From the lush valleys of Ecuador to the peaceful island of Okinawa to the pristine hills of the Himalayas, these centenarian clusters all have something in common: an environment conducive to a healthy, long life-clean air, pure water, and nature unspoiled by the modern world.
In our Western world, we have to contend with the toxic by-products of our technological advances. Not only have we made our environment cancerous for ourselves, but we have also made it harder for other organisms in nature to thrive. By living in harmony with nature, we bring health to ourselves and to the planet.
Make Our World Less Plastic
Plastic, lightweight, durable, and versatile is everywhere in our modern world - bad news for the environment and our health. Many plastics release vinyl chloride and other harmful gases or contain phthalates that can lead to cancer, birth defects, and lung and liver disease.
Some plastics are right out in the open, like the ones found in our TVs, computers, telephones, coffeemakers, water bottles, and food containers. But some plastics show up in places where you might least suspect them, in carpeting, chewing gum, cosmetics, mattresses, sanitary napkins, polyester clothing, tissues, toilet paper, and upholstery.
Minimize plastic usage to cut your health risks. Use glass water bottles, wooden toys, personal care products and cosmetics made with natural ingredients, and natural fiber clothing, bedding, and mattresses.
Unbleached Paper for the Planet
Paper products do not come naturally white. All white paper is bleached with chemicals that leave behind harmful residues of dioxin, which is a known carcinogen.
These residues are found in coffee filters, diapers, lunch bags, napkins, paper towels, tissues, and toilet paper. When dioxin enters the landfill as waste, it leaches into the soil, contaminating groundwater. Using unbleached paper products is good for both you and the earth.
Green your Clean Routine
Seeking longevity means protecting ourselves from products that are dangerous to our health. Household cleansers containing bleach or chemicals are harmful to inhale. Instead of these, choose natural cleaning products that have recently come onto the market, which are safe and will not pollute the environment. You can use natural brands sold in your local health food stores.
Look no further than your own kitchen for these simple, homemade cleaners:
• Stovetop: sprinkle baking soda on, let it sit five minutes, then scour with steel wool or scrubber. For stubborn spots, mix dishwashing liquid, borax, and warm water, spray the mixture on, and let it sit for 20 minutes before scouring.
• Diluted vinegar is an effective cleanser in the kitchen and bathroom, and will work for tiles, windows, toilet bowls, mirrors, and even carpets. The acetate acid in vinegar also helps inhibit bacteria and mildew.
Try this formula: mix one cup of distilled white vinegar with one cup of water and use it just like you would use any other cleaning product. For those jobs requiring elbow grease, avoid chlorinated powder and scour with baking soda instead.
Eat with Environmental Edge
Commercially grown produce is filled with pesticides, herbicides and toxic chemical residues. Conventional meat, poultry, and dairy products contain high amounts of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotic drugs that are harmful to your health.
These toxins show up in a variety of places, including the water supply, breast milk, and urine. They cause degenerative changes, hormonal problems, immune system disorders, and cancer in both people and animals.
For your own wellbeing and the health of the planet, search out organic foods; whenever possible, buy only organic and free-range poultry and meat.
I hope you find ways to be in harmony with nature! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.