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7 Eco-Friendly Health Habits

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Going green is about more than just recycling. There are many day-to-day choices that will have either negative or positive effects, and many of them also impact your health. Use the eco-friendly tips below to benefit the environment and improve your overall well-being.

1. Go meat-free once a week.

It takes eight times more fuel to produce animal protein compared to plant protein. Stock up on beans, fresh veggies, and nuts. They're high in fiber, vitamin B, and phytochemicals. Read "Is Your Fridge Yawn-Inducing" for tips to add variety to your diet.

2. Cook in a Crock-Pot.

A Crock-Pot uses less energy and omits less heat than an oven. In addition to saving energy and keeping your kitchen cooler, Crock-Pots allow you to cook meals while you're at work or running errands. You'll be more likely to skip eating out if you're greeted with a home-cooked meal at the end of the day. Click here for seven healthy Crock-Pot recipes.

3. Experiment with "no TV" days.

Limiting TV and computer use saves energy and money. And the less time you spend sitting, the more you're moving. Commit to one day of no TV a week and use that time to take a walk, hike, ride a bike, or play in the park with your family. Read "How to Stay Active All Day" to get moving.

4. Buy a BPA-free water bottle.

BPA is linked to a variety of health issues including breast and prostate cancer and heart disease. This packaging additive is used in aluminum cans, water bottles, and other household items. Carry a BPA-free water bottle (we like Nalgene's On-the-Fly bottle) with you to hydrate and reduce your use of plastic. Click here for tips to stay hydrated all day.

5. Shop for organic produce.

Choose organic produce when possible to avoid ingesting herbicides and pesticides. It's better for your health, and it's good for the environment. It's recommended that you buy organic for foods where you eat the skin. The list, known as the "Dirty Dozen," includes celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale, cherries, potatoes, and grapes. Browse "The Organic Food Guide" for more information.

6. Take the stairs.

Two minutes of stair climbing each day can offset the pound of weight the average American adult gains each year, according to the New York City Health Department. So opt for the stairs over riding the elevator whenever possible. Skipping the elevator also saves energy. Read "A Compelling Case for Taking the Stairs" to learn more about the benefits of taking the stairs.

7. Eat foods that are in season.

Buying in season fruits and vegetables will allow you get the freshest, most nutrient-packed produce available. It also helps cut back on the harmful effects of transporting food across the country or from overseas. Shop your local farmer's market to support local growers. Read "5 Ways to Eat Local" for more ways to help the environment.

Katie Dalton is a performance specialist at Core Performance. 

Tags: Health

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