Eleven changes in your lifestyle that are good for you and the planet

Madrid, capital, is facing serious air pollution again this week, and a recent report points to pollution as the leading environmental cause of death in the world : in 2015, pollution-related diseases killed 9 million people, more that all wars and violence.

It seems that combating pollution is not in our hands, but nothing is further from the truth: we create it and we can reduce it . We just find it hard to find the motivation or we think that our actions have repercussions too small to have any impact.

This is not true either, but in case you need an extra contribution of motivation, here are some changes you can make in your lifestyle that are good for you and good for the planet.

1. Substitute refined sugar for honey

Honey has a high sugar content, so try to moderate its consumption . According to the WHO, it should mean less than 5% of the calories we eat every day. However, it has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than white sugar , so if that 5% (try to avoid it more), comes from honey instead of sugar, at least you will be accompanied by beneficial nutrients.

In addition, you will be supporting the beekeeping and with it the conservation of the bees that produce it. Bees are essential to preserve the environment , since they are responsible for pollinating thousands of plant species and thus ensure their survival, but they are disappearing and no one knows why .

2. Drive more slowly

Reducing the speed and abruptness of driving means consuming less gasoline,unless you are one of the few who already drives an electric vehicle. In that case, congratulations! But if not, apply the story: consuming less fuel means emitting less polluting gases into the atmosphere.

In addition, it is much safer . If you drive a little slower you will be better prepared to react to any unforeseen situation on the road, and if you reduce braking and acceleration the ride will be more comfortable and you will make life easier for other drivers, reducing the risk of an accident .

3. Or better, leave the car and take a bike

Not everyone can do it, so if you’re one of the lucky ones, take advantage: park the car and take the bike. Traveling by bike is a much healthier and cleaner way of moving from one place to another. On the one hand, it keeps you active, and exercise is, along with healthy eating, one of the two pillars on which rests a healthy life.

On the other hand, going by bicycle eliminates the emissions of polluting gases from your journeys. All advantages. Of course, if you go by city, be very careful , do not forget to protect your head and circulate with caution.

4. And if you can not share car

Look for people who make the same journey as you, or similar, and get organized to share a car. This will reduce emissions and you can also take advantage of the lanes for High Occupancy Vehicles , which are usually less clogged, and you will arrive sooner.

5. Buy local and seasonal products

Have you ever bought some strawberries and thought they did not know anything? They were probably picked several weeks before and finished ripening in cold rooms. This is because we have become accustomed to the fact that most vegetable products are available all year round , but that means that sometimes they do not know anything and that they always have a great impact on the environment.

If you buy seasonal products , avoid favoring this model that forces a continuous production, which requires a large energy consumption. If you also buy local products , you avoid having traveled long distances by plane, boat, train or road, which leads to fuel use again.

And what do you get? Well, you want to eat more tasty foods , discover new products and recipes that you may not have known and in general enjoy your food in a more conscious and responsible way.

6. Kitchen for several

Get organized with your neighbors, with your brothers or with your coworkers, and cook in turn, each time one for everyone else . Cook for several and distribute rations.

This means, on the one hand, that you save cooking several days a week , and if the members of the group have a little hand in the kitchen, you can enjoy very rich dishes and more variety than if you always have to cook and You are of limited options (as it happens to some of us). But also, the total energy expenditure is less than if each one cooks just for you each day.

Yes, make sure that the containers in which you distribute the rations are reusable , because if not, the waste generated in the form of disposable containers will ruin the environmental advantages of the matter.

7. Lower the heating a little

Having your house at a tropical temperature in winter seems a tempting idea, but lowering the thermostat by a few degrees will reduce energy consumption .

Also, that can help you lose weight and keep you in shape . Some studies suggest that, accustomed to climate systems that keep us at comfortable temperatures all year, our bodies are losing the ability to burn body fat to maintain its ideal temperature , and that this contributes to the obesity and overweight epidemicthat today we live

So it’s not about freezing yourself inside the house, but changing a couple of degrees for a thick sweater and letting your body heat up as he knows.

8. Drink tap water

Depending on the city in which you live, the quality of tap water can be equal to or higher than the water you buy bottled , with the advantage that it produces much less waste. So go to the kitchen and fill your bottle there (if it’s glass, better than plastic) instead of buying another one.

9. Clean and check your fridge

Keeping the fridge clean, both inside and behind, is a way to ensure that the energy consumption of this appliance (of the most spent) is being efficient .

In addition, keeping the refrigerator clean and conveniently checked by a technician ensures that the food it contains is properly preserved and maintains its properties. Since you will eat them later, this should matter to you.

10. Take your coffee cup to the office

Instead of using disposable cups, bring your coffee cup to the office. This will reduce the waste you generate while avoiding the unpleasant sensation of burning your fingers with a plastic cup or drinking in a cork or cardboard glass.

11. Use your waste as a fertilizer

Again, it is not available to everyone, but depending on your space at home, you may have been able to set up a small vegetable garden , or perhaps there will be a collective urban garden near your home. In that case, remember to collect all the organic waste you generate (coffee grounds, eggshells, banana or orange skin …) and use it to pay .

This waste will bring many nutrients to your plants , which will make them grow more and more healthy, and at the same time they will give a new use to your waste , so that your footprint on the planet will decrease.

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