Adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is like hitting the jackpot of wellness — for both the planet, and for you! Yep, when we make conscious choices that promote sustainability, we’re not only protecting the planet, but we’re also improving our well-being. Just think about some of the most common eco-friendly healthy habits, like swapping your plastic bottles for a more sustainable choice, or reducing your carbon footprint by walking or biking instead of driving. Not only are you reducing plastic waste and greenhouse gas emissions, but you’re also reducing your exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals and improving your physical health.
Truthfully, the health benefits to going green are endless, with more and more research shedding light on why you should make the eco-friendly switch. Think: reduced stress levels, lower risk of illness, and increased energy and concentration. All from simple wellness habits! Whether it’s eating organic, locally sourced foods, choosing eco-friendly cleaning supplies and beauty products, or giving plant-based eating a try, there are so many ways to improve your overall well-being while doing your part to protect the environment.
So, if you were considering adopting healthy, sustainable habits, here’s your sign to get started! Ahead, simple eco-friendly wellness habits that boost your health and support mother nature all at the same time.
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11 Eco-Friendly Wellness Habits
#1 Grow an Outdoor Garden
Whether you’re planting produce or plants, gardening is a healthy habit you’ll want to get behind. Aside from protecting wildlife and improving the air and soil quality — not to mention the natural beauty of any space — gardening offers many benefits for your health. For starters, it’s a great way to burn some extra calories (an average of 300 per hour) without feeling like you’re really exercising! Plus, it’s also been shown to lower blood pressure, bust stress, boost your mood, and improve sleep.
Not to mention, when you grow your own food, you can avoid harmful chemicals and grow your vegetables using natural and sustainable methods (meaning, healthier and more nutritious produce!) And, you can harvest your produce at its peak freshness and nutrient density — aka, it will be more delicious and nutritious!
Now that Spring is here, what better time to incorporate this healthy habit into your routine?
#2 Grow Your Own Food, Indoors!
Don’t have the space to grow your own outdoor garden? No worries. Even if you live in a small apartment, there are plenty of options for growing herbs, sprouts, and even some fruits and vegetables right inside your home. Try a hydroponic garden, make a DIY vertical garden on your wall or balcony, or simply grow your own sprouts or microgreens on the countertop – all you need are seeds, a jar, and some water!
Similar to outdoor gardening, growing your own food indoors provides you with fresh, nutrient-dense produce while reducing your carbon footprint. Plus, because you can control the temperature and environment indoors, you can have access to fresh picks year-round!
#3 Shop Local & Eat Seasonal
Speaking of all things vibrant and fresh, another eco-friendly healthy habit we’re big advocates of is hitting the farmers market or loading up on local food from your favorite grocery store. In addition to supporting your local farmers, shopping locally and sustainably will reduce your carbon footprint. According to research, we use 10 kcals of fossil fuel for every 1 kcal eaten. In fact, the average meal in the United States travels nearly 1,500 miles to get from farm to plate!
And because produce is often harvested far before it’s ripe, you’re also losing out on tons of nutrients. By simply shopping seasonally and locally, you’re getting the maximum amount of nutrients (all those good-for-you phytonutrients and antioxidants), better taste, and supporting the earth.
#4 Eating More Plant-Based Meals
And while we’re on the topic of food, another way to boost your health while benefiting the environment is reducing your intake of animal foods and incorporating more plant-based meals.
When it comes to benefiting the environment, a nutrient-dense vegan diet comes with many science-backed benefits. According to recent 2022 data by researchers at Harvard, red and processed meat proved to be the most harmful foods for the environment, requiring the most resources (such as water, fertilizer, and cropland) and producing the most greenhouse gas emissions. We see this with other animal-based products, too. Let’s look at dairy, for example. One liter of dairy milk, requires 1,050 liters of water, whereas 1 liter of oat milk requires about 48 liters to produce.
On the other hand, plant-based diets rich in veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes not only had lower greenhouse gas emissions and use of resources than diets high in animal-based foods and processed foods, but they also had lower cardiovascular disease risk and positive health benefits.
We’re not saying you have to go full-on vegan, but try limiting your meat consumption throughout the week! Maybe you try Meatless Mondays or sign up for FitOn PRO and search the “vegan” tab in the FitOn recipe box. From plant-based burgers to chickpea tuna, the options are endless (and delicious). Give it a try!
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#5 Go Non-Toxic in the Kitchen
From non-toxic pots and pans to glass jars and sustainable silicone storage, creating a non-toxic kitchen space is beneficial for both your health and the environment. Think of it like this: if it’s touching your food, it’s likely touching your body! So, if you want to avoid sneaky toxins, it’s extra important to store and cook your food in eco-friendly materials.
