Let’s face it, this wouldn’t be a health and wellness blog unless we covered the issue of smoking. Affecting millions, perhaps billions of people across the world, smoking is one of the largest risks to health today.
Second-hand smoke aside, the effects of smoking, from the carcinogens to the downright poisons present in cigarettes is well documented. Even smokers know this, so why are so many people still doing it?
As someone that has quit, I can attest to the fact that it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and it took every fiber of my being to do so.
The problem is
Not with people and their lack of will power. Although this does play a role, it is unfair to ask people to just “cowboy up” and quit smoking. The problem is more closely related to the price of quitting mechanisms.
Companies know that they have smokers right where they want them, and so they can essentially charge whatever they want for tools needed to quit. And while some of these are effective, others are not so much.
What needs to happen is for these products to become cheaper and more effective so that the price is so staggeringly low that smokers can’t even justify buying cigarettes. I mean, what is the point of paying the same price for inhalers, e-cigarettes, and other largely untested products that may not even work?
Make these cheaper, and you give smokers that want nothing more to quit a much more viable way of doing so.
By now, it’s common knowledge to most people that processed foods are bad for both people and the environment. They are often presented with flashy packaging that takes up landfill space because it is not often recyclable.
But they sure are tasty aren’t they? One of the main reasons for this is they are often laden with chemicals that give them an addictive quality. Couple this with the fact that they often aren’t very filling, and you start to see the big picture.
So what should we do?
The easiest answer is to stop eating processed foods. And while it is a good and viable answer, of course it will not be an option for everyone. But what we can do, even if we still eat processed foods is look at the packaging that they come in.
Packaging is often a marketing tool used to sell more products. This is unavoidable, as everyone, even processed food companies are entitled to their ability to make money.
However, what we can do as consumers is look at the amount of packaging and make the right decision. Buy processed foods with less packaging, and preferably packaging that is recycled or biodegradable.
Is that it?
Of course not. There are a number of factors that go into living a healthy lifestyle for you and the planet. Looking at packaging and how much of it necessary is just one of the first steps in being a mindful consumer.
Of course, ideally, you will probably want to work on limiting your consumption of processed foods altogether.
There’s no secret that we live in a polluted world, which yields negative health benefits. Of course, depending on where you live, it may be better or worse. However, overall, the amount of carbon dioxide that we let into the air has caused a myriad of problems.
Aside from the negative environmental effects, our health is taking quite the blow both from our negligence and the necessity of fossil fuels for our way of life.
But how bad is it?
The short answer is: pretty bad. But this does not mean that there is no hope for the future. Simply by changing the way we think about the environment and our impact on it, we can take steps to ensuring a better world for future generations.
But fossil fuels are still a necessity, right? Right. But there are incentives for installing green technology that aren’t only for large corporations. In addition to getting credits for solar panels, which are expensive, there are also initiatives for simply buying new appliances.
Is it time for a new washer and dryer?
Most people will answer yes to this question. Perhaps it’s time to get rid of the old, loud, energy inefficient washer and dryer and look into buying a newer model.
And while this can be expensive, there are often government incentives that may help cover the cost of these new appliances. Even if you end up spending a large sum of money, know that you are doing your part to help the environment as well as improve your own standard of living.