Gardening does more than just beautify your assisted living community — it can also help improve air and soil quality. Plants protect the environment because they take in carbon dioxide and remove microbes from the air to make it cleaner. Their root systems also help prevent soil erosion and absorb potentially harmful chemicals from the earth. Gardens support a plethora of local wildlife, including essential pollinators and birds.
Research also shows that community gardening, or even spending time outside in the garden, can support healthy aging. A 2020 study discovered that older adults who spend time tending or enjoying gardens experience improved self-esteem, social engagement and benefits of physical exercise. Members of the Bethesda Gardens Monument assisted living community are always welcome to get involved in caring for our beautiful gardens. Our community offers regular watering and gardening sessions to help you connect with family and friends while enjoying the great outdoors.
The rise of fast fashion is bad news for the environment. According to the Geneva Environment Network, clothing production accounts for 10% of human-generated carbon emissions and pollutes our waterways. In fact, humanity throws away a staggering 85% of textile products every year.
Seniors can help mitigate the impact of the fashion industry by embracing secondhand shopping. Thrift stores are great places to find hidden gems in Monument, CO. However, you can also buy pre-loved bargains via online marketplaces, such as Vinted, thredUP and eBay. Even better, secondhand shopping is an enjoyable way to make the most of your retirement budget.
If you can't find what you need secondhand, consider buying sustainable brands when shopping for new clothes. Cotton is one of the most sustainable fabrics, and its production supports the livelihoods of people across the world and can help alleviate poverty when managed responsibly. However, cotton can still damage the environment when grown using traditional methods.
You can check whether a brand is eco-friendly by looking for green certifications. Certifications such as Fair Trade, GoodWeave and Certified B Corporation verify sustainably produced clothes and ensure the fair treatment of workers.
Purchasing bottled water and coffee in takeout cups is convenient. However, single-use cups and bottles create harmful waste and increase the amount of plastic in landfills.
You don't have to give up your favorite takeout beverages to care for the planet. Instead, consider investing in reusable water bottles and insulated cups to reduce your usage of single-use containers. Most coffee shops allow customers to bring their own cups, and some even offer discounts or rewards for using reusable options.
Spending more time outdoors is an effective way to reduce your energy consumption while enjoying the benefits of outdoor living. The more time you spend outside, the less you use power-hungry home systems such as lights and air conditioners.
Furthermore, getting out and about in the sunshine has proven health benefits for seniors. Research shows that older adults who regularly spend time outside have a reduced risk of depression. A 2012 study found that seniors who embrace the great outdoors are less afraid of falling and enjoy improved functional abilities.
Time outside also reduces your risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. Getting enough vitamin D is essential for older adults because deficiencies contribute to health problems such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Raising livestock for the meat industry produces emissions that contribute to global warming. Scientists aren't sure of the impact of livestock on the environment, but most studies estimate that livestock farming accounts for 11.1% to 19.6% of greenhouse gas emissions. Research shows that eating a plant-based diet reduces harmful emissions by an impressive 75% and reduces harm to wildlife.
However, embracing veganism isn't a practical or enjoyable option for everyone. Fortunately, you don't need to cut out meat entirely to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet. Many people participate in the Meatless Monday initiative, cutting out meat for just 1 day per week. In some jurisdictions, public schools practice Meatless Mondays to reduce the impact of school meals on the environment. If every American avoided meat once per week, the effect would be similar to reducing the number of cars on the road by 7.6 million.
Meatless Monday meals don't have to be boring. Consider replacing your usual meat dish with a portion of high-fiber pulses or calcium-rich tofu to ensure you get enough protein. Alternatively, check the menu at Bethesda Gardens Monument to find satisfying, meat-free options for seniors.
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