Happy Earth Day: Spring into Action and Help Your Community!
Yesterday we celebrated Earth Day – but caring for our planet is something we should be doing 365 days a year! At QOL we believe that Earth Day is a day to appreciate the beauty of our planet, recognize our interconnectedness, and practice our responsibility to take care of the environment. After all, the environment that we live in has a big effect on many aspects of our health. Sometimes this can be overlooked, so to kick off this blog we would like to teach you some ways that pollution affects your health:
- Breathing polluted air puts you at a higher risk for asthma and other respiratory diseases.
- Air pollutants are mostly carcinogens and living in a polluted area can put people at risk of cancer.
- The toxic chemicals released into the air settle into plants and water sources. Animals eat the contaminated plants and drink the water. The poison then travels up the food chain – to us.
- Water polluted by chemicals such as heavy metals, lead, pesticides and hydrocarbon can cause hormonal and reproductive problems, damage to the nervous system, liver and kidney damage and cancer.
- Water pollution affects marine life which is one of our food sources.
Now that you know the ways that pollution can negatively affect your health - here are some ways you help the planet this year while celebrating Earth Day:
- Get planting – create a veggie patch! You will not only be eliminating the carbon emissions that are involved in getting produce to plate, you’ll also be able to enjoy fresh, organic produce while saving money! If a full garden is too much of a commitment or if you have limited outdoor space, you could plant some fresh herbs or some lettuce in a bucket!
- BYO grocery bags – buy some reusable shopping bags or if you have some make an effort to put them in your car so you will not forget them next time you go grocery shopping!
- Be a vegetarian for a day – the excessive demand for meat creates an excessive strain on environmental resources, which causes our planet to suffer. Try doing a quick search online for some easy and delicious vegetarian recipes!
- Invest in a reusable coffee cup – over the course of a work week you use 5 cups and lids this adds up to around 300 over the course of a year! Investing in a reusable cup is a great way to cut back on your coffee-related rubbish.
- Keep your car in the garage – Try leaving your car at home and walking, cycling, or using public transportation for one day. It may take a little extra time – but who knows you might enjoy it and turn it into a regular thing!
- Share something – collaborative consumption is a great way to connect with your community and save resources! Check out sharing services like RelayRidea, B-Cycle and Airbnb.
- Get outside – celebrate Earth Day by enjoying your planet! Go for a hike, take a nature walk, plan a picnic in the park, or a game of kickball with your friends
Try to do at least one of these things to honor Earth Day this year – and keep in mind that we only have one earth and we have to treat it right! It’s not only your home – but also the home to all your loved ones!