Time to take a break from the area of eating for this week - whew!
With all of the purchasing decisions and events that happen in December, I wanted to take the time to share some information on actions that can be helpful to keep in mind regarding the decisions we make and its impact to us, and ultimately the planet.
As a nutritionist, I spend lots of time in the area of food. However, when our bodies get overloaded with toxins, which can come to us from many sources, it can impact our health, resulting in issues with digestion, liver, as well as inflammation. We often look at food for help, but if we reduce the toxins coming to us, we are making strides towards “health” quicker.
As a Quality Greens Farm Market shopper, you are already likely doing a number of these things. If so, that is great! We can all find additional ways to improve our impact on our own health and the planet – with so many great ideas we invite you to share yours on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #qualitygreens!
With so any great places, where does one start?
What are some items that you buy regularly that could be a source of packaging and material that is over abundant? Google, or Pinterest “zero waste” - there lots of ideas on how to limit what we are using when we shop. Reusable bags, especially those thin plastic ones that are just to get our foods home, and then go in the garbage or recycle. Recycling is a great idea, but, as we know, not everything that goes into the recycling actually gets recycled. Instead, our first thought could be - what can we REDUCE. The main shopping bags are great, but what about those little ones that we put apples, onions and lettuce into? A great help here are a few light weight material bags, either material or even netting, or reuse the ones you use each week for produce.
Also with gift buying, aiming for less bags, less packages, environmentally friendly options of purchases, etc. It all adds up!
What chemicals are used often that we can swap for less toxic options? Dryer sheets? Yes! These can make items smell fresh and clean, but they are full of toxins which are endocrine disrupting. Not just in the air we breathe, but you actually absorb in your skin the toxins that are embedded from them and are now on your clothes. Fragrances are rarely toxin free. These products can cause headaches and other challenges that resolve when the products are removed. Replacement for dryer sheets? Try using essential oils. A few drops in your soap holder can be helpful, as well as a few drops on a rag in your dryer.
There are many ways to reduce toxins with your cleaners. Swap window cleaner with water and vinegar. Use thieves essential oil and water for your sterilizing cleaners. Sprinkle baking soda in the toilet instead of the commercial scrub. A neat gift idea could be to google and make a few of these products for friends/family with instructions. The gift of reduced toxins! And less bottles in your cleaning cupboard where your can refill what you have with less toxic homemade options. Google recipes for great ideas of inexpensive healthy cleaner options.
This one is a doozy and is so worth talking about. Perhaps some don’t know how harmful idling emissions are? Especially at schools where our kids are breathing that emission filled air, but also at stores, waiting at quick stops, while checking phones before driving off, really anywhere. In the summer we idle to keep cars cool. In winter, we idle to warm our cars before driving. Often idling for much longer than needed. Here’s the thing - every minute of idling is adding to our pollution. The below analysis of how we can make a huge positive change comes right from the Natural Resources of Canada Government Website:
In fact, if Canadian motorists avoided idling for just three minutes every day of the year, CO2 emissions could be reduced by 1.4 million tonnes annually. This would be equal to saving 630 million litres of fuel and equivalent to taking 320,000 cars off of the road for the entire year. Eliminating unnecessary idling is one easy action that Canadians can take to reduce their Greenhouse Gas Emissions that are contributing to climate change.
I urge you to really pay attention to less idling every day. I’d love to see more NO IDLE signs here in Kelowna, to help remind us. However, we can just be more mindful of shutting off the vehicle for 3 minutes a day in our travels.
I hope this info is taken as friendly suggestions and not a soap box! My intention here was just to share some well meaning thoughts as these are important areas and conversations as sometimes daily life just causes us to forget these things. There is so much more to get into, such as GMOs, glyphosate, micro beads, and so on, in case anyone wants to dig in deeper. There will come a time when the planet will give us reminders that will be much louder and need bigger actions. Starting with these small ones hopefully will help us move in the right direction.
Here’s an added benefit - many have found nagging health issues to be reduced when toxins are reduced. It can be greatly underestimated the changes this can make to our liver and inflammation challenges, and thus overall health. AND - when we make personal improvements, it helps the planet as a whole. That itself is a gift!
Have a great week!
Lisa Aschenbrenner, RHN - Registered Holistic Nutritionist
For more information please visit RealFoodForThought.ca