I don't know about you, but not a day goes by when our planet's wellbeing isn't on my mind.
Some days it feels hopeless - how can I make a difference? I'm just one person of seven billion. Luckily, there are some incredible examples of eco-warriors that are making a stand, and making a difference. These people like Greta Thunberg inspire me, and show me that yes, I too can make a difference with my voice and actions.
You might be asking - what does the environment have to do with Holistic Nutrition? The answer: everything. And that is why I love this field. Making more health conscious choices often goes hand-in-hand with wiser choices for the planet. (There are some healthy foods, however, that negatively impact our world - but that will be for another post!)
Before I get into the list of five things you can implement into your life to be more green, let's talk about the liver. This large organ is essentially a filtration system, but it also has over 500 other tasks too like metabolism, hormone recycling, creating vitamins, and making cholesterol. The liver is most famously known as a detoxifying organ: it deals with toxins that we come across in our environment, our food, body care products and workplace. It also has to deal with endogenous toxins- waste products that are created by our very own cells, or by the bacteria within our gut.
As you can see, there are many different ways that our bodies are exposed to toxins, and so many other tasks for the liver to accomplish on top of dealing with all of those. Which brings me to the point of reducing our toxic load - the sum of all exogenous (external) and endogenous (internal) toxins. This would free up the liver for other tasks, making it more efficient at the rest; thus promoting improved metabolism, hormone regulation, gut health, blood sugar stability and more.
So, what can you do next to be more green while reducing your toxic load?
1. Visit your local farmer. Find a farm stand or market, get to know the people who grow your food and see what they have to offer. Eating food that's fresh and in season will be packed with way more nutrients than the imported stuff.
Bonus: local products equal a minimal amount of fossil fuels used in transportation.
2. Visit your local butcher. Find a local option that offers meat and poultry raised hormone-free and organically if possible. Bonus: As above, reduced transportations emissions!
Extra bonus: local butchers often use wax paper only - you'll be cutting out the styrofoam and plastic from the grocery store.
3. Buy second hand clothing, or eco-friendly fabrics. The next time you need to go shopping, try a local consignment shop, thrift shop, or eco-friendly store first. Did you know that most clothing is manufactured with multiple chemicals that take time to off-gas? Our skin is our largest organ, and will absorb toxins from the clothes we wear. Check out the beautiful documentary The True Cost for more information. Bonus: less demand for products in the fashion industry and less clothing in the landfills.
4. Switch up your household cleaning products. Did you know that you can use vinegar to clean pretty much anything? Even mould? There are plenty of biodegradable products for sale, but there are also plenty of recipes out there that require little more than vinegar, baking soda, salt and lemon. Bonus: eliminating the toxins that end up down the drain will support our fellow creatures in the oceans and waterways.
5. Choose greener beauty products. Okay - I know this can be a tough one, as everyone has their products that they swear by. I know beauty products can be expensive too - so you can make this change gradually. Get your hands on some samples, do a bit of research, and find replacements. I highly recommend checking out https://www.thegreenkiss.com/ for all of your green beauty needs. If you're lucky enough to live in Victoria, BC, you can visit them in person to sample the products and "make the switch". Bonus: products made without chemicals will have a much lighter ecological footprint. These companies often choose greener packaging options too.
Now I ask you - which of these are you already doing? Yay you! Which could you be doing even better? You got this! And which will be brand new in your routine? Well, that is exciting.
Now get your friends on board too, because we each make small choices every day with how we spend our money, what we throw away and what we put in our bodies. These small choices add up quick, into big impacts. So take a stand, we need you now more than ever.