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Smart strategies to go green can improve your health

January 12, 2015

Smart strategies to go green can improve your health

As 2015 begins, how about committing to resource-consumption choices that can reduce your impact on the environment while improving your health?

We have learned that food choices involve consideration of multiple attributes such as nutritional values, freshness, safety of storage and packaging, limits on specific ingredients which may cause sensitivity or be unhealthy, and accounting for point of origin. In the same fashion, product choices should consider multiple attributes.

Consider the life cycle of products you purchase ? what are the impacts of material extraction and manufacturing, transportation, use and disposal. Often we make purchases in a hurry and focus on the tag price without considering the costs associated with a product's use or disposal. Buying products with recycled content reduces impact of material extraction and helps build the market for recycling. Reusing products and buying durable products reduces impacts all along the life cycle, so that is an even better choice.

It is sometimes better to pay a little more for something initially, and use less of it or reuse it. Planning purchases is important so you buy what you need but not more than you need. Little decisions made every day can add up to big changes in your eco- and healthy- lifestyle.

Some choices, such as retrofitting with LED lamps or paying for regular maintenance of equipment, may seem like money you don’t want to spend at first. However, when looking at the cost over a longer term, these choices make excellent financial sense. When re-lamping, get a redesign at the same time. Your workspace may have been modified since the original design and you may need fewer fixtures when switching to LED lamps. Along with energy savings, new lighting also provides an updated look and can contribute to higher productivity.

Similarly, better-quality and more flavorful foods can satisfy in lower quantity. If the food you eat is better quality, it may be more expensive, but planning to eat less of it allows you to stay within your budget.

Read more at GreenBiz.

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