4 Things You Can Do For Yourself AND Planet Earth
April 23, 2021 POSTED BY: STEFAN WEITZ
After a week off the grid, I’m back to remind you that it’s Friday – did you miss me? I’ll wait...
Yesterday was Earth Day, and right about now this place could use a friend. Out west, we’re gearing up for yet another summer of smoke-filled air, which got me thinking about ways we can help both ourselves AND our planet (because the health of the planet has a pretty big influence on our individual health).
Let’s keep this Jetson-esque, though. Here are are 4 simple things you can do:
- Eat more plants. Look, I’m never one to shun a good grass-fed, dry-aged steak from somewhere like Bateau in Seattle (although my wallet shuns it). But objectively speaking, we should all be eating less meat – processed meat (yes, I’m looking at you, Duke's amazingly yummy sausages) is a carcinogen and has been linked to stomach and colorectal cancers. And as for the planet? Livestock destroys native forests and contributes massively to greenhouse gasses, which cause further temperature rise. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a ‘shroom burger now and then.
- Use less plastic. A while ago I went to Kenya to learn from the tribes’ hyper local way of eating. But I was actually struck most by the fact that Kenya has banned all plastic bags from the country. Even when landing, you’re told to refrain from bringing plastic into the country. Plastic can actually leach chemicals into your food, so look for good alternatives like these silicone bags instead of ziplocs, beeswax paper instead of saran wrap, and reusable water bottles instead of Dasani (which, remember is full of microplastics that are trying to kill you).
- Stop the junk mail. Did you know the junk mail we get in the U.S. uses as much energy as 2.8 million cars per year and accelerates pollution (and therefore breathing issues) through deforestation? Bonkers. Check out PaperKarma – an app that lets you snap a picture of junk mail to prevent you from getting more. Trust me, it’s very satisfying.
- Watch the household products. I love cooking, but we should probably talk about the cleaning that comes with it. Just as the foods we eat can disrupt the gut microbiome, so can the products we clean with. A 2018 study analyzed the gut flora of over 700 infants ages 3 and 4 months. Researchers found that babies who lived in homes where disinfectant cleaning products were used at least once a week were twice as likely to have higher levels of Lachnospiraceae gut microbes (bacteria associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity). And at age 3, those babies had a higher body mass index than children who had not been exposed to such high levels of disinfectants.
That’s it folks – four things you can start doing today to help yourself and the planet. I won’t even blame you if you start humming “The Circle of Life” while doing them.