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5 Healthy Habits that Benefit the Planet

This Earth Day, make healthy choices that will benefit the planet.

1. Eat Less Meat. 

Excess meat consumption has taken a huge toll on the planet because the process of raising animals for meat releases potent greenhouses gases – cattle alone is said to produce about 20 percent of all U.S. methane emissions. Participating in things like Meatless Monday can have the same effect as taking your car off the road for five weeks or reducing everyone’s daily showers by three minutes, according to Earth Day Network. Additionally, studies show there are benefits to cutting down on animal products. For example, people who eat less meat may have a reduced risk of developing different kinds of cancers.

2. Eat Local and Seasonal Produce.

Buying and eating local, seasonal produce is more than just a trendy movement. First, buying from local farmers means you’re contributing to the local economy. Second, the distance your produce travels from the farm to you is decreased as well. This helps your carbon footprint because it creates less pollution and better air quality. Lastly, local produce is less likely to be contaminated with chemicals to help maintain the appearance of freshness. Therefore, local produce is purer produce and overall, better for your body.

3. Walk or Bike.

It isn’t news that gasoline contributes to air pollution. Instead of driving short distances, choose to walk or bike. If everyone made this small change, it would have a huge environmental impact. Not only will you shrink your carbon footprint, your body will thank you for the extra cardio. Cardio workouts promote bone density and weight loss as well as strong hearts and lungs. They also help decrease stress levels and your risk of heart disease and cancer.

4. Don’t Waste Food.

Food waste is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases. In fact, 72 billion pounds of food are wasted each year. To help prevent this, plan out your meals and make a grocery list then only buy the items you need. Planning your meals and snacks can help you monitor and control your calorie intake as well as help you save money. If you have leftovers, freeze them or invite friends over the day next day for a potluck.

5. Buy a Reusable Water Bottle.

Plastic is a huge contributor to global warming. Not to mention, many plastic containers have harmful BPA chemicals, which can interfere with fetal brain development and contribute to diabetes, cancer, heart disease and reproductive disorders. Therefore, do yourself and the earth a favor and invest in a reusable BPA-free water bottle.

Get more information on how Independence Blue Cross can be a part of your plan for health and wellness.