The very first Earth Day celebration occurred in 1970 amidst a growing consciousness of the need to protect the environment and our planet’s precious natural resources. Forty-three years later, Earth Day is now firmly planted in the international psyche and millions of people worldwide observe the event. So to mark today’s celebration, here are 10 health-promoting activities that help green up the planet at the same time:
- Ride your bike to work if it’s feasible. Not only will you get your cardio in, but riding your bike instead of driving helps to reduce harmful carbon emissions.
- While you’re at it, do your workout in the great outdoors. In doing so, you’ll enjoy the health benefits of fresh air as well as vitamin D from natural sunlight. Take a walk, go for a hike, start digging in your garden or mow the lawn. Just get outside and move.
- Here in Colorado, winter hasn’t quite relinquished its icy grip. But in other parts of the country it’s time to start turning the soil and sowing garden seeds. If it’s still too cold for that where you live, try planting vegetable seedlings indoors instead. They’ll be ready to transplant just a few weeks down the road – and your plate will be full of fresh garden veggies come fall and winter.
- But don’t wait until fall – eat lots of fresh green vegetables today. They’re low in calories and loaded with vitamins and dietary fiber. Eat some whole grains along with those veggies.
- Drink water – a lot of it. It keeps your skin healthy looking, and helps your muscles and major organs to perform optimally. Also, avoid using water bottles with plastic that contains biphenol A (BPA), which is a toxic chemical that is believed to cause a host of health problems. Try investing in a re-usable bottle made with polyethylene, a plastic that manufactured without BPA.
- Substitute a sugar-saturated dessert with fresh fruit or a sugar-free smoothie.
- Say “no” to TV or other screen time tonight. Instead read a good book or relax outside on your porch or deck. How long has it been since you’ve simply sat an enjoyed the sunset?
- Try concocting a homemade cleaning solution so as to avoid the harmful effects of many store-bought cleaning products.
- Turn off your indoor lights and throw open those curtains and blinds – use natural light because it helps the skin manufacture vitamin D which helps in the formation of healthy bones and improves one’s immunity.
- Clean out a closet or de-clutter one area of your home. Less clutter tends to improve one’s psyche and cognitive functions. Donate usable items to charity – then avoid going out and shopping for newer versions of the stuff you’ve given away. Instead, enjoy the calming benefits of empty, unoccupied spaces in your home.
Have a happy and healthy Earth Day!