Being environmentally conscious can literally be a matter of life or death as the World Health Organization reports that climate change already causes approximately 150,000 deaths on an annual basis. Thankfully, there are ways to make our everyday lives more eco-friendly and slow down the effects of climate change.
When most people think of being eco-friendly or more environmentally-friendly, often the first thing that comes to mind is recycling. With the United States being one of the most waste-producing countries in the world, according to USA Today, that makes sense. But there are more ways to be kinder to the Earth than just recycling.
There are little things we can all do each evening as we wind down that are both good for the planet and good for our own individual health. Try these small changes to your regular nighttime routine that make your life just a little more green and a lot more peaceful.
Give your life a green boost and a sleep boost with these simple changes
These eco-friendly adjustments to your life can begin as soon as you end your workday. Amerisleep suggests that you make your evening commute into a carpool situation if you usually go it alone. With fewer vehicles on the road, you can contribute to a reduction in your carbon footprint and have a more relaxing ride home. Fewer cars on the road? Less traffic. And less traffic frequently leads to less stress.
Once you are home, make a dinner that consists of tofu rather than meat. Amerisleep reports that it takes nearly 2,000 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef, where it only takes 39 gallons to produce tofu. Plus, the less fat you eat, the better it is for your sleep cycle at night.
After you’ve enjoyed that meatless meal, take a walk rather than pick up your laptop or turn on the television. A little less time with the TV each night equals less electricity used and less CO2 emitted. Plus, you even get some light exercise so you don’t go to bed feeling so full.
The before-bed changes that will do you and the planet good
Of course, less TV doesn’t mean no TV at all, so relax with one of your favorite shows at night, suggests Amerisleep. However, just do this for an hour and shut the TV off. Shut all screens off while you’re at it and unplug from the outlets, another way not to use unneeded electricity. A 2014 study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that the blue light emitted from screens causes your brain to perk up rather than wind down. And winding down is what you need for a good night’s sleep.
Finally, open the windows right before getting into bed if the weather permits rather than turn on the air conditioning. If the window isn’t a possibility, use a ceiling fan to cool off rather than the A/C. Then, choose an eco-friendly mattress free of chemicals like flame retardants and formaldehyde for that peaceful shut eye your body needs.
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