The 7th of April is the World Health Organisations’ (WHO) World Health Day. Each year the day draws attention to a specific health topic that impacts the world. This year the topic is Our Planet, Our Health.
WHO wants to focus on how we can keep ourselves and our planet healthy. They estimate that over 13 million deaths are caused worldwide due to preventable environmental causes, including the climate crisis. Also, they say that 90% of people breathe unhealthy air due to burning fossil fuels.
The world is now full of plastics, including at the bottom of our ocean. Processed, unhealthy foods and drinks are readily available and linked to obesity, heart disease and cancer. The mission of World Health Day this year is to raise awareness that looking after the planet can help us look after our health. So on that point, here are five ways you can do your bit and make the planet and humans a bit healthier.
Carrying a reusable water bottle and using reusable shopping bags are quick and easy ways to help cut down on plastic. Reusing anything plastic also helps reduce the amount of plastic needed. Finally, recycling the inevitable bits of plastic that creep into your home is the best way you can try and prevent excess plastic in the world.
Processed food and drink require more energy and tends to be a lot less healthy. Unprocessed, whole foods often have a low carbon footprint and will likely be better for you. If you’re able to buy locally, even better.
You’ve probably heard it before, but there’s a reason why it’s brought up so often. Skipping your trips in the car every so often will reduce the greenhouse gases released into the air. Walking to the shop, cycling to work or hopping on the train are options for commuting. However, if you have to go in the car, it’s worth looking into car-sharing to reduce a car or two on the road.
We cut down and use trees to create furniture, paper, packaging; you name it. The issue is that trees help absorb carbon dioxide, removing it and releasing oxygen back into the air. By planting a tree, you can help offset some of the damage chopping other trees down is doing and help clean the air. If you can’t plant a tree where you live, there are plenty of organised events where you can help create tiny forests etc.
Turning off the lights, the television and keeping the heating below 21.5 degrees Celsius will reduce your energy consumption and make your energy bills cheaper. That’s a win-win. You can also look at switching to a renewable energy provider to feel like you’re really making a difference.
Most of these steps are small things that you can do to help make the planet and humanity healthier. Although it may feel like you’re not making a difference, just a tiny percentage of the world can contribute to a healthier planet. Remember, change starts with small steps.