My Top Eco-Living Tips

Looking to make your house more eco-friendly? Try out some of these methods I implement in my home.

The term “Eco-Living” covers a large spectrum of practices and habits that help to reduce our carbon footprints. I could write books on everything from creating a zero-waste home to eco-pet basics, but this is a blog post. So, if you are looking for ways to make your home as green as it can be, then try out some of my favorite practices.

Throw Away the Trash Can

One of the easiest ways to cut down on waste is by starting a compost bin. This allows me to re-use what would normally take up space in a land fill. Plus, it makes great fertilizer for my plants and garden!

Anything organic can be turned into compost, even the “cardboard” from egg cartons. It’s also an easy DIY project you can finish in a weekend.

Ditch the Grocery Bag

More and more stores like Whole Foods, Market District, and even Aldis are offering canvas bag alternatives instead of wasteful plastic ones. While it might cost you a few dollars, the benefits are worth the initial cost.

First of all, I used to find few things as frustrating as the gallon of milk I just purchased tearing through the grocery bag and breaking in the parking lot. Canvas is so much sturdier, making it useful for carrying milk jugs, soda bottles, and even for holding a few extra items when moving or heading on vacation.

Secondly, I’m doing my part to cut down on the roughly 10 billion bags making their way to land fills in my state. That means my state has to charge less taxes for the resources to dispose of those bags as well. It’s a win-win in my book.

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Cut out the Meat

A plant-based diet has plenty of health benefits, but it can help reduce on nitrous oxide emissions at the same time. A recent study by the United Nations showed that nitrous oxide has 296 times the impact on Global Warming that CO2 does. These gases come from the massive amount of livestock being raised for consumption.

Cutting back on your meat intake means fewer cows, pigs, and chickens pumping out concentrated amounts of greenhouse gases and more land set aside for recreation.

Reduce Water Waste

This one is as simple as cutting back your shower time and using a low-flow shower head. I like to put two of my favorite songs on a playlist to help me keep track of my time spent bathing. It’s an enjoyable way to shorten your shower time.

Cutting back on bottled water purchases and investing in a purifier for your sink is another great way to reduce usage. I saved an easy $30 a month that way!

These are just a few of the ways I choose to make my home more eco-friendly that you can try out as well. What are some of your favorite eco-living habits? What are your favorites and how did you make the switch?

Making the Switch: Why Eating Organic Makes Sense

Grocery stores all over the country are swapping out their inventory for organic foods. Here’s why you should make the switch too.

The organic label has become incredibly popular over the last few years but navigating labels and health claims are still confusing to many consumers, myself included. What do all these labels mean, and is organic food actually better for our health and well-being? How are we supposed to know if the items we buy are actually GMO and pesticide free?

If, like me, you’ve ever wondered what the true benefits behind switching to organic foods are, then this article should help.

 

What Does the Organic Label Really Mean?

When you see that “Organic” label, it refers to the way an agricultural product was grown and processed. Here in the states, that means absolutely no synthetic pesticides, genetic modification, petroleum based fertilizer, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. I’ll give you a moment to let that last one sink in.

When it comes to livestock, whether they are raised for consumption or for their eggs/milk, organic means they have access to the outdoors and have only eaten organic feed. It also means they haven’t been pumped full of antibiotics, growth hormones, and haven’t eaten other animal by-products. A lot of this food has been used as a natural home remedy, but if treated with a lot of chemics they certainly became more dangerous than healthy for you. Let’s focus on why do we really need organic food!

What Are the Benefits?

Aside from not eating vegetables that grew in sewer-sludge, an organic diet offers a lot of benefits to both our mental and physical health.

  • Fewer Pesticides: that means fewer toxins that lead to things like birth defects, weaker immune systems, and cancer.
  • Fresh Food: without preservatives, the food has to hit the shelf and your plate faster. Organic food is often made on local farms near the market. This also supports small business and the local community.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Local, organic farms reduce pollution, conserve water, and consume less energy than their mega-corporation counterparts. This is not only better for the land but also a healthier environment for surrounding animals and people.
  • Nutrient Rich: Studies show that organic foods provide our bodies with more nutrients than mass produced meats and vegetables do. A healthier diet means a healthier you!
  • Non-Chemical Animals: Eliminating antibiotics and growth hormones reduces the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains while keeping this hormone altering substances out of your diet. Not feeding cows animal byproducts also reduces the risk of mad cow disease.
  • GMO Free: Genetic modification alters the chemical makeup of plants, causing them to grow larger and become more pest resistant. However, studies on animals have shown them to damage internal organs, thicken the digestive tract, and slow brain growth. Pumping our bodies full of chemicals isn’t good any way you look at it.

Anti-cancer, anti-toxic chemicals, and beneficial for the environment?! It’s almost like this was the way food was meant to be grown! Now that you know the benefits of making the switch, are you more likely to buy organic produce?

The Benefits of a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Ever wondered what the science behind eating a plant-based diet looks like? Here are the top benefits a vegetarian diet has to offer.

Why should anyone go vegetarian? I mean, people need to eat meat, right? Do the benefits actually outweigh missing out on a perfectly cooked filet mignon?

It might seem like a common sense diet to some, but there still seems to be a mass of confusion around why anyone would strike meat from their diet. So, let’s clear the air! Here are the scientific facts proving that a plant-based diet is the only diet anyone should be eating.

Down With Disease

By removing saturated animal fats and cholesterol-laden meats from their diets, vegetarians are less likely to develop any form of cardiovascular disease. The CDC estimates that 610,000 people die from heart disease each year, accounting 1 in every 4 deaths.

Eating a diet high in red and processed meats has also been linked to multiple forms of cancer including, prostate, colon, gastric, and breast cancer. These meats can have up to as many carcinogens as five cigarettes, not to mention an excessive amount of hormones and steroids from the animals’ diets.

Goodbye, Cold

I used to get a cold each and every Fall, which made enjoying one of the best seasons out of the year incredibly difficult. Going veggie meant eating more fresh fruits and vegetables than I ever had before. This leads to an increased amount of antioxidants in my diet, effectively pumping up my immune system to keep it fighting off infections better than ever before.

Tired of Being Tired?

Eating all of the saturated fats associated with meat causes them to build up within your bloodstream. This stops muscles from getting proper amounts of oxygen, which makes anyone as sluggish as a Monday morning. Switching to leafy greens not only eliminates the fat, but adds energy boosting carbohydrates (the complex kind) that have ended my 2pm slump at work.

Toxins Kill

I used to think plants were the culprit of pesticides found in our diet, but it turns out that 95% of those toxins actually come from meat. That doesn’t include the hormones, carcinogens, heavy metals, and other chemicals these animals are pumped full of. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure people aren’t supposed to eat toxic chemicals.

Animal Friendly

I always pictured a farm like you might see in the commercials, one with lots of open space and plenty of room for the animals to graze freely until it came time for the farmer slaughter them. Yeah, that place doesn’t exist. American “farms” keep animals shoulder to shoulder, wading in their own waste, ridden with disease and open sores, only to kill them in some of the most torturous ways imaginable.

If you need proof, look into independent documentaries like The Sustainability Secret or What the Health. If everyone in the U.S. cut one meaty meal out every week, 1.4 billion of these animals could be saved from their disgusting, inhumane conditions.

Just Do It

If you had told me I would stop eating meat altogether just a few years ago, I would’ve scoffed in your face. No bacon cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizza, or a perfectly cooked steak? I couldn’t have comprehended life without them!

However, after just a few months of changing my diet I started to feel healthier than I ever had before. Plus, I know I’m doing my part to end animal cruelty and the disgusting practices of the meat industry in out nation.