-based meals is one of the best ways to care for the planet through what you eat.

One easy way to begin your journey of cutting down on meat is to add Meatless Mondays to your weekly meal plan. Skip meat on just one day a week and see how it benefits your wallet, health, and the world. Some worry about missing out on vital nutrients by not eating meat, but in truth, vegetarian and vegan diets are just as nourishing as standard diets. And you can always add in vitamins and supplements if you find you’re lacking in any important nutrients.

According to Wheels for Wishes, eating less meat can be very beneficial to the planet and to your health. “Cutting back on your consumption of meat can make a huge difference in the environment. More than 30 percent of the Earth’s surface is being used to raise and support livestock. … Cutting back on your meat consumption is an important step in reducing the overall emission of GWP gases. Less livestock also means more land we can enjoy and use for recreation. Consider replacing some of your meat-heavy meals with vegetables or eating more seafood!”

A United Nations study suggests that livestock contributes a notable percentage to CO2 levels and greenhouse gases, which contribute to warming the earth. Eating meat necessitates large populations of livestock in order to support the global food demands.

With all the vegetables you begin eating, consider starting a compost pile or compost bin for the scraps. Instead of throwing the food into the trash, where it will rot and not do anyone any good, consider throwing all organic materials into a pile that will decompose and nourish the next generation of growth as it does.

Compost piles have gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason. They don’t add to the trash problem and in fact help to encourage heartier growth of the next plants. Even if you live in a city, you can make a mini compost pile by recycling your scraps into at-home plants like herbs and other house plants. Some places even take compost donations, so search around your city and see if any organizations want your food waste.

Why taking care of the planet is good for you

We know that taking care of the planet is good for the planet, but could it be good for us, too? The answer to that question seems to be yes, which provides all the more reason for people to make moves in the right direction.

Aside from the obvious fact that preserving our planet preserves life on this planet, including both ours and the lives of our descendants, caring for the planet is good for our physical and emotional health. Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and greens simultaneously boosts our health and cares for the planet. Don’t you feel better just knowing that you’ve played your part?

An article in the Los Angeles Times titled Eating for your health is also better for the environment, study shows states,

“So, you want to reduce your carbon footprint? You might consider improving your diet. It turns out that healthy eating isn’t just good for your body, it can also lessen your impact on the environment. Scientists say that food production including growing crops, raising livestock, fishing and transporting all that food to our plates is responsible for 20% to 30% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, 33% of the ice-free land on our planet is being used to grow our food, researchers say.

“But altering our diets could change that. A new study published Monday in PNAS found that if citizens in 28 high-income nations like the United States, Germany and Japan actually followed the dietary recommendations of their respective governments, greenhouse gases related to the production of the food they eat would fall by 13% to 25%. At the same time, the amount of land it takes to produce that food could drop by as much as 17%.”

These numbers are indicative of major change. Not to mention, having a healthier environment will also improve overall health by providing Earth’s citizens with cleaner air, water, and other resources.



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