THE HEALTH OF OUR PLANET IS ALSO OUR OWN
WHAT EVEN IS HEALTH?
Health is a very broad term. There have been many definitions throughout history, and those obsolete that consider it a mere absence of disease have long since been abandoned. The World Health Organization has expanded the term and defines it as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being – not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. It’s clear that health is a state that needs a holistic approach. We need well-being in all these spheres to be able to say we feel healthy.
HOW HEALTHY IS OUR PLANET?
As every year, April 7 marks World Health Day. The perspective is a bit different this year – it is marked under the slogan "Our planet, our health" which aims to raise awareness of the impact of a healthy environment on human well-being and health. The consequences of the pandemic, global pollution and the increase in chronic diseases have brought attention to various acts to preserve the health of humans and the planet. Because we don’t have another planet, nor can we replace our body with another one.
The polluted air we breathe, global warming and floods negatively affect our health. The wasteful management of clean water and the lack of hygienic conditions make it impossible for many to improve their living conditions. Materials that are not biodegradable negatively affect aquatic ecosystems, turning into microplastics which we then absorb into our bodies.
Modern agriculture and the food industry are one of the biggest polluters, leaving a huge carbon footprint. Fertilizers and pesticides that deplete fertile soils over the years are also part of the problem.
In short, our planet is in crisis. It’s time we help it, and by doing that, help ourselves.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
There are many things we can do to positively impact our own health and the health of the environment.
- We can pay attention to water consumption when showering or brushing our teeth.
- We can avoid using disposable plastic packaging.
- We can separate waste so that it can be recycled.
- We can turn off the lights when we’re not in the room or turn off electrical appliances if we’re not using them at that moment.
- We can change our diet and introduce organically grown food that is kind to our health and to the environment.
These may seem like minor things. For some, a huge effort. We often wonder if it’s really worth it. Can we as individuals really make a difference? We can – because there are almost 8 billion of us. Yes, systemic change is necessary – change must come from that direction as well. But that doesn't mean we can't make our "small" contribution. Let's think globally – the effort of one person will not solve the climate crisis, but the effort of millions can do a lot.
BACK TO OUR NATURE
Although our health and the state of the environment are interconnected, we must not forget about ourselves. Think about our own physical, mental, and social well-being. To help the planet, we must first feel healthy ourselves. Only in this state can we truly help others and the environment.
Although today is a day that emphasizes the importance of our own health and the state of the environment, it’s not a one-day mission. Because the more we care about our environment, the more we care about our own health.