Health-savvy ways to improve your ecological footprint

Re-evaluating your carbon footprint isn’t just about saving the environment; it can greatly improve your personal health too. Even the smallest of steps can make a world of difference…

Invest in reusable cups

  

We’re all told to drink our requisite litres of water a day and many of us enjoy a morning latte, but all that drinking requires an awful lot of packaging. Plastic bottles can take approximately 450 years to fully decompose, putting a terrible strain on the ecosystem.

Ditch the plastic bottles and takeaway cups and opt for something more permanent. Reusuable glass bottles make a perfect alternative—they wash well and are made of naturally abundant materials that won’t leach chemicals the same way a plastic bottle might, ensuring purer water consumption.

Metal straws are also gaining popularity, as are long-use coffee cups, with many cafes incentivizing their use by offering drink discounts to reusuable cup holders.

Lookout for glass or bamboo models as both are capable of maintaining heat without compromising the quality of your drink.

 

Opt for a staycation

When summer rolls around our natural impulse is to lust after exotic trips abroad, but taking time out on our own fair isle can be just as enjoyable.

Avoid the travel anxiety and carbon footprint of a long-haul flight and opt for a UK break instead—it’s amazing how much there is to see right on our doorstep.

Get good deal by booking public transport ahead, or hire an eco-friendly car to carpool the whole family. There are lots of eco-friendly options for lodgings too.

Visit Eco Cabin or Forest Holidays for various options ranging from treehouse camps to solar-powered chalets.

 

Meat-free Mondays

Veganism is undoubtedly on the rise, both as a means of ethical compassion towards animals and also as a means to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Everybody’s dietary needs and budgets are different, so don’t put pressure on yourself to go vegan overnight—starting out simple by opting into Meat-Free Mondays.

Swapping red meats for veggie options has been proven to lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as decreasing the level of emissions required in the processing of the meat industry.

 

Technology-free date night

As more and more of us become chained to our smartphones, the addiction to “staying in the loop” can often compromise the health of our real-life relationships.

If you’re sick of your other half staring at a screen, suggest a technology-free date night—spend a cosy evening in with candles and a conversation instead of the television, or make a pact to go out for a weekend walk with phones left at home.

Not only will it save electricity, but it can improve trust, affection and feelings of isolation. A study by journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture found that subjects who felt their partners were too dependent on technology felt significantly less satisfied in their relationship—a sure fire reason to unplug.

 

Grow your own

The British weather can be a little on the disappointing side, meaning we often don’t get as much vitamin D from the sunshine as we should. Vitamin D is essential for strengthening bones, facilitating normal immune system function and boosting mood, so take what you can and get outside!

Cultivating an allotment space offers myriad benefits—it gets you outside in the sunshine for maximum Vitamin D absorption, it offers a bonding activity for friends and family and it allows you to grow our own food in a sustainable manner, cutting down on the need for plastic-wrapped supermarket buys or pesticide-sprayed crops.

It’s also a big mood booster. Gentle physical exercise such as planting and digging can really help alleviate mild anxiety or depression.