Every year on April 22nd, we celebrate Earth Day as a way to commemorate the conception of the environmental movement in 1970. Earth Day reminds us to take time to appreciate and celebrate our home planet and the many ways that it provides for us.
How Our Environment Impacts Our Health
The Earth’s natural biodiversity is essential for keeping us healthy. We rely on balanced ecosystems for the production of food, clean water, and to prevent global disasters or the spread of infectious diseases. We also need key plants to help us produce modern pharmaceuticals. A declining biodiversity means that any imbalance could ultimately wipe out that vital ecosystem and we would lose access to essential natural resources and food production abilities.
Water and air pollution are two other major global threats that can have a significant impact on our health. Air pollution is the number one environmental health risk. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that around 1 in 8 global deaths can be attributed to air pollution exposure; that’s over 7 million people annually. Likewise, when our waterways are polluted, it increases the risk for waterborne illnesses to spread and reduces the availability of clean water.
What You Can do to Make a Difference
The theme of the Earth Day 2021 is “Restore Our Earth” and there are many ways that you can get involved to promote a healthier environment. Here are just a few ways we can ensure that we return the favor to the planet that keeps us healthy.
- Take part in the Great Global Cleanup and pick up litter around your community. Try going for a walk or jog and pick up any trash along the way.
- Reduce your plastic consumption and avoid single-use plastic containers. Opt for greener solutions such as reusable bags and food storage containers.
- Shop sustainability. It can take hundreds of gallons of water just to produce one t-shirt. Shopping at thrift or second-hand stores is a great way to reduce your water footprint.
- Buy ethically-grown food from local farmers and co-ops which cuts back on greenhouse gases, fossil fuels, and air pollution by reducing the need to transport the food far.
If you’re interested in learning more, earthday.org is a great resource for all things Earth Day. First Care Clinics encourages you to consider the health of you and your loved ones and do your part this Earth Day to make a change.