Sharing simple trade-offs you can make for your heath (and land).
Hello friends! Hope you have a lovely morning! I’m looking forward to a hike with some friends and procrastinating as long as I can to catch up on some SEO and other blog work. 😉
As we’re a little into January of the new year, some of the dust has settled and we can dial in some of the things we’re going to be working on. I know many of us are looking to make healthy changes for ourselves, our families, and the Earth! In today’s post, I want to share some ideas for simple swaps and changes you can make in your routine. Please keep in mind that this is not a to-do list. Look and see what is helpful and applicable to your lifestyle and start with the one that feels most reasonable and important to you. Once you do that, anything else can be added over time!
I find that habits are most powerful when we take the time to build them individually into our routine. There’s no need to overwhelm ourselves by trying to do everything at once, and some of the things on the list may not apply to you or be something you care about, and that’s okay too.
Sharing some ideas for inspo, and if you have anything to add, please chime in in the comments section – I’d love to hear them!
Simple trade-offs you can make for your health (and the earth).
Assess water quality and invest in a filter
In many US cities, our tap water is not… Some locations are better than others, but you can check the quality of your local tap water here. Our beautiful Tucson water is full of arsenic along with nitrates and radium.
Unfortunately fridge filters do not do a good job of filtering out chemicals, bacteria, drugs and pathogens. Our absolute favorite is the large Berkey – it makes the water taste amazing – and I also recommend Aquasana. Another option is therasage. If you’re filtering out all the bad bacteria, sometimes minerals are also filtered out in the process. To add minerals back in, you can use real salt (like Redmond’s), trace mineral drops, or try Sakara Beauty Drops <— this is what I use.
This is what I want to do this year. Every time I throw away food scraps and countless other things, I think, “You should compost that.” I know our garden would love it, and even if you don’t have a garden, there are local farmers who accept drop-off compost, and some larger cities offer compost pickup.
Use fewer paper towels
guys This has been one of my goals for years, but I haven’t found a suitable replacement. I use way, way, way too many paper towels. If you have an option you like, please shout it out in the comments!
Reduce your morning stress (alarm clock, meditation practice, etc.)
When you wake up to a loud, blaring alarm clock, you may be setting yourself up for a big cortisol spike. It can be jarring to wake up quickly in the flight-or-fight response and can affect your insulin sensitivity, hunger levels, mood, digestion, immune function, etc. Try to find ways to wake up more slowly and peacefully. Even if you use a traditional alarm clock, try to avoid spending too much time on your phone in the morning. What is your most peaceful way to start your day?
Get those feet with grass or dirt and sunlight in your face when you wake up. It helps reset the circadian rhythm (then allows for the production of the necessary melatonin at the right time), and also has therapeutic effects. According to this study, grounding, or “earthing,” can potentially help with many common health disorders, including chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and cardiovascular disease.
Set a sleep routine
My best sleep tips are in this post! I also highly recommend the book Sleep fast.
Use reusable plastic bags and reduce single-use plastic
It used to be more difficult to reduce plastic, but luckily, there are now many options available! I love stasher bags (we get them from Thrive Market), stainless steel, glass bottles and storage containers, and beeswax wrappers for sandwiches and odds and ends (like half a bell pepper or onion).
Streamline your cleaning products
It’s one of my favorite times of the year to completely empty our pantry and cabinets, toss what we don’t need or have expired, and organize everything. This is the perfect opportunity to exchange that item for a safer option when you run out of items. For example, it can be overwhelming to think about changing all your cleaning products at once, but when you run out of a multi-purpose cleaner, try a new one with even better ingredients. I order most of our cleaning supplies from Thrive Market.
Buy from local farmers – Choose foods that are in season and local
It’s important to support and connect with local farmers (especially when eggs are $10 a dozen at the grocery store…). Foods can be higher in nutrients because they don’t have to sit in a truck for extended transit time, which reduces transportation emissions associated with food, and I find they always taste fresher and better. The same goes for seasonal food; You don’t have to travel far to get it on your plate. Check out this seasonal food guide!
Check the sources of your meat
If you’re truly a meat eater like yourself, it’s important to know where your meat comes from and the diet it’s consumed. How was it treated? Was it given steroids or antibiotics? Was able to eat its natural food? Is it dyed with artificial colors (like salmon)? I am very picky about the meat we buy for our family and only get it from certified organic or wild from Butcher Box (my favorite source for organic meats and wild caught seafood), Whole Foods and Trade Joe’s. Even better if you get meat from local farmers!
Don’t be afraid to buy second hand, rent clothes and donate clothes instead of trashing them
It’s an easy way to show the earth a little extra love. I’m a big fan of renting clothes – I rented Runway Unlimited forever and now I’m back at Nuli – donating, sharing, helping a piece of clothing go the extra mile.
Ditch the scents
The word “fragrance” is a trade secret that companies can use to hide over 200 chemical ingredients. It’s easy to avoid makeup, skincare, cleaning products and candles. To stay away from more ingredients, check out this post.
Start a garden
Here are my gardening tips! It’s so much fun to walk out and grab everything you need to make a salad. I had to learn a lot along the way, but it’s one of those things you can’t improve until you actually do it. 🙂
Carry a reusable water bottle
Make your water your BFF. Not only do you hydrate yourself, which has a huge impact on skin, satiety, digestion, immune function, etc., but it also helps the earth because you’re not using single-use bottles.
So you go!
I’d love to hear any ideas you have about simple swaps you can make for your health and earth, or any goals you’re working on this year.