Thursday, April 26, 2007

Are you earthy?


…Harvard’s HEALTHbeat newsletter takes on Earth Day and tries to combine it with Health Day.

…First, they recommend you go to bed early—it saves on electricity and you lose weight if you sleep 8 hours. Lack of sleep depresses the levels of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain that you are full.

…Turn down the heat and air conditioning. Trying to keep cool or warm revs up your metabolism.. When we are in the thermoneutral zone, mid-70s, your body doesn’t have to burn cals doing much.

…Eat more fish—but be sure it isn’t the toxic or overfished kinds. Go to http://www.oceansalive.org/.

…Switch to energy-saving light bulbs, those weird twisty ones.They use 2/3 of the energy of a regular bulb and last 10 times longer. Each compact bulb keeps half a ton of carbon dioxide out of the air! But—please do not trash them when they do run out—they contain mercury! Call your local govt for instructions.

…Eat local fruits and veggies. Flying in food from Australia and Chile, for instance, uses energy. This is measured in “food miles.”

…Don’t take more meds than you need. Most medication we take is excreted anyhow. Don’t toss old ones down the drain, either. If they are liquids, put in cat litter, pills, put in water, and dispose in the trash.

…Walk, bike, anything but the car. Households with four cars outnumber those with none.

…Support green hospitals. Many are now being built of products that don’t offgas pollutants. Noise is being dampened inside. Many have lots of natural light, which raises patient spirits.

…So sleep, pedal, nosh, and watch the polypharmacy! Can’t hurt.

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