How to be more Earth-Friendly This Spring
Sustainability by definition means avoiding the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. Currently, the global population consumes 2.5 times the resources that the Earth can sustainably support. And each year, an estimated one-third of all food produced—equivalent to 1.3 billion tons—ends up rotting in stores and homes of consumers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices! In addition, the food sector accounts for around 26% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with commercial animal products making up more than half of this total. With these numbers, it may seem like individual decisions don’t add up, but they do. Shifting to more plant-based meal choices, reducing use of animal products, and buying less are a few ways to help save resources.
What you put in and on your body includes body care products, supplements, water, and more. Soaps, shampoos, and laundry detergents can be chock full of endocrine disruptors. These harmful chemicals have been implicated in cancer and hormone-related conditions. And they not only affect you, but also anything downstream from your drain. When it comes to these types of products, buying from local sellers supports your community, generally ensures you are getting a better and longer-lasting product, and will often help you avoid nasty chemicals.
Part of my job is to help my patients navigate the supplement choices they are making. Not only are potency, source, and scientific evidence crucial to ensure a great quality product, the transparency of the manufacturer and their labelling, like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), Fair Trade, B Corp certified (businesses that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance), non-GMO, and ISURA-certified, are also things to think about. ISURA is a contaminant and GMO testing facility that is considered to be the world’s best. Proudly Canadian, this independent not-for-profit organization tests natural health products—both those we put in and on our bodies—for over 700 substances, including heavy metals, glyphosate, and GMOs. ISURA certification means you can trust that what you are using is safe for you, your family, and the environment.
6 Ways to Buy Less & Choose Well
Living with an attitude of prevention and making sustainable choices is an admirable goal that is now more possible than ever.
Start composting by using an under-the-counter container for your compostable material. Use a composting service in your area or your own backyard, recycling the nutrients back to the Earth.
Commit to using less plastic for a year. You’ll be amazed to see how much plastic exists in your world.
Leave watering cans outside to collect water when it rains. Use this rainwater to water your indoor and outdoor plants.
Swap in Reusable Straws
Buy metal or bamboo straws. Or if you have stale bucatini pasta hanging around, use it to sip or stir your drinks!
Reduce Food Waste
Salvage your limp veggies. Blend up vegetables to make the base for marinara sauce. Add tomato sauce and voilà—you’ve got a fibre- and nutrient-rich pasta topping that everyone will be sure to enjoy.
Be an Ecoholic
Become an Ecoholic. Love the planet and be mindful that everything you purchase can have a positive or negative impact.
Dr. Jennifer Brix, nd is a naturopathic doctor, health educator, and public speaker with a passion for empowering her patients to achieve optimal health. Dr. Jen has special expertise in treating digestive complaints, hormone imbalances, and brain-related health conditions and practices. She works at Brix Wellness in Kelowna, BC.
Article was published in The Good Life magazine.