When you “go green,” you will enhance not only the health of Mother Nature. You will enhance your personal health as well!
BEFRIEND THE LOCALS
Use native plants in your landscaping. Native plants enhance the natural aesthetics of an area and improve mood. Native plants remove ambient contaminants from the air to improve air quality. Native plants also require fewer fertilizers and pesticides, which can contaminate the ground water supply and cause water borne illnesses.
Also, eat locally grown and produced foods. Local foods often contain fewer chemicals, hormones, fertilizers and pesticides. Local foods usually require less or no packaging, and therefore they help to reduce waste. And, local foods do not have to travel as far from farm to table, so they can help reduce the energy consumption and emissions associated with transportation.
PRACTICE YOUR THREE Rs
Reduce, reuse and recycle! When you divert materials from the waste stream, you reduce the amounts of waste and potentially hazardous substances in the environment that can negatively impact public health.
Choose environmentally preferred products. Common products such as cleaners, cosmetics and construction materials often contain chemicals that are detrimental to our health, but the “green” versions of these products are generally safer for the environment and for public health because they contain biobased or biodegradable ingredients.
Use alternative forms of transportation when possible. Walking and cycling are excellent forms of exercise that can maintain a healthy weight, improve circulation and enhance mental clarity – among many other benefits. In addition, mass transit networks – especially those that utilize alternative fuels or hybrid technologies – can help to reduce the need for private vehicles and thus reduce emissions that diminish air quality and threaten respiratory health. Alternative forms of transportation reduce the number of vehicles on the road, therefore providing a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians and reducing motor vehicle accidents and their related injuries.
DO YOUR PART TO CONSERVE
Conserve energy and water. By conserving energy, you can reduce our national dependence on petroleum. In addition, you can prevent a potential scarcity of petroleum – a scarcity that could have direct impacts on the ability to manufacture and transport medical supplies and to provide medical care. Energy conservation will reduce the need for electricity generation, a practice that creates emissions. Furthermore, energy conservation will decrease the demand for coal, which augments air pollution loads. By conserving water, you can help to reduce the demands on municipal water infrastructure. You can also help to maintain the levels of clean water supplies and and reduce the risks of illnesses associated with polluted water.
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