Did you know this month (July 2016) is Plastic Free July?
Ok great, your thinking, but what does that have to do with my health or fitness? Well pretty much everything!
I recently went to a viewing of the documentary ‘Bag it’ on June 30th to prepare for Plastic Free July. It was such a great eye opener.
I have totally become a more conscious and socially responsibly person since becoming a parent (about time my family says) – I want to make sure that I give my kids the best and leave them with the best.
It become very obvious, very quickly how simply reducing the amount of plastic in my lifestyle would change my health. I am not even talking about the chemicals in plastic that may or may not leach into our food or bodies.
By making specific shopping choice to reduce plastic – IE plastic shopping bags, anything that comes packaged, fast food, take away hot chocolates (I’m not a coffee drinker) and even where I shopped or how I got to the shops makes an instant health improvement. So can you do this too? Even just choosing one thing to start with.
These are some things you could change that will improve your health
Reverse your shopping – Do you buy most of your groceries from a Supermarket?
Go to Local Fruit & Veg Markets
We buy approx. 40% of our food in fresh local and/or organic produce.
We actually buy a Seasonal Box of local fruit & vegetables through a local food group. Its is basically a lucky dip as to what you may get each week. But it comes packaged in a fruit box & one stop to collect it all (just around the corner from home). The box is very heavy, so we do have to drive to get there
The bonus of being local is that the produce has travelled less distance, so less fuel needed to transport it, PLUS most of it is organic – so less chemicals there!
If you are shopping at the markets, don’t forget to take your own bags!
Bulk food store
Saving plastic through buying many ingredients at your local bulk food store is actually a lot of fun. We take our own jars, but they do have paper bags there if you need.
Most of the products don’t have other nasties or preservatives added & the have the option of Australian or Organic products. You buy what you need, so there is less waste
You can buy seeds, grains, flour, pasta, rice, honey, seasonings, cereals, nuts, dried fruit… even chips & chocolate!
This leaves us with about 20% of our shop each week from the Supermarket. When we do this, 100% of all the products we get are packaged in some form of plastic. So we defiantly take our own green bags to feel a bit better for it.
The supermarket is the one place that I struggled a lot to be plastic free. Many of the packages are recyclable, but a lot of them are not, or perhaps that whole package itself is not 100% recyclable EG lids on milk bottles. Take a look next time you are in and see if you can see how many products don’t have a plastic element (probably only the fruit and beg, but many of these do too!)
Instead of getting in the car every time, just walk. Not everything may be achievable this way, but I sure most of the population (who don’t live in isolation – but maybe you can walk to your own chicken coop) will have something somewhere close by.
With kids in tow, jump on a bus for extra excitement, get on the bike, take the pram for extra shopping loading, stop at the parks on the way there.
If you can’t do this, you could even just park the car further away. Maybe tag team the produce shopping with a friend or neighbour.
So how does this overall improve your health??
- Less additives & preservatives in your food
- You are consuming more whole foods in their whole form. Hello Fibre!
- It will include more fruit & vegetables, that provide essential nutrients that make your body function better
- Provides less options for choosing fast food (because everything these is packaged for convenience)
- It will include more incidental movement that improves your fitness
- Less pollution in the air, on the ground or in the sea
Plastic Free living and Saving the Earth is a massive can of worms that I don’t expect to be resolved by a Health & Fitness guru. It can actually be really overwhelming once you start looking closer at everything YOU do to contribute to it. But we have to start somewhere with small steps. I don’t have all the answers but I can start at the check out. It all adds up, so why no start with something that will also instantly have a positive effect on your life & health?
If you would like to donate to Plastic Free July – Click HERE
Founder of Nurtured Fitness