Swap your MacBook for mung beans, reboot your commute and get ‘unlit’ on the lighting front
“What on earth is Earth Day?” we hear you ask.
Or maybe you’re already clued up. Either way we think we’ve managed to summarise the history of this 49 year old annual event as succinctly as possible. Here goes:
A day dedicated to the earth, focusing on the impact we have on it and the beauty it beholds.
The official Earth Day website shows the impact Earth Day has and the amount of people who tune in each year to take part and get involved. Plus, the official website offers a much deeper and fact-filled explanation.
To celebrate Earth Day, we’re going to share with you a few ideas and tips to make your day and in fact your year more environmentally friendly, whilst opening your mind to new ways of thinking! Excited yet? We thought so.
Here at Peak – Brain Training, we haven’t gone as far as launching a new trainer/sneaker collaboration like Nike and Steve Harrington’s Earth Day Collection. They’ve used 50% less leather in each shoe (check it out, it’s verrrry cool). Nor have we unveiled a very cool-looking reusable bottle design like S’well have – promoting youth sustainability and the Million Bottle Project. Although we must shout out to our 2016 Turtle Traffic game campaign, with all profits going to the WWF! It’s still one of our most-played training games.
And nope, we haven’t quite managed to stretch to creating the best Earth Day quiz on the planet… yet (watch this space Earth Day 2020).
What we do have for you, however, are 3 easy Earth Day ideas you can put into action TODAY, to decrease your impact on the environment (and on your mind).
Share these Earth Day ideas with your office, friends and family. And feel good about getting involved and helping the environment baby step by baby step.
Tip 1: Once a week take a NEW commute to work (transport free)
We all fall into the melodic and mundane rhythm of taking the same commute five days a week. Why? Because it’s easy, doesn’t require any excessive ‘brain power’ and there’s less chance of being late as we know the route inside out.
Start your Earth Day by creating a new route to work. Try switching up your lunch routine by taking a walk, going for a run, going for lunch al fresco.
Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool write in their (amazing) book Peak: How All Of Us Can Achieve Extraordinary Things: “Learning isn’t a way of reaching one’s potential but rather a way of developing it.” They describe how by doing something new and experiencing new ‘things’, we in fact develop our brains in new ways. Exciting, right? Our neuroplasticity (“the ability of your brain to reorganize itself, both physically and functionally“) develops.
So how does this all relate to Earth Day 2019?
Here at Peak – Brain Training we suggest you start by taking a new route to work, a new route which doesn’t involve transport. Sounds scary, yes and there’s potential to be late, yes. But think about it, if you can resist using public transport once a week, or choose a commute which is less damaging to our planet, then your brain will be winning and so will the environment.
If everyone in London was to walk to work once a week, after a quick and very rough calculation of the following: 8.1 million people in London, 52 weeks in a year, 1 day a week not walking then you’re looking at 421 million(ish) transport-free days. Optimistic yes, but you see what we’re getting at.
This tip also makes a great Earth Day idea for work. Your next team challenge perhaps?
Tip 2: Red lights & sleep
Getting quality sleep is a (red) hot topic and we predict it will remain so for years to come. As creatures of habit, we humans tend to stick to the same sleeping ritual we’ve followed our entire lives; watch TV, check phones and then hit the pillow as and when.
Are we sending you to sleep? Right, we’ll get to the point. Sleep is a free and incredible tool when you get it right. And getting it right involves getting your lighting right – especially as part of your evening ritual.
Think ‘less is more’ when it comes to lighting in the evening (the phrase ‘mood lighting’ springs to mind) and opt for red lights over white lights. Red lights carry with them a few racy connotations, however, they’re an amazing alternative to bright LED light bulbs, as they allow your body and eyes to adjust to the darkness in your bedroom before sleep.
This in turn gives your eyes time to adjust to the contrast, gives them a well-earned break and gets you set for a blissful night sleep. Dreamy.
Biohacker Dave Asprey puts it perfectly in his blog titled Light Hacking for Better Energy, Mood, and Performance: “Get rid of your white LEDs and compact fluorescents. Newer artificial light bulbs lack many of the sun’s frequencies that our bodies and brains need. With artificial lights, we’ve eliminated most of the infrared, red, and violet light found in natural sunlight, and we’ve amplified the blue light beyond anything we have evolved to handle – most LEDs and compact fluorescents emit about 5 times the blue light we’re used to”. In other words, chuck ‘em.
Not to mention you’ll also use less energy and electricity switching off earlier. Especially if you turn all major electrical sockets off on the wall, as these electrical frequencies can find their way into your body and disrupt your beauty sleep too.
Tip 3: Grow something (and grow organic)
One of the big things we can do to contribute to the environmental movement is to switch to organic produce. This is easier said than done due to the cost, the accessibility and many other factors, however the benefits are great.
MindBodyGreen summarises the benefits of going organic well: “Overall, crops treated with any amount or form of chemicals have a negative impact on your body. Organic crops are more nutritious, and they won’t deplete your health by putting unwanted and unnecessary toxins in your body.”
Dr Allan Greene went 100% organic for 3 years. He only ate organic produce, with no pesticides in sight. Greene said he felt he had much more energy and: “As a pediatrician regularly exposed to sick children, he was accustomed to several illnesses a year. Now, he says, he is rarely ill… ingesting more vitamins and nutrients.”
We’ve thought of a quick-win fun way to grow organic on a budget and in any spare space you may have (big or small, conventional or not, London or Alaska). You set the limits on this one.
Find a space, for example your balcony, that gap underneath the window ledge, in your bathroom, on the stairs. Just perhaps not in your bed…
Check out Britta Riley’s Ted Talk on growing a hydroponic (growing plants by running a liquid soil over vegetables’ root systems) garden in her own NY apartment. Inspirational is an understatement.
Are you ready to welcome the Window Farm to your window? We’re more than tempted.
Gardening is a great stress-relief on the mind, body and soul. Getting back to nature and actually growing something from scratch is incredibly exciting.
Sitting back and refocusing on something new (which doesn’t include a screen! Excluding the Peak – Brain Training app of course) stimulates parts of your mind and as Ericsson and Pool put it: “The brain… is far more adaptable than anyone ever imagined… the brain responds to the right sort of triggers by rewiring itself… new connections are made between neurons, while existing connections can be strengthened.” They go on to mention that it’s possible for new neurons to grow as a result of new brain stimulation.
So what’s not to love about trying new things, stimulating your senses and helping to decrease your impact on the environment all in one go? Even if it’s just by a fraction, it all helps.
In short: swap your MacBook for mung beans, reboot your commute and get ‘unlit’ on the lighting front.
Ready to make today the day you unearth something new?
Happy Earth Day!
Fancy downloading the Peak – Brain Training app right now? Tap/click/whack the below and get your brain warmed up for Earth Day and beyond.
- audible.co.uk/pd/The-Power-of-Habit-Audiobook/B007AK4V62 (page 51)
- cune3.tripod.com/psychology/amen/amen01.pdf (Page 122)
- mta.ca/pshl/docs/zebras.pdf (Page 402)
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All information featured in Peak – Brain Training articles are provided for informational purposes only and are not substitutes for medical or physician advice.