Healthy Habits: How to Go Green

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Ever heard the story of the rich fool who died in his sleep, the one who said, “Eat, drink, and be merry today, for there is always tomorrow”? While the guy may have a point about the joy of being in the moment, his idea of bingeing on food and drink, like a glutton just coming out of his juice fast, can no longer hold water (pardon the pun). One can not continue to have careless decisions and mindless habits about their health if they are to live the kind of quality of life that makes each day worth waking up to. No amount of wealth can make up for being stricken with a debilitating disease or for having a life unnecessarily cut short. And you and I both know that taking care of our health also means taking care of the very environment that sustains us. After all, who would ultimately suffer the consequences of the abuse and misuse of natural resources? Who would eventually suffocate from the lack of fresh air to breathe in an increasingly oxygen-strapped world? So go green now for yourself and Mother Earth. Here are four ways to do just that:

It’s chic to go organic

It isn’t only my third grade teacher who believes that we are what we eat — so does the scientific community. According to the New York Times’  bestselling author, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, in her book The Gut Flush Plan, “food, digestion, and health are inextricably linked.” Modern man has been spoiled with a gamut of tasty food selections. However, alongside this boon came the

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nitrates, BHAs, and other artificial preservatives needed to prolong shelf life and support our lifestyle of ever-increasing convenience. It is not only what visibly goes into our mouths that is worrisome. Have you ever considered the surfactants in packaging? How about backtracking a bit to the production process, and you will find the enormous amounts of pesticides and herbicides used to churn out commercial volumes of those delectable morsels you consume regularly. It doesn’t take a Stephen Hawking to know that a large quantity of these chemicals eventually ends up raising the toxicity levels in our microbiomes and polluting our fields and seas. Make the conscientious decision of going organic. Whether you are looking for steak from humanely-raised grass-fed cattle for that intimate dinner or shopping for additive-free plant-based food for athletic appetites, today’s marketplace will spoil you with plenty of choices.

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La Vida local

Anything categorized as low-maintenance means that it requires fewer resources and less time and energy for its upkeep. A less-demanding existence can prolong longevity. And we’re not just talking about relationships here. This practical reality also has fundamental importance in the sphere of environmental protection. Buying local means that the time it takes for produce to travel from the farm to your table is substantially diminished, allowing for fresher, tastier, and healthier meals. The simple decision of supporting your local village shop has far-reaching ramifications on the decrease of fuel and electricity requirements for transportation and delivery services. In addition, locally-produced food supports the preservation of productive farmland that would otherwise have been converted into industrial spaces in the name of progress. The shorter the distance traversed, the easier the management, leading to a less complicated, more sustainable lifestyle. And yes, that rings true for relationships as well.

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Beauty in the raw

Toxic chemical substances have not only found their way into our mouths but also onto our faces and bodies. In his article, “The Toxic Twelve Chemicals and Contaminants in Cosmetics,” Scott Faber, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs of the United States, exposed the connection of 88 chemicals found in more than 73,000 products to congenital anomalies, reproductive issues, and cancer. With technology allowing the rapid gathering and processing of data, studies show that many skincare ingredients and products are now proving to be more sinister beyond their initial harmless images. One example is glutathione. Touted as a miracle molecule for the lightening of uneven skin pigmentation, the powerful antioxidant has been proven to combat free radicals that damage cells. However, the latest research has shown that as a cell-protector, glutathione does not discriminate against cancer cells. The genius of our genetic make-up is that our bodies produce only a limited amount of it. Too much of the tripeptide compound can increase the antioxidant capacity of cancer cells and cause less susceptibility of tumors to anticancer drugs. The chemicals, fuel, and resulting waste from the artificial production of glutathione also do not augur well for the environment. So ditch the chemical goo and start going the natural skincare route.

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Modern minimalism

A popular side hustle for gigsters is vlogging on ways to improve the quality of life. Among the more popular featured topics is how to go minimalist. The pandemic has driven into our previously lethargic brains the urgency to distinguish the important from the trivial, the need to let go of long-held values that have ceased to support a sustainable way of life. One of the conventionalities that are going the roadside of oblivion is overconsumption. While this is still a favorite sin of the first-world and more developed countries, the growing awareness of its profound impact on the environment is getting more pronounced. A case in point is the diminishing popularity of fast fashion. The term refers to the ramped-up system of production of fabrics and apparel to keep up with the dynamic trends in fashion. According to Business Insider, the industry contributes 10% of all carbon emissions. In the Quantis International Report in 2018, it was written that fiber production is the largest consumer of freshwater. The constant output of synthetic material is also a massive pollutant that contributes to the already heaping mounds of non-biodegradable trash that find their way to overflowing landfills, many of which are in the more economically challenged nations with fewer regulations on ecological waste. It is the populations of these easy-to-exploit countries that bear the brunt of a lavishly wasteful lifestyle. Live simply, so others may simply live.