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A win-win situation

A win-win situation
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We all know we should be good to the environment, but the benefits sometimes don’t seem like enough of a draw when being green is inconvenient. But here’s the thing: Green living is clean living, and every step you take to be kind to the environment pays you back in health benefits. Read on to find out how being good to Mother Earth is good for your mind, body, and soul.

Biking to work can reduce stress

Biking to work can reduce stress
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Leaving your car at home and getting to the office by foot or bike helps you burn less fuel, but it can also have a double dose of benefits for your body and mind. You’re burning kilojoules in a time when you’d normally be sitting in traffic, but that’s not all: A study of 123 Canadian employees found that those who had cycled instead of driving or taking public transportation had the lowest levels of stress 45 minutes into the workday.

Here are 10 more habits of people who never get stressed. 

Using windows, not lamps, boosts productivity

Using windows, not lamps, boosts productivity
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It’s not in your head that the fluorescent lights in your office feel totally depressing. In a small study, volunteers worked from 12 pm to 8 pm in a room either mainly lit either by daylight or artificial light. By the second day in those conditions, those who were taking advantage of sunlight were less sleepy at the end of the workday and performed better on cognitive performance tests. Keep the blinds open and you’ll cut your energy bill and feel more energised.

Here are more earth-friendly habits you can adopt today.

Eating less red meat could lengthen your life

Eating less red meat could lengthen your life
Reader's Digest

A study of more than 120,000 men and women found that the more red and processed meats they ate, the more likely they were to die of any cause, including cancer and heart disease. Subbing beef out for poultry or plant-based protein can help you avoid risks like diabetes and stroke, but it’s also doing your part to reduce greenhouse gases. Cattle use more grains and produce more methane than chickens or pigs, and some experts say that giving up beef would be even better for the Earth than giving up your car.

Try these other easy habits that will help you live to 100.

A reusable water bottle could keep your body functioning normally

A reusable water bottle could keep your body functioning normally
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Humans worldwide create 359 million metric tons of plastic every year, yet only about nine percent of plastic waste has been recycled, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances. Switching to a reusable water bottle will keep that plastic out of landfills (or cut energy that would normally go toward recycling it), but it can also keep your hormones functioning in the way they should. You might have already heard that bisphenol A (BPA) might disrupt oestrogen, but even though manufacturers are shying away from the chemical, some evidence suggests that one of its substitutes, fluorene-9-bisphenol (BHPF) can block hormones too.

Check out these other facts that will convince you to stop using plastic.

Local produce could mean more nutrients

Local produce could mean more nutrients
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You’ve heard all about the perks of buying local – you support small businesses and get food that’s as fresh-from-the-farm as it can be. But is there anything really in it for you except a sense of well-being for doing farmers a favour? You bet! The produce in your supermarkets probably spent days in transit before finally reaching your local grocer, and even then it’s spent a few days on the shelves before you take it home – and all the while it’s been losing nutrients. By picking it up from your farmer’s market, though, it can spend less time just reaching its destination, so it’s still in peak ripeness by the time you buy.

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Seasonal foods pack in the vitamins

Seasonal foods pack in the vitamins
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Researchers analysed the nutrient levels of fruits and vegetables at different times of the year and found that season played a role in the health – vitamin C in spinach was 55 percent higher in the winter, for instance. Part of that could have to do with the very reason it’s better for the environment: It doesn’t have to travel so far. If the food had to grow in a warm, faraway area before reaching your grocery store, it could have spent time on a ship, plane, or truck. Some options are better than others – a plane gives off more emissions than a ship, for example – but buying in-season is an easy rule of thumb for making sure your food didn’t have to travel far to get to you.

Turning electronics off at night can help you sleep

Turning electronics off at night can help you sleep
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Shutting off lights and electronics at night can save on your energy bill and allow you to be sharper the next day. A small study from Korea found women who slept in dim light at night didn’t snooze as long, and their quality of sleep wasn’t as good. The researchers concluded that keeping the lights or TV on could interrupt a good night’s sleep.

Here are 13 more surprising things that could be causing your sleep woes. 

Growing a garden gives you tasty, eco-friendly food

Growing a garden gives you tasty, eco-friendly food
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If you make space for a garden in your yard, the environment will thank you. A garden provides space where native plants can attract bees – and considering about 35 percent of crops rely on pollinators like bees to help them thrive, helping bees thrive is a big environmental concern – and where you can grow your own produce. Anything that only needs to travel as far as your backyard to your table is using fewer fossil fuels than anything that had to go from a mass-production farm to a supermarket (and then your table). And if those tasty, fresh veggies weren’t enough of a pull, gardening itself torches about 840 to 1770 kilojoules an hour.

Growing your own produce also minimises food waste. Here are 5 more tips on how to cut down on food waste. 

Getting rid of your old stuff can give you peace of mind

Getting rid of your old stuff can give you peace of mind
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Thrift stores are an eco-friendly way to shop. Instead of creating new clothes and home goods out of new materials, you can just pass along the perfectly usable items that you don’t want anymore. And as you purge, you’ll likely give yourself a mental health boost too. Studies have linked high levels of clutter to a drop in life satisfaction and a spike in the stress hormone cortisol. A stress-free home for you and eco-friendly “new” goodies for whoever buys it – it’s win-win!

Here are 30 ways to declutter and save space at home. 

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Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team