How Your Environment Affects Your Health

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You’re doing all of the things right. You watch what you eat, you exercise,  you get plenty of rest, and you do what you can to have a balanced work and social life. Life is good. But if you’re not paying attention to your environment, all of that hard work is just making your body work harder than it needs to. It’s also making a bigger impact than most people realize, both in the immediate and down the road. There are a few approaches to this that I focus on; the individual benefits, the larger environmental benefits, and the social responsibility.

The first part of this is about creating an environment so that all of your efforts to lead a happy, health life aren’t being thwarted by a heavy chemical body burden. It’s easier to make changes on the individual level first, so we’ll start there. The chemical body burden is the level of chemical residues that can be found in the urine, blood, and breast milk. Most people don’t even know that they have it (all of us do, to one extent or another), what it is, or have bothered to have it measured. You don’t even have to have it measured to know that there are probably several things that you can think of off the top of your head that are contributing to it. Everything in your environment has an affect on your health, so when your environment is clean your body will be able respond optimally to all of your mindful eating and exercise. That’s the individual benefits side of the puzzle.

Another piece of the puzzle is the environmental benefits. We’re not talking about just eating organic or producing less waste (which both have a huge impact on human health). We’re talking about the big picture here, where what we choose to do impacts not only our immediate environment, but the global environment too. This is about being the change that you wish to see in the world, one little step at a time.

The hard part about it is that it can be difficult, if not impossible to know what is affecting you or how to fix it. It can also be overwhelming because once you see one thing, you begin to see toxins everywhere, all the time. It’s enough to make you throw your hands up in the air and just give up. But take heart, everyone has to start somewhere. In fact, my mother always says that the best place to start is at the beginning and she’s not wrong. Taking it one step at a time makes it so much easier and not nearly as overwhelming.

The other puzzle piece is the social responsibility, which is why I do what I do. I know that trying to look at the individual pieces and the bigger picture is not easy. That’s where I come in. I help you set up a step-by-step, strategic plan to clean up your environment and live a more sustainable lifestyle. We’re a team, because that’s really the only way to create the bigger impact that is needed to ensure that everyone is healthier. But it has to start with one person, and that person is you, or me, or your friend next door. When we realize that our choices don’t only affect ourselves, but those that we love, our neighborhood, our town, and our world, it empowers us to make the changes necessary. It’s working on the micro (where we see the most immediate benefits) to affect the macro.

My mother says the best way to eat and elephant is one bite at a time. That’s how I approach being the change I wish to see in the world, one client at a time, one home at a time, one friend at a time. If I can help someone realize that their choice of something as random as flooring or soap affects not only their health, but the health of someone they love that lives on the other side of the country, then I’m happy. Yes, it’s a total paradigm shift and it may not be easy, but it is simple. And the good thing is that once you get, you really get it and the rest comes pretty easily and that’s about as sustainable as you can get.

Photo credit: Bench Accounting on Unsplash

 

Author: TatiaElizabeth

Hi! I'm Tatia Elizabeth. I live on a small homestead in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina with my husband and youngest son. We've got 5 children total, but the rest are grown and on their own. We do our best to live a sustainable life that is zero-waste and plastic free. I'm a sustainability consultant, an emergency preparedness coach, a unschooling mom, a radical homemaker, and freelance writer. I received my BA in Health and Wellness with an emphasis in environmental science from Purdue Global University in 2019. Alan (my wonderful husband) is a retired Navy veteran and personal development coach. I also love cheese, wine, and my family, not necessarily in that order. I'm excited that you're here!

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