Some of the biggest culprits? Everyday items like non-stick cooking pans (coated with the chemical PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene) and plastic storage containers (made with BPA and phthalates). Replacing these items with more sustainable options like mason jars and cast-iron skillets is a great place to start!
#6 Switch to an Eco-Friendly Form of Transportation
If your end destination is a walk or bike ride away, skip the fumes and harmful gas emissions and opt for a more eco-friendly route! Limiting your car usage reduces the amount of carbon dioxide levels. It also reduces the number of released chemicals (such as antifreeze), which can harm the earth as well as your health. As an added bonus, a more mobile commute such as biking s associated with improvements in mental health, stress, weight loss, mood, and heart disease!
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, do it for your wallet! Gas prices are outrageous. If you don’t have to refill up with fuel, you’ll save… a LOT.
#7 Trade Your Beauty & Personal Care Products for Green Alternatives
Need an excuse to refresh your beauty and personal care products? You’ve come to the right place! Aside from degrading the environment and polluting the ocean and earth with plastics and toxins, conventional beauty and personal care products can have a serious impact on your health.
Your skin is your largest organ — it easily absorbs anything you’re using on your skin, hair, face, or body. Toxic chemicals — such as carcinogens, formaldehyde, fragrances, and parabens — are commonly found in many conventional beauty products such as shampoo, deodorant, soap, perfume, makeup, and skincare items. As you can imagine, daily use of these products can lead to long-term health issues (such as reproductive and immune dysfunction, allergies, and more) due to an accumulation of toxin buildup in your body.
The good news? There are so many green and sustainable beauty and self-care swaps on the market! From botanical-rich hair care to toxic-free suncare and skincare, going green has never been easier.
RELATED: The Best Green Skincare Products For All Skin Types
#8 Eco-Friendly Cleaning
If you’re already cleansing your kitchen and self-care products, why not add green cleaning to the list? Similar to beauty and kitchen products, many cleaning products are filled with toxic chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, and chlorine. These same products often contain carcinogens, neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors, which are additional toxic ingredients that harm your health and hurt the planet. By making a swap to something more sustainable, you’ll improve air quality, reduce environmental damage, and limit your exposure to allergens and chemicals!
If you’re ready to make the eco-friendly switch, brands like Puracy and Branch Basics are great!
#9 Swap Your Plastic Water Bottle For Something Sustainable
We’ve heard time and time again to reduce our use of plastic water bottles, yet there are 50 billion plastic water bottles purchased in America per year. Even more alarming, globally, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute. From disrupting our hormones (thanks to BPA’s and other chemicals) to polluting the ocean with plastic, the harmful effects of plastic water bottles are significant.
Try swapping your plastic water bottles for an eco-friendly alternative — it’s a simple and effective way to go green! You’ll save money, avoid chemical contaminants, and reduce environmental damage. Plus, you’ll look stylish while sipping away! And it serves as a reminder to hydrate.
Check out this chic Hydrate Me FitOn Bottle — it’s the perfect water bottle to take on the go or to keep within reach during a FitOn HIIT class.
#10 Spring Cleaning Your Closet
If you haven’t felt inspired to get started with spring cleaning, knowing it can benefit your health and the Earth might give you some newfound motivation! Start by tackling all those hardly-touched clothes in your closet and donate them! Aside from a clean, organized space, you’re doing good for mother nature. Donating clothes reduces landfills, saves water, reduces your carbon footprint, and of course, helps those in need. And by helping others, you’re actually helping yourself (and your health) too! Research shows giving to others (whether it’s your time, money, or charitable donation) lowers stress and depression, reduces blood pressure, boosts self-worth and happiness, and leads to a longer life!
#11 Welcome Plants Into Your Space
Did you know bringing plants into your home can help oxygenate your space and remove harmful indoor air pollutants? It’s true! Certain plants — such as Boston Ferns and Spider plants — can help you breathe easier while also reducing the number of airborne toxins circulating in the environment. Think of them as nature’s air purifier! And in addition to being chic and sustainable decor, indoor plants may help reduce stress, boost productivity, and benefit your mental health.
The Healthiest Green Habits For You + The Earth
Going Green is a win for all involved — especially when it comes to the environment and your health! The best part? These healthy habits can be seamlessly incorporated into your lifestyle. From gardening and sustainable grocery shopping to making simple eco-friendly swaps, there are endless ways to protect the environment and your health. And if these sustainable tips seem small, don’t underestimate their large impact! Every time you bike to work, shop local, and swap out toxic products, you’re reducing air pollutants, water use, and plastic, while also limiting your exposure to toxins and bettering your health. So, join us in going green!