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Environmental wellness has been defined as a respect for nature and all species. However, I say we need to think less altruistically than that. Environmental wellness means taking care of ourselves right now and our children’s children. The state of the environment directly impacts us now!
We all know what our indoor environment should look like, smell like, and sound like in order to nurture us and promote a sense of well-being, but our outdoor environment is so much more important, as it has an even bigger impact on our lives, yet we are busy sweeping the dust (destruction) under the carpet pretending that it doesn’t exist.
As a single species, heading towards the 8 billion population mark, we are at the top of the food chain. Along with hyenas, wolves, big cats, some snakes and whale sharks, we are also given the status of being apex predators, meaning that no other animal preys upon us.
That being the case, how do we maintain an environment that is sustainable for ourselves in our large numbers, and is in harmony with all other creatures that must remain as part of a interconnected food web? Case in point, the decrease in bee population (https://www.scienceabc.com/nature/bee-extinction-means-end-humanity.html) as a result of using pesticides and the awareness that if they become extinct, so does 70% of our food which is pollinated by them.
As with all other areas of wellness, we cannot get better until we are made aware of the problem. For example, eating too much sweet food and carbs has the result of making us fat, which puts us at risk of heart disease. In the case of environmental wellness, we have to look at the problem first, check out the symptoms, see the results, and then think of personal ways we can contribute to a healthier environment.
If, for a moment, we ignore the many problems which stem as a result of people competing for land or status (war), we have 3 main problems that effect our environment wellness: food, waste, and energy.
Our perceptions of correct food coloration and what is ripe or unripe causes people in the food market to treat our food with chemicals – https://www.nowyouknowfacts.com/2015/04/oranges-arent-orange.html While such treatment increases the likelihood of food selling, are those chemicals really safe? Many people also worry about the long-term effects of using genetically modified foods.
Food as a resource
“To adequately feed more than nine billion people by 2050, the world must close a 70 percent gap between the amount of food produced today and that needed by mid-century. At the same time, to advance sustainable development, we must close this “food gap” in ways that enhance the livelihoods of poor farmers and reduce agriculture’s impact on the environment. Failure to address the environmental impacts would hamper food production in coming decades—through land degradation, water shortages, and adverse effects from climate change.” – https://www.wri.org/sites/default/files/wri13_report_4c_wrr_online.pdf
Food as waste
In other reports we learn that up to half of our food is dumped every year – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jan/10/half-world-food-waste. Whilst elsewhere, in some developing lands, people are starving to death.
Did you know that our trash doesn’t just go to landfill sites, it goes to the ocean as well? A study last year, for example, estimated the amount of floating trash to be 245,000 tons at most. Our ocean is full of toxic waste including industrial waste, sewage sludge, radioactive waste and dredging waste which contains harmful chemicals such as heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, and chromium, hydrocarbons such as heavy oils, nutrients including phosphorous and nitrogen, and organochlorines from pesticides. These chemicals destroy the flora and fauna in the ocean. The fish that do survive often test positive for chemicals such as mercury and plastic poisoning. As many humans eat fish, they too are poisoned by those same chemicals. Because of the water-food cycle, the health of our ocean has a direct impact upon our health.
For us to assume that the resources of oil turned into gas/petrol for traveling is finite, is simply not true. Fossil fuels take millions of years to create and we are fast running out. The US, not wishing to be dependent on the East for fuel, is now shaking the foundations of our countryside with fracking. This is just adding to pollution and the ozone problem which causes global warming, rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions.
As the need for transport vehicles and gas correlates to the increase in population, perhaps it is time to look into our big corporation’s archives and rediscover all the patented inventions for alternative energies that were squashed, in an effort to stem this tide of self-destruction. Humans are inventive creatures, but greed is their undoing. In any event, our environment belongs to each and every one of us. So individually and collectively, we must do our part to increase environmental wellness.
Three ways to increase Environmental Wellness:
- Volunteer with environmental organizations.
- Conserve resources by turning off unused lights, not leaving water running
Grow Your Food at Home
- Create a compost for food scraps
- Spend time outdoors working your garden and boost your vitamin D at the same time!
- Regrow food easily that you have consumed – https://www.diyncrafts.com/4732/repurpose/25-foods-can-re-grow-kitchen-scraps
- Make sure you recycle plastic bottles and cartons, and other materials, separately
- Reuse plastic bags for shopping
- Snip plastic 6 pack rings so that creatures in the ocean don’t get ensnared by them
- Stop junk mail
- Choose an online method of delivery of bank statements
- In your business use online methods of organization and records to reduce the need to use paper
- To prevent illness or disease from spreading, regularly wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap
- Keep your house and work area clean and uncluttered to prevent accidents
- Avoid first or second hand smoke
- Don’t litter on the streets
- Don’t use pesticides in your garden
- Keep your car in peak condition so that you use less gas/petrol. – https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/fuel-efficiency/how-to-maximize-fuel-economy#.Wl5TzTdG3IU
Holistic Health for Caregivers
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