When we think of sustainable lifestyles, we often think about reducing our carbon footprint by walking or using public transportation, or eliminating plastic from our homes and eating locally grown foods. One thing that isn’t discussed as often, however, is the role of supplements and other health products.
Even the healthiest people may need supplemental support for their well-balanced diet, such as oral probiotics to replenish your mouth’s natural microbiome; these can make a huge difference in how you look and feel, letting you face the world with confidence. Still, you want to reduce the impact you have on the environment by pursuing personal well-being, which is why you should take these factors into consideration when deciding whether a supplement fits your sustainable lifestyle.
Look for Supplements With Natural Ingredients
Naturally-based supplements work with your body’s systems to support your wellness, and they also do not contain artificial ingredients that require intensive chemical manufacturing, such as sweeteners and dyes. You are instead relying on nature’s own bounty, which has been refined and made more convenient to ensure that you’re living life to the fullest.
When you’re considering which supplements are right for you, check their ingredients list carefully for any artificial sweeteners. These additions aren’t just bad for the environment, given that they necessitate more resources: they may also negatively influence your hormones, reducing the benefit of the product on a whole-body level.
Consider the Carbon Footprint of Packaging
Packaging produces enormous amounts of waste per year; it’s also depleting raw resources at a fast clip and hastening climate change. When you begin to develop a sustainable lifestyle, you begin to see just how much product is thrown away every time you buy something new, often never to be recovered and recycled. Plastic is a particularly egregious polluter, especially as many municipalities have secretly combined landfill and clearly demarcated recycling material, further wasting resources.
As such, consider a supplement’s packaging when determining which brand to buy. Those in glass bottles have the best chance of being reused for something else; you may even find them helpful in your own home.
Glass is incredibly easy to sanitize, and it can be reused endlessly for nearly anything. The small size of glass bottles makes them incredibly useful in the kitchen, where you can dry your own herbs and then store them in a dark amber bottle, where they will retain their aroma. Dark bottles are also great for essential oils, as they will remain stable for longer than if they were constantly exposed to the sun. Simply steam the old label off the bottle, then adhere your own to ensure you remember what’s stored therein.
Multivitamins Provide Synergistic Effects
Even with your best efforts, anything you purchase in packaging will have at least some type of waste associated with it. If you choose to use supplements, you should strongly consider using multivitamins rather than buying single-ingredient options. This isn’t just so that you’re only buying one bottle, either: many vitamins work best in combination, as one may increase the absorption of the other.
For example, calcium supplements are best taken in combination with Vitamin D and magnesium, both of which assist in bone health and increase the bioavailability of calcium. Not only are you getting better benefits from each vitamin, but you are also ensuring that you only have one bottle to recycle rather than three or four.
See Sustainability as a Holistic Concept Rather Than a Single Issue
It’s easy to think that you must cut out all modern conveniences, such as the benefits of supplements and probiotics, when you’re living a sustainable lifestyle, but this isn’t the case. All modern living has some environmental impact; minimalism is focused on efforts to reduce this, focusing primarily on those activities that have the greatest carbon footprint.
No one has total net zero emissions: it simply isn’t possible in the everyday world. Instead, we must weigh the pros and cons of our lifestyle, both for ourselves and for the environment. If you feel better when you have a beautiful smile from oral probiotics, and you have already reduced the primary emissions-producing activities like driving everywhere, eating red meat, and relying heavily on prepackaged foods, then you are well ahead of the average American. Utilizing supplements to keep you looking and feeling your best can fit in entirely with your overall focus on the wellness of both yourself and our planet.
It’s important to remember that you can only do well for the world if you do well by yourself. Focus on these consumer decisions when choosing supplements, and you can ensure that you’ll still get the benefits of these modern conveniences without sacrificing your focus on an eco-friendly lifestyle.