The Health Benefits of “Greening Your Life”

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Earth-friendly living is increasingly popular and many people are doing what they can to “green” their lives. And certainly, daily actions like recycling everything we can, composting kitchen scraps, and bringing our own cloth bags when shopping make a huge difference, especially when each of us do our part.

What many people don’t consider, however, is that green living is not just about helping the environment around us. While an eco-friendly lifestyle helps the planet at large, many of the green choices you make have a tremendous impact on your personal health as well. Check out these tips, which measurably benefit both you and the earth:

Get an organic strategy

By eating organic we help the earth, since chemical pesticides and insecticides damage ecosystems. Organic farms also remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than conventional farms, thereby reducing global warming. But closer to home, you and your family benefit too─especially when you go organic strategically by targeting the “Dirty Dozen”: the 12 most pesticide-laden produce items. This is crucial, as many of us consume these foods daily, such as apples, red bell peppers, grapes, and celery. Get the full list here.

Embrace healthy home cleaning

In a ground-breaking initiative to uncover the truth about toxic chemicals in common household products, the Environmental Working Group has unearthed compelling evidence that hundreds of cleaners─even some of those hyped as “green” or “natural”─can inflict serious harm on unwary users. Many present severe risks to children who may ingest or spill them, or breathe their fumes. Check out the worst offenders here. Fortunately, safe cleaning products abound, with brands like Method, Ecover, Seventh Generation, Meyers, Method, and more.

Re-think personal care

Contrary to popular belief, the multi-billion dollar beauty industry is largely unregulated, meaning that numerous chemicals in cosmetics and personal-care products are untested. Many brands contain potential carcinogens, as well as ingredients that can disrupt and mimic reproductive actions in both humans and animals. Play it safe with beautifully effective, natural options like Kiss My Face, Nature’s Gate, Aubrey Organics, Dr. Bronner’s, Weleda, Burt’s Bee’s, and Jason Naturals, among others.

Green your laundry

Did you know that most commercial laundry detergents contain toxic chemicals that eventually drain out into the ocean, endangering many forms of sea life? You are also affected, as these same toxins are absorbed into your body through the skin. One such chemical─a probable carcinogen according to the Environmental Protection Agency─is ‎1,4 dioxane, which is banned in many countries. Opt instead for green brands like Method, Ecos, and Seventh Generation, and skip those chemical-laden dryer sheets as well.
Each of these is a significant step in terms of the health benefits they yield, both for you and our irreplaceable environment. While we can’t eliminate all forms of pollution from our daily lives, why not take action where we can? Future generations may well thank you─including your own.

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