In the midst of a pandemic, a polluted planet, increasing diseases like cancer, asthma, heart disease, on World Health Day 2022, WHO will focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.
WHO estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes. This includes the climate crisis which is the single biggest health threat facing humanity. The climate crisis is also a health crisis.
Through the Our Planet, Our Health campaign, WHO will urge governments and the public to share stories of steps they are taking to protect the planet and their health and prioritize well-being societies.
What’s your story? Here’s mine.
It’s not easy for sure, but I’m increasingly aware and trying my best. Sometimes it’s the small things like turning down the heating in our home and choosing to wear another layer of clothing instead.
Here’s my list of what I’m trying to do to protect the planet:
- Walk rather than drive
- Use my electric bike to cycle more, going electric makes it easier to use the bike more
- Choose to buy the loose vegetables in the supermarket rather than those wrapped in plastic. And if they don’t have loose veg, aim to shop elsewhere.
- If I HAVE to buy a plastic bottle of water or drink because I failed on being organised, choose a company using recycled plastic, but also pop the bottle in a recycle bin when I’m finished with it.
- Or maybe choose a glass bottle.
- Make my lunch at home and use a reusable container or tin foil (which I recycle) rather than buying a pre packaged sandwich.
- Grow some of my own food. I’m currently growing Micro Greens on my kitchen windowsill in old Pyrex baking bowls. And I grow what I can at my allotment, including apples and pears, potatoes, salad leaves and vegetables and even an area for cut flowers.
- Be aware of where your food comes from, do we really need to fly it in from Kenya, or Isreal, or South America? I’m not sure how to get round this other than buy local and what’s in season and freeze it to use in the future. I’ll often by reduced price and almost out of date UK produced in-season fruit and freeze it to use in the future.
- Reuse and repurpose in the garden. I’m currently removing partially dead Leylandii trees from my garden. And rather than throw them away I’m reusing the trunks for a barrier and shredding the branches to make mulch.
- I collect rainwater in a water butt to water outdoor plants when they need it.
- I’m creating a compost bin at my allotment (which I cycle to) so I can make my own compost instead of buying it.
The list of trying to do small things no doubt goes on. I’ll update it as I remember.
But if we ALL did lots of the small things, like buying loose veg, surely that sends the message to supermarkets to stop using plastic packaging, some local convenience stores are just horrendous and EVERYTHING in the fruit n veg section is wrapped in plastic. Let’s just stop shopping there.
A lot of it comes down to stopping giving in to our lazy genes and putting a little bit of effort in to be more organised and more aware of things we can do, no matter how small.
And none of us can be perfect, I’m certainly not perfect, because sometimes I need a holiday to the sun, or a cruise, or I can’t be bothered some days to make a lunch, or to go find loose veg, or to freeze yellow label fruit, or to walk or cycle instead of driving, but I try to as much as I can. Sometimes life stresses just take over and use up all your time and energy, but doing something no matter how small is better than nothing at all.
On World Health Day, and every day, just try and be aware of Our Planet Our Health.