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Green Self-care Plan_ Save the World By Starting Right at Home-min

Lifestyle

Green Self-Care Plan: Save the World by Starting Right at Home

Self-care has evolved. In the past, self-care was perceived as taking time for a bubble bath or a nice massage. Everyone is concerned with thriving personally, but a big part of that is having a healthy environment to exist in. So, broaden your view of self-care to include taking care of yourself, your family, your home, the land you live on, the creatures who live with and near you, and the water and air everyone shares.

Sound like a big job? It is a big job, but each individual can make a difference. If everyone can begin to value the planet and fellow cohabitants, then changes for the good are possible. Everyone can all help green up their own little corner of the world. Additionally, the positive energy from individual caring actions magnifies the good in yourself and can inspire others. So, take care of your home and environment as you would care for your own body.

Green self-care includes suggestions about cleaning chemicals, lawn care, noise, and landscaping. The goal is to share ideas that are easy, cost-effective, fun and healthy for humans, as well as the planet.

woman in face mask self-care plan

Green Self-Care in the Home

Let’s look at self-care as a sort of balancing act. There are some changes that can be made easily and others that are a much greater challenge. Green self-care isn’t about adding more things to your already crowded to-do list. The intent is to raise awareness, not stress levels. Of all the suggestions highlighted here, a few might seem easier. Those are your starting points. Every small change you make increases your energy to thrive and requires less energy from the planet. Toxic choices are hard on the body and on the planet. Just as the garbage people throw in the dump doesn’t just disappear, the toxic chemicals people may use to clean their homes or treat lawns don’t go away easily either. Washing toxins down the drain take them out of your sight, but nature still has to face them. Having said that, it might not yet be possible to make your footprint on the planet completely disappear, but it is possible to significantly decrease it. Making that choice will allow both you and the planet to thrive. The top tips for doing just that are highlighted below.

Get the Toxins Out of Cleaning

Every day in most homes in the United States, someone pulls out a bottle of cleaner and sprays it on their counters, floors, walls, and furniture. The chemicals in these products are not controlled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they aren’t ingested.1 However, they are inhaled and absorbed through the skin. Try searching the internet for “toxicity of household cleaning products.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, breast cancer research fund, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and a local waste management site are among the first-page results on a recent search. The point is that the products people use to clean their homes include corrosive, poisonous, flammable, and skin-irritating products. This is why individuals are encouraged to wear gloves, masks, and work in good ventilation when using these products. What do you think years of exposure to these chemicals does to your body? In considering green self-care, it’s suggested that you take the perspective of making the environment in your home the best you can so that you can also thrive. Long-term exposure to chemicals in the home is like adding unnecessary obstacles to our body’s long-term health. Additionally, long-term exposure to many of the chemicals found in household cleaners can cause irritation and inflammation in the body, making it more vulnerable to other health issues.2 There are new lines of household cleaning chemicals available in health food stores and perhaps even in your favorite market that might be safer and more environmentally friendly options. Just be mindful of reading labels and ingredients. You might also consider making your own cleaning products. This can sound complicated but water plus vinegar, baking soda, a bit of rubbing alcohol, and a favorite essential oil can easily make a gentle cleaning spray that tackles most household cleaning jobs easily.

water splashing on hand

Be Mindful About Water

The body must bathe each cell in water, and the quality of the water you take in is important. City water processing plants add chlorine and fluoride to the water. Both are considered carcinogens by many researchers, and many people choose to avoid them. Look into water filters or sources of spring water, then use it to drink and to cook with.

Bring Fresh Air Indoors

Everyone savors those spring days when they can open the windows and let in fresh air. But what happens during those months when the windows are closed? Many people enjoy adding fragrances to their home. Some like candles or other scenting appliances. The challenge of these products in the green self-care plan is that the chemicals in these fragrances are often irritating to humans and pets. While the fragrance might smell like apple pie, the chemicals contained in the fragrance are very different than the pie. While the scent may be enjoyable, it’s just synthetic chemicals floating through the air. These chemicals land on your skin and are breathed into the lungs. Fragrances can trigger allergic reactions, rashes, and more.

