The International Federation of Environmental Health has been observing September 26th as World Environmental Health Day for eight years now, beginning in 2011. Every year, a different theme is chosen to focus on. This year’s theme, in 2019, is “Climate change challenges, time for global environmental health to act in unison.” Considering the recent climate change strike and the worldwide crusade led by Greta Thunberg to fight climate change, this is an extremely relevant and topical focus. While the entire idea of climate change may feel overwhelming, there are small steps every individual can take to help keep the environment healthy and fight climate change.
Reduce Your Use of Pesticides and Chemicals
The chemicals you use for sanitizing, killing weeds and even spraying your hair can have a profound negative affect on the environment. While the CFCs in hairspray are notorious for ozone depletion, using pesticides and weed killers, even on a small scale, can alter your local ecosystem negatively. Killing too much of any single species in an area can be detrimental for biodiversity.
One of the”Three Rs” that we love so much! Recycling has become such an easy thing to do at this point, that it’s simply lazy not to. It takes all of a few seconds to correctly sort your glass, plastics, aluminum and paper from your rubbish, so just do it!
Eat/Grow Your Food Locally
The saying goes, “Think globally, act locally”, so it only makes sense to eat locally, as well. Consuming locally grown food cuts down on overall transportation costs, pesticides and preservatives. If you choose to go down the fruit and vegetable garden route, there are also a myriad of benefits to tending plants.
Sure, this is much easier said than done, but why not carpool when you can? Many places offer carpool lanes, rewarding those who carpool with faster transit. Taking advantage of public transport in metropolitan areas can also massively help to reduce the number of cars on the road and gas consumption.
Reduce Your Electricity and Gas Consumption
It’s likely the same stuff that your parents told you at a young age – turn off the light when you leave a room! Well, it doesn’t hurt to be mindful of your gas consumption as well. Think twice before you turn on the heater, and wash your clothes in cold or lukewarm, rather than hot, water.