Celebrated annually to draw attention to a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world, World Health Day is marked on April 7, the date that is also the anniversary of the founding of World Health Organisation in 1948. WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes which include the climate crisis that is the single biggest health threat facing humanity and since the climate crisis is also a health crisis, we decided to get a few fitness experts on board to share healthy tweaks in lifestyle for reducing carbon footprint.
This World Health Day 2022, WHO has claimed to focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being since in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are left with a polluted planet and increasing diseases like cancer, asthma and heart disease. Talking to HT Lifestyle about how reports have pointed that humans contribute the most to climate change, Dr Supriya Awasthi, Professor at School of Allied Health Sciences in Noida International University, said, “Food consumption, transportation and home energy use comprise about 85% of household carbon footprint.”
She added, “Tweaking our daily lifestyle, a little bit can play the most important part in reducing the carbon footprint. As per one study, by adopting small practices in regular living activities, developed countries cut their carbon footprint by 25%. Interesting fact is, it didn’t affect the daily and wellbeing even 1%. So, planting trees and practicing these sustainable living habits can help us lead a healthy life for us and our next generation.”
She listed a few healthy tweaks to make in one’s lifestyle in order to reduce the carbon footprint. These include:
1. How you stay at your home: Using home energy in an efficient way can effectively help, like reducing stress on the electricity grid when the demand is high. People can switch to demand response technique, as per this, we can set reminders for when to switch off the AC, we can note the time that for how long electricity is being used in one go at home. Applying small changes can help in a very effective way.
2. Walking instead of treadmill: Switching to the natural ways of exercising for a healthy life instead of using machines for exercise can be a small but smart way of reducing stress on carbon footprints like 30-45 minutes of walk in the nature.
3. Green your house: Whenever it comes to planting trees our major concern is “where?” as it’s true that we don’t have enough space for planting, but switching to a terrace garden or kitchen garden can also play a similar role. Just be careful about one thing, choose your plants smartly example Areca Palm, English Ivy, Dracaena, etc.
4. Sustainable living: Switch to the organic lifestyle, instead of using plastic bags, use cloth bags, switch to ‘best out of waste’, analyse what waste product you can convert into smart use, for example converting bottles into containers or holders, tires into chairs, etc. Using waste in a smart way can be the best sustainable living process i.e. zero-waste options in lifestyle.
5. Transportation: Try to use public transportation instead of personal transport to travel locally, switch to bicycles if going to the market or nearby places, carpooling, taking lifts can be good ways to save fuels, it is pocket friendly and good for the environment.
According to Vijay Thakkar, Fitness Entrepreneur and Functional Medicine Coach, “Some of the efforts you can make in your life to protect our planet and reduce your carbon footprint are, walking to places instead of depending on vehicles whenever possible, opting for car-pooling or public transportation instead of using own vehicles, eating fruits and vegetables that are locally available, using reusable shopping bags and avoiding plastic packaging products and following a vegan/vegetarian diet.”
He added, “These tweaks in your lifestyle not only help in the betterment of the environment but also help you lead a healthy and fit lifestyle. You keep moving when you avoid automobiles, eat fresh, allowing good nutrients to enter your body that will slowly allow you to have a better sleep cycle! Thus, from this World Health Day, let us keep up our planet and personal health too.”