Filling the need for volunteer labor outdoors is a great way to benefit your body and the environment. Whether you find a vacant lot that needs help becoming a park, or picking up trash to help beautify a neighborhood, all this hard work will give you a farmer’s physique and a wonderful sense of satisfaction. Not only that, but research by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that “volunteers have greater longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease.”
Go to Bed Earlier
That is right, dozens of scientific studies have concluded that getting more sleep can help you get skinny! In fact, several studies have shown that during times when you are lessening food intake (i.e. dieting), a hormone that regulates hunger, glucose utilization, and energy metabolism can be over-active due to not getting a good night’s rest. The environmental benefit of getting more shut-eye, is that you will save on energy consumption, by turning out the lights (and computer, TV, and other gadgets) earlier. There are also reductions in CO2 emissions by hitting the hay earlier. The Japanese government found that getting just one extra hour or sleep could save 20% on CO2 emissions. They felt so strongly about the environmental benefits, that they launched a national campaign to urge people to get more sleep!
Photo by Craig Dennis
Buy Local, In-season Groceries and Carry Them Home
Seek out markets in your area that represents local farms and stock up on in-season fruits and veggies. Buying local food saves on the fuel needed to transport goods from afar, but it also means you are getting fruits and veggies not coated in waxes or ripening chemicals. Choosing produce that is in season is a good alternative to the energy used for greenhouse raised or imported foods. It will also help you get a workout if you vow to buy only what you can carry safely (don’t hurt your back) in reusable bags home from the market.
Photo by George Alexander