Environmentally Friendly Lifestyle Habits
Living an environmentally friendly lifestyle hasn’t just entered the mainstream psyche when it comes to general consumerism. It is fast entering as a top health and wellness trend.
From gyms built with recycled materials to wellness spas hawking organic beauty products, the demand is clear. More and more people want to become environmentally friendly in all aspects of their lives, including their health and fitness.
environmentally friendly lifestyle habits
It’s far easier than you think to make small lifestyle adjustments to contribute to the health of our environment. Here are some unconventional but powerful eco-friendly lifestyle habits to implement today.
1. Eat Less Meat
There’s no lifestyle change that you can make right now that will have as large of an environmental impact as eating less meat. Eating vegetables over meat cuts your carbon footprint in half, according to a large UK study that tracked the emissions of 55,000 adults.
With food production responsible for 25% of the greenhouse gases heating up our planet, even foregoing meat one day a week will reduce your food footprint by 15%.
Curious about alternative meats? My brother-in-law sent me this riveting read last week, ‘The Beginning of the End of the Beef Industry.‘ If you haven’t tried an Impossible burger yet, they’re delicious and easily located here.
The first time I ordered an Impossible burger, I tried to send it back because it looked so real!
Furthermore, you can also replace meat with vegetables and beans. If you want to be super eco-friendly, grow vegetables in your kitchen.
Read more: How to eat more vegetables.
2. Bring Your Workouts Home
What’s more environmentally friendly than working out in your living room?
We love our home gym for many reasons. Not only is it a positive behavioral trigger to get you exercising, but a home gym also saves you time and money. Plus, with passenger cars making up 42% of transportation greenhouse gas emissions, you cut out unnecessary commuting.
We also love to buy our home gym free weights second-hand off of Craigslist (a reasonable price is $0.50/lb.) So, you’ve also recycled! If you want to try the workouts we stream, we have a 2-week free trial here.
Read more: How to build your home gym.
3. Reusable Water Bottles (Plastic Is OK)
Using a reusable water bottle is the classic “save the world” entry point, but many are still scared off by plastic. We carry with us our reusable Nalgene and Blender Bottles, however, if we have a plastic Aquafina bottle, we’ll reuse that too.
Believe it or not, before we were coaches, we were plastics engineers. We met while working for a plastics company. While you should reduce disposable plastics in your life to be environmentally friendly, plastic is not something to be feared. What’s more, plastic does a lot of good since it’s processed at relatively low temperatures and reduces emissions through significant weight savings and part consolidation that might otherwise use metal.
There is plenty of fearmongering spread around about the safety of reusing plastics. Rest assured, all disposable food containers and plastic bottles are thoroughly tested to meet FDA-requirements for leaching.
We haven’t seen any food containers using BPA in the past decade (and we worked in China for 3 years!) So, if you end up with a disposable bottle, don’t worry about using it ten more times before recycling it, yes, even with hot water.
4. Keep Your Yoga Mat An Extra Month
The ultimate environmentally friendly lifestyle idea? Don’t buy the new yoga mat. Or the new outfit. Or the new gym bag. Keep using the things you already own. And if you rarely need it, could you rent or borrow?
Plus, if you work out from home, you can exercise naked for all we care!
After reading The Year of Less, I adopted a technique of waiting to buy something new for a little while longer. As insignificant as this may seem, I’m a firm believer that over a lifetime, everything adds up.
Now, this habit has spread to other areas of my life, including waiting a few extra days before doing laundry to save water.
When you do buy new items, make sure they’re high quality so that you don’t replace them as often. Here are a few wellness products that we’ve used every day for years that are still holding up well.
5. Run Your Sneakers Into The Ground
No, you don’t need to throw out your running sneakers every 300 miles.
Throughout our high school careers, our track coaches warned us to buy new running shoes every 300 miles. The reasoning was that the padding and soles wear out.
However, after running half a dozen marathons in my favorite minimalist shoe, I realized that this wasn’t necessarily the case.
We tried out minimalist shoes after reading Born to Run and loved the experience immediately. You feel the texture of the ground underneath your foot, which is a crazy and refreshing experience. Plus, minimalist shoes strengthened our natural foot muscles.
Read more: 7 ways to level up your running.
6. Turn Veggie Scraps Into Vegetable Broth
This is our favorite idea to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
What’s better than unlimited, homemade vegetable broth to elevate your cooking game? We now cook all of our beans, rice, stir fries, and soups in broth to bring a new level of flavor.
Take your vegetable scraps, like the top of a tomato or the stalk of cauliflower, and throw it in a bowl or bag in the freezer. Every few days, boil up the delicious broth. This pro tip was shared by a professional chef friend who never wastes a scrap of food if she can help it.
You can use the remaining boiled scraps in a compost, or, feed them to your dogs! Our dogs, who wouldn’t eat a raw bell pepper if their lives depended on it, love them soft and mixed into their dinner.
7. Use Manual Food Appliances Instead of Electronic
Simple acts like unplugging appliances saves a lot of energy. We read a crazy stat in The Independent that 8 desktop computers emit the same amount of CO2 as a passenger vehicle.
For us, a simple way that brings ritual and exercise to our day is using manual appliances instead of electric ones. This includes our coffee grinder, can opener, wine opener, and egg beater. While simultaneously saving electricity, The Blue Zones estimates that baking using manual kitchen devices burns 145 calories to boot. Honestly, we’ve come to enjoy the process of grinding our own coffee and being more hands-on with our cooking.
Hey we're Ryan and Alex
The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “happiness engineers.” After eight years working as corporates engineers internationally, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — leading couples to engineer their best lives. The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship, as a couple.