As many people have already realized, being healthy and having a healthy lifestyle is good for you AND the environment (cheaper, too!).
Here I am listing some reasons:
1. Eating too much = wasted resources
Sometimes Obesity is not a choice, but most of the time you do have a choice. When you eat too much, that’s our resources, that’s our resources that would otherwise feed other people. As Michael Pollan as pointed out, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” sums it up.
2. Listen to your Mother, eat more vegetables!
Generally, if you eat more vegetables, your health is going to be much better than another person with a meat-dominant diet. Lower risks for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and others. Environment-wise, you emit less greenhouse gases by eating more vegetables. You also lessen your water usage eating more vegetables! Since meat production requires cattle feed usually made of vegetables, the greenhouse gases emitted will only accumulate before the meat comes to your dinner table. Water usage, too, will accumulate just to produce the meat.
Why do we care about greenhouse gases and water? Since greenhouse gases correlate to mortality and the ecosystem health in general, they are not good to have in great amount. Furthermore, the fuels that eventually turns into greenhouse gases are finite resources, therefore if we run out of them, they are gone for good. Using less fuel would also mean reducing the cost. Water, similarly, is a finite resource, but we have the technology to treat it now except it’s very expensive cost-wise and energy-wise. So using less water means less energy usage and less costs.
3. Eat more local = less greenhouse gases
Are you wondering what’s with the “eat local” hype? Well, eating more local would reduce the transportation distance and thus emit, again, less greenhouse gases.
4. Drugs & water treatment
When you are sick and you go to the doctor’s, and the doctor tells you to have some pharmaceutical drug to treat your symptoms, what do you think would happen to the drug eventually? Well, I have a good idea since I study wastewater treatment… A lot of them end up in the wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater takes energy to treat, the better the water quality at the end, the more expensive and energy it would take to treat the water. Better water quality means less pollution discharge, but if your wastewater is clean from the start, then it takes less energy to treat it, however pharmaceuticals are among the hardest pollutants to treat, and usually they still end up in the environment, polluting our natural resources.
5. A healthy life style contributes
When you are healthy, you can do a lot of work that is beneficial to the society, but when you are not, you usually need others to take care of you, whether it’s in the form of time, insurance, or social benefits. Lifestyle such as sleeping late, watching too much TV, or using computer for a long period would use much energy.
So for the sake of the environment, live long and prosper!