I don't think it is a surprise to anyone that the health of your environment affects your personal health. We all know about environmental toxins creating cancer and other diseases. More people are becoming aware of herbicides and pesticides and the detrimental affects on human health, either through direct contact or ingesting it in food. Awareness is being raised around unnatural lighting, noise pollution, fracking, and much more.
But despite all this, it is surprisingly easy for people to take a "not my problem" attitude toward environmental issues. Maybe they live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Maybe they live in the country with wide open spaces and "untouched" land (there really is no such thing, but the illusion still exists). Maybe they just don't see the subtle but persistent ways environmental degradation affects their lives every day.
Maybe this is the primary problem for those of us in first world countries. We don't easily see the direct connections between environmental problems and our own health problems. We send our trash and toxins out into the world and don't see the backlash flowing back to us through the air, water, food supplies, economic systems, health system, stuff we buy for our homes, and more. We don't see how our choices to not care about the environment affects other people, which in turn affects us. The connections are easy to ignore if you don't want to see them.
However, even if we don't want to acknowledge it, the earth is a closed system. Everything that is created here stays here. Everything we purchase and throw out that doesn't decompose then persists as waste that can't be purged. Over time, this waste accumulates and affects the entire system, whether we are aware of it or not. So all those chemicals we create, buy, use, and throw away stay in the system. All that plastic we produce, use, and discard stays in the system. Even if it isn't in your backyard, it's still out there causing problems for the whole system. Problems that can't be fixed by ignoring them.
So for those of us who are far enough on our healing journey to think about these big picture issues, we need to start doing that. We need to start creating change. First by changing our own purchasing and use habits. Then by demanding bigger change from those who create and sell this stuff. Those of us who are healthy and wealthy enough to think about these things needs to start doing it for ourselves, for our kids who will inherit this mess, and for everyone too sick or too poor right now to deal with it themselves.
So environmental health, personal health, and social justice are all intertwined in my head. In this video I try to give some examples of how this plays out in the world and why you should think about sustainability. Check out the video and then scroll down for some more ideas and resources!
I'm going to be creating more content around the topics of sustainability and working toward environmental social justice. If you want to keep up with new resources coming out you can subscribe to this blog (scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up) or you can find me on Pinterest where I post my own work and curate other great resources I find. Follow me there!
This is the last video blog in this series about how your health is connected to everyone and everything around. If you want to see the first three videos, check out the links below.
And, as always, contact me with questions or comments through my website!