Jennifer Brix, ND
Sustainability by definition is avoiding the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. Currently, the global population consumes 2.5 times the resources that the Earth can sustainably support. And each year, an estimated one third of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tons – ends up rotting in stores and homes of consumers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices! To add, the food sector accounts for around 26% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with commercial animal products making up more than half of this. With these numbers, it may seem like individual decisions don’t add up, but they do. Shifting to more plant-based meal choices, reducing animal products, and buying less have are a few ways to help save resources.
What you put in and on your body extends to body care products, supplements, water, and beyond. Soaps, shampoos, and laundry detergents can be chock full of endocrine disruptors (harmful chemicals that have been implicated in cancer and hormone-related conditions). And they not only affect you, but also anything downstream from your drain. When it comes to other commodities, buying from local sellers supports your community, generally ensures you are getting a better and longer-lasting product, and will often be void of nasty chemicals.
Part of my job is to help my patients navigate the supplement choices they are making. Not only are potency, source, and scientific evidence paramount to a great quality product, the transparency of the manufacturer and words like LEED, FairTrade, B Corp certified, and non-GMO, are things to think about. ISURA is a contaminant and GMO testing facility which has been considered to be the world’s best. Proudly Canadian, this independent, not-for-profit organization tests natural health products- both those we put in and on our bodies- for over 700 substances including heavy metals, glyphosate, and GMOs, so you can trust that what you are are using is safe for you, your family, and the environment.
Living with an attitude of prevention and making sustainable choices is laudable and now more practicable than ever. Here are a few steps you can try for yourself and the planet:
Start composting by buying an under-the-counter container for your compostable material. Use a composting service in your area or your own backyard, recycling the nutrients back to the Earth.
Try going plastic free for one year. You will feel good doing it and will be amazed by how much plastic exists in your world.
When it rains, leave watering cans outside to collect water. Use this rainwater to water your indoor plants.
Buy metal or bamboo straws. Or if you have stale bucatini pasta hanging around, use these to sip or stir your drinks!
Salvage your limp veggies! Blend up vegetables to make the base for marinara sauce. Add tomato sauce and voila, you’ve got a fibre and nutrient-packed pasta topping that everyone will be sure to enjoy.
Become an Ecoholic. Love the planet and be mindful that everything you purchase can have a positive or negative impact