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Climate Change, what’s happening and how it’s impacting our health.

The hotter summers (and winters for that matter), the rising sea levels and the loss of polar ice sheets are all the changes we are seeing in the world’s climate. The biggest contributor to this atmospheric change is CO2 emissions. The concentration of CO2 has risen by 40% and is now being absorbed by our oceans.

Without action or intervention our greenhouse emissions will continue to rise and so too will the earth’s temperature. This brings extreme weather changes such as droughts, more storms, severe hurricanes and heatwaves. These changes negatively impact minority groups and developing nations more so than the developed. Unfortunately it’s the “privileged” that are contributing most to this climate change

 

How this impacts our health?

Our health is greatly linked to the health of our planet. Without nutritious soil, fresh water and clean air we can not expect to thrive.

The persistent heat waves and worsening of the air quality increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and exacerbates asthma. Allergies too are being experienced earlier and earlier each year, this being attributed to the change in weather.  The weather extremes such as floods and extreme storms are causing greater home displacement. Which can affect the mental health of so many families inflicted.

Our food supply is being exposed to greater levels of chemicals. This means so are we. For example seafood now contains higher concentrations of mercury. Exposing us to this heavy metal. The carbon dioxide in the air is reducing the amount of essential amino acids and minerals in staple crops, rendering us more susceptible to nutritional deficiencies. Not to mention that floods and droughts can completely curtail our food supply, remember when we had no bananas?

 

What can we do about it?

Although this seems all doom and gloom there are steps we can take as an individual to help combat climate change.

 

  1. Get on your bike

Or on your feet. Make a challenge of using your car as little as possible. That 5 minute drive to the shops you can probably walk that. Plus riding bikes are totally on trend these days.

 

  1. Use what you can and waste less

The more we buy, the more we make, the more emissions go into the air. Reuse old jars as containers, wear clothes till they have holes in them and try and eat the stalks of your broccoli.

Check out this interview with a zero-waste blogger for tips on wasting less

  1. Go plant based

This doesn’t mean you have to go strictly vegan. Just base your meals around more vegetables and less industrialised meat. When eating animal products choose from smaller local farms where the animals are grass-fed, raised humanely and produce much less CO2 emissions.

 

  1. Unplug and switch off

Make sure you switch off all your lights as well as the switches on your wall. Ditch your dryer and hang dry your clothes. Layer up and use your heater less.

 

  1. Make your vote count

Your vote matters; put your vote towards a government and leaders that are advocating for the environment. Actually taking action to put a stop to climate change.


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