Sharing simple swaps you can make for your heath (and the earth).
Hello friends! Hope you’re having a lovely morning! I’m looking forward to a hike with some friends and catching up on some SEO and other blog work I tend to put off as long as possible. 😉
Since we’re a bit into January of the New Year, some of the dust has settled and we can dial into some of the things we’re going to work on. I know that so many of us are looking to make healthy changes for ourselves, our families, and also the earth! In today’s post, I wanted to share some ideas for simple swaps and changes you can make in your routine. Please keep in mind that this isn’t a list to do ALL THE THINGS. Take a look and see which ones would be helpful for you and applicable to your lifestyle, and start with the one that feels the most reasonable and important to you. Once you’ve done it, maybe add in something else over time!
I find that habits are so much more powerful when we take the time to individually build them into our routine. There’s no need to overwhelm ourselves by trying to do everything at once, and some things on the list may not apply to you or be something you care about, and that’s ok, too.
Just sharing some ideas for inspo and if you have anything to add, please chime in the comments section – I’d love to hear them!
Simple swaps you can make for your health (and the earth)
Assess water quality and invest in a filter
In many US cities, our tap water is… not it. Some places are better than others, but you can check out the quality of your local tap water here. Our lovely Tucson water is loaded with arsenic, in addition to nitrate and radium.
Unfortunately, fridge filters don’t do a great job at filtering out the chemicals, bacteria, pharmaceuticals and pathogens. Our very favorite is the big Berkey – it makes water taste amazing – and I also recommend the Aquasana. Another option is Therasage. If you’re filtering out all of the bad bacteria, sometimes necessarily minerals are also filtered in the process. To add minerals back in, you can use real salt (like Redmond’s), trace mineral drops, or try the Sakara beauty drops <— this is what I use.
This is something I want to do this year. Every time I throw away food scraps and a myriad of other things, I think to myself, “You should compost that.” I know our garden would love it, and even if you don’t have a garden, there are local farmers who will accept drop-off compost, and some larger cities offer compost pickup.
Use less paper towels
Guys. This has been one of my goals for years, but I haven’t found a suitable replacement. I use way, way, way too many paper towels. If you have an option you love, please shout it out in the comments!
Reduce your morning stress (alarm clock, meditation practice, etc.)
When you wake up to a loud, blaring alarm clock, you may be setting yourself up for a huge cortisol spike. It can be jarring to quickly awaken in a flight-or-fight response, and can have affects on your insulin sensitivity, hunger levels, mood, digestion, immune function, etc. Try to find ways to wake up more slowly and peacefully. Even if you use a traditional alarm clock, try to avoid spending a lot of time on your phone first thing in the morning. What else day you day to start your day more peacefully?
Ground in the morning
Get those feetsies in the grass or dirt and sunlight in your face when you wake up. It helps to reset the circadian rhythm (allowing for necessary melatonin production at the right time later on), and can also have therapeutic effects. According to this study, grounding, or “earthing,” can potentially help with chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease.
Set up a sleep routine
My best sleep tips are in this post! I also highly recommend the book Sleep Smarter.
Use reusable plastic bags and minimize single-use plastic
It used to be much more difficult to minimize plastic, but thankfully, there are so many options available now! I love the stasher bags (we get them from Thrive Market), stainless steel, glass bottles and storage containers, and beeswax wraps for sandwiches and odds and ends (like half a bell pepper or onion).
Streamline your cleaning products
This is one of my favorite times of the year to completely empty our pantry and cabinets, toss what we don’t need or has expired, and organize everything. When you run out of items it is the perfect opportunity to swap that item for a safer option. For example, it can be really overwhelming to think about switching out ALL of your cleaning products at once, but when you run out of multi-purpose cleaners, try a new one with even better ingredients. I order most of our cleaning supplies from Thrive Market.
Buy from local farmers – choose food that is in season and local
It’s important to support local farmers and connect with them (especially when eggs are $10 a dozen at the grocery store…). Foods may be higher in nutrients because they didn’t have to sit on a truck for extended transport time, it reduces the transportation emissions associated with the food, and I find that they’re always fresher and taste better. The same goes for food that’s in season; it doesn’t have to travel so far to make it onto your plate. Check out this seasonal food guide!
Check out your meat sources
If you’re a meat-eater like yours truly, it’s important to know where your meat is coming from and the diet it consumes. How was it treated? Was it given steroids or antibiotics? Was it able to eat its natural diet? Was it colored with artificial dyes (like salmon)? I’m extremely picky about the meat we purchase for our family, and will only get it from Butcher Box (my fave source for organic meats and wild caught seafood), Whole Foods, and certified organic or wild caught from Trade Joe’s. It’s even better if you can get meat from a local farmer!
Don’t be afraid to buy second-hand, rent clothing, and donate clothes instead of trashing them
This is an easy way to show the earth a little extra love. I’m a huge fan of renting clothing – I did Rent the Runway Unlimited forever and now I’m back to Nuuly – donating, sharing, anything to help a piece of clothing go the extra mile.
The term “fragrance” is a trade secret that companies are able to use to hide upwards of 200 chemical ingredients. It’s an easy one to avoid in makeup, skincare, cleaning products, and candles. For more ingredients to stay away from, check out this post.
Start a garden
My gardening tips are all here! It’s so much fun to be able to walk outside and grab everything you need to make a salad. I’ve had to learn a lot along the way, but it’s one of those things you can’t improve until you actually do it. 🙂
Carry a reusable water bottle
Make your water your BFF. Not only are you hydrating yourself, which can have a huge impact on skin, satiety, digestion, immune function, etc. but it also helps the earth because you’re not using single-use bottles.
So there ya go!
I’d love to hear any ideas you have about simple swaps you can make for your health and the earth, or any goals you’re working towards this year.