From the perspective of balance, it’s one more chemical you are exposing your body to that it must overcome. There is a solution, however. Explore the world of therapeutic grade essential oils. These oils are actually distilled from plants, so the peppermint scent is actually made from peppermint plants rather than a synthetic peppermint fragrance. Even people with scent sensitivities and allergies are generally not bothered by essential oils. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that these oils are powerful and intended as a natural remedy, so don’t use them without learning a bit about them. Additionally, some oils can be toxic to pets, so consider your entire family when making choices about essential oils.

man relaxing listening to music

Find Some Peace and Quiet

Most people in modern life in a busy environment and often get used to constant noise. However, the natural state of humans isn’t noisy. Noisy environments can contribute to health challenges like hearing loss, psychological problems, hypertension, and sleep disturbances.3 Some noises in and around the home are beyond individual control. For example, noisy traffic on a nearby road doesn’t simply have a “reduce volume” button. However, planting trees or an adding a fence can act as a noise buffer. Noises inside the home are much easier to control. Because of this, consider setting quiet times in your home. Turning off the obvious sources of noise including televisions is easy. But also consider turning off all other electronics and not doing the laundry during your quiet times. Sometimes playing soothing music softly can mask more disturbing sounds from outside, but ideally, try to explore the feeling of silence from time to time.

Opt for Environmentally-Friendly Lawn Care

Remember that poisons sprayed on your grass to kill weeds and bugs are capable of killing other living things. In fact, studies have shown a significant connection between lawn chemicals and insecticides and canine cancer.4 Weed pulling is work, however, perhaps pulling weeds can be considered part of your exercise plan. Products that kill all vegetation do just that and are also washed into the water supply. While active ingredients in weed and grass killers are tested, what isn’t considered is how prevalent these chemicals become in the environment, and studies have shown that these vegetation clearers have in fact caused environmental challenges.5 For example, the active ingredients are now found in fish caught in the ocean, yet the products are still marketed as smart and safe. Remember, ads aren’t intended to educate you. They are intended to make profits for product manufacturers. Do your homework and hopefully, you’ll choose to maintain your home and garden without questionable chemical additives. Some lawn care companies offer organic options in lawn care. These cost more, but is there really a price on creating not only a safer environment for children and pets but also for the surrounding animals and plants?

woman planting flowers

Try Your Hand at Gardening

The idea of a clear area of green grass around home was a sign of wealth in the past. Today, however, many homeowners are turning at least part of their grassy lawns into gardens. It’s a smart and healthy idea. If you’ve never grown your own vegetables, then you will be in for a grand surprise. Fresh vegetables just picked and then eaten have flavor beyond anything that you’ll buy wrapped in plastic at the grocery store. Plus, when you grow your own, you can choose not to bathe your vegetable plants in chemical fertilizers and insecticides. If a large garden seems intimidating to you, consider adding some vegetable plants to your existing landscaping beds.

Conclusion

Today, many individuals are becoming more aware that making green choices is increasingly important. The news is filled with global projects to clean up the environment, reduce pollution and waste, and create more sustainable options. Green self-care suggests bringing those same ideals home to your personal space. It stresses that significant change doesn’t only have to come from the top down but can blossom from small, local or even individual actions. What you do affects the planet, in addition to the health of you, your family, and your pets. So, take up the challenge to clean up your diet and your personal environment, reducing toxins that can challenge health and wellness. By making choices that promote health, longevity, and deep satisfaction with life, you will be an important part of creating positive change for yourself and for the planet. Photo Credits: Lanak/shutterstock.com, Song_about_summer/shutterstock.com, IgorAleks/shutterstock.com, FranzPetterRudolf/shutterstock.com, Halfpoint/shutterstock.com

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