Earthlings I am lucky enough to be at my Second Student Sustainability Summit lead by EAUC, People and Planet and NUS.
Being brought together, student with student we questioned:
Is there a link between health, well being and sustainability?
There is a link. However if only weak: we will for the two to merge. As people of our planet there increased need for insight and development in this area, willing for a sustainable future. We need to shape society, limiting ‘sacrifice zones’ where trends in air pollution and damage to the environment and our health are collated.
Climate change is an indirect impact to our health. Our natural environment. Extreme weather, I have found could cause up to an astounding 400,00 deaths per year: examples of these are draughts and hurricanes. I understand that this has affected people, however the astounding number is shocking. Alternatively, can we change this? This is the natural world, this puts into questions are our direct actions on the enviroment causing climate change?
Dull, and dark figures of a prediction: 38,000 elderly will die from heat exposure between 2030-2050 are quoted. But does this actually reflect any allowance for extraneous factors that further will impact? I am not saying heat exposure will not become more radical, and that if our body temperature is more than 38 degrees we will suffer from heat exhaustion, or if it 39 degrees there will be significant mental and physical capacity, however… I do not believe this figure represents the sole cause of some life’s end.
‘Climate change is not a disease, a disease is humanitys unhealthy dependence of fossil fuel’: Christina
Deviation of health is not just a result of climate change. This workshop initially focusing on the negative suggests air pollution causes 7 million deaths annually.
If we cycled for example this could lower fossil fuels created by cars, making our future more sustainable: air breathable. This could also impact our well being positively, if there is no car dominance causing environment deviation, our physical activity will no longer be facilitated by obesogenic environments.
We are moving towards a transition into a more sustainable and healthy planet. By focusing on students and young people this will impact behaviour change that may influence others as we are the people of the future.
At Bristol University the most amazing and newly renounced module for health students promote sustainability in general practice. This I believe is the most impactive. They engage with local GP’s and the local hospital promoting more of a Green Impact, e.g prescribing less drugs, and will socially prescribe a walk for example.
There is a link between health, well being and sustainability. There are impacts for mental and physical health. Lets take up gardening, bettering our enviroment, and increasing this physical activity and bettering mental health. There are so many opportunities that we have at our fingertips.
Marriage is needed. Not between partners as such, however between the interdisciplinary of sustainability and health. A strong link is needed to connect and relay the knowledge of suststainabilitys impact on health in order to ensure: healthy planet healthy people.