Health and the environment

Opinion by: Kerri Wall a community health facilitator with Interior Health Authority.

Human health is connected to the environment.

We require specific conditions in order to thrive on our planet.

These include clean air, fresh water, food, fuel, protection from UV radiation and a relatively stable climate.

These conditions are known as ecological determinants of health.

When these determinants are threatened, our health is too.

Now you might be thinking, ‘That’s a no-brainer — everyone knows that,’ but, have you ever wondered how you as one individual can influence such large global issues?

I find it helps to think of two levels: personal health and global health.

Both are important and we can make changes that improve both levels either separately or simultaneously.

You could make a personal level health goal like walking for an hour on Saturday mornings with the dog.

Walking regularly is proven to reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

You could also make a global health goal, like moving closer to your place of work so that you don’t need to drive to work.

When you drive less often your fossil fuel consumption decreases and that helps improve air quality.

You can also combine personal and global goals for maximum impact.

Setting a goal like biking to work three days a week is good for your body, your wallet, and the planet.

We can start small and work our way up to larger actions.

Try buying honey from a local, environmentally-minded bee keeper instead of buying imported sweeteners.

Starting to compost at home helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Xeriscaping our properties reduces water usage.

We can also encourage larger change by advocating for policies and programs that help protect our environment such as initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

Big change starts with small steps.

Protecting our environment and our health is something we all can do.


Just Posted

Man caught in fatal avalanche ID’ed as Alberta man in his 20s

Outdoor guides warn against high winds in the mountains Family Day weekend

Road conditions for Feb. 14

More compact snow and slippery sections

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Cougars take bended knee for injured Osoyoos player

Vernon coach commends Barriere Cougars for showing respect to injured player

African Children’s Choir plays in cowboy country

Watoto Children’s Choir: Amazing

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read