For seniors, an eco-friendly environment can be highly beneficial for them. A Nature study in 2020 shows that green living improves physical and mental health. With all its positive effects, it’s vital to immerse older adults in such a lifestyle as soon as possible.
The goal of eco-friendly living seems simple enough, but the amount of time it takes to achieve it can be challenging for caretakers and seniors. Seniors and caregivers can benefit from the following green living tips as our world strives to become more sustainable.
Stop Using Plastics Now
Plastic pollution has become a growing concern among environmentalists worldwide. Of course, plastic is not bad in itself due to its level of utility. Plastic can be recyclable and reused too, but in the end, it’s important to discourage it because it comes from fossil fuel sources.
Plastics and styrofoam have similar effects on the environment. Its detrimental health effects, including potential consistent Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure, can make them unhealthy. For seniors, it’s important to ditch styrofoam cups and find other alternatives.
Wooden utensils, silverware, and aluminum ware are better picks for seniors. Bio-polymers are also fantastic plastic and styrofoam alternatives. They’re lightweight, easy to use, and highly compostable once you need to discard them.
Regardless of where you live, avoiding consuming products that carry unethically sourced ingredients is vital. This is especially true for older adults, who should limit their animal product intake. Meat, for example, mostly comes from animals caged their entire lives.
Eating ethically should help the environment and keep them healthy along the way. For example, more vegetables in seniors’ diet will help improve their overall mood and digestion. The addition of fiber and lean protein should enhance their general well-being.
Ethically sourced food means giving animals a good, happy life in a cruelty-free environment. Ethical sourcing, however, does not necessarily mean eating all organic. Organic foods often use pesticides. Studies also show that organic might be bad for the environment due to increased land use.
As for crops and produce, you want them fair-traded and sourced from places that don’t use practices like child labor. This should help improve seniors’ health while knowing they’re doing a little better for the world.
Start A Garden
Planting a garden at home is one of the simplest eco-friendly activities older adults should try. Aside from being simple, a natural garden helps the environment in many ways. It helps by reducing your carbon footprint and the number of greenhouse gases emitted.
Your garden is an organic source of food. It’s free, local, and available all year round. Not to mention, it’s sustainable and eco-friendly too.
Of course, your gardening efforts should be sustainable. You can take sustainable gardening steps like composting, growing native species, and planting raised beds. You can use organic practices like composting, mulching, and rotating crops.
Vegetables grown in a garden are healthier and tastier than store-bought ones. The fewer miles your vegetable travel, the fewer carbon emissions they produce. While you garden, listen to podcasts promoting sustainable living and learn a little more.
Fruits and vegetables aren’t exactly cheap, so being able to grow them in your yard reduces the need to go out and buy them. A garden also helps physical exercise, so it’s a win-win situation. It also helps seniors maintain a proper diet.
Make Daylight Your Best Friend
For seniors, daylight is your friend, and you should treat it as such. With sunlight, you can reduce your utility bills by filtering natural light and heat and helping the environment. Daylight directly impacts humans, which explains why it’s considered beneficial.
Daylight exposure helps improve seniors’ physical and mental health, lowering their risk of dementia and other age-related disorders.
Seniors who spend most of their time indoors are more at risk of depression. The more time seniors spend outside, even just in the garden, the better their mood improves.
Older people may suffer from vitamin D deficiency because of natural aging and lifestyle changes. This issue has been shown to significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, a combination of medical and metabolic conditions. Sunlight can improve this situation.
Purchase Sustainable Products
You can reduce your carbon footprint by living sustainably in your senior living apartment. When purchasing products, it’s crucial to consider sustainability and eco-friendly practices. It’s vital for seniors, as they usually need products that cater to their needs.
Your products should meet specific standards. It should be made of materials that won’t harm the environment, like recycled labels, biodegradable packaging, and products that don’t contain toxic ingredients.
reusable water bottles
Reusable or biodegradable straws
glass bottles and containers
Biodegradable food bags
Not only you but your family members will benefit from these items. Reusable items, like reusable bags, water bottles, and mugs, are great eco-friendly companions for older adults.
Start A Neighborhood-Initiated Recycling Program
People don’t realize how wasteful they are. For example, millions of plastic water bottles are thrown away every day. This is just one example of how inefficient humans are.
Recycling is one of the simplest ways to reduce waste. For example, you can recycle your plastic water bottle. But what do you do with the remaining plastic? Seniors can organize a neighborhood-wide recycling program. They can manage it with their neighbors; the more people join, the better.
There are plenty of simple recycling and reusing practices you can teach your seniors. For example, you can encourage your seniors to reuse old newspapers. Older adults can learn how to dispose of leftover food properly and recycle their used plastics.
Creating a neighborhood recycling initiative can help reduce the amount of waste, reducing the number of greenhouse gases emitted.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, eco-friendly living for seniors isn’t complicated at all. It’s more about choosing the proper habits and implementing them. You can teach your seniors how to live more sustainably with the right attitude.
These steps are simple but practical, but they can change seniors’ lives. That small change can significantly affect the world we live. Seniors not only benefit, but the environment gets something positive too. These eco-friendly living tips should help seniors and caregivers get a greener environment.