Earth Day 2017 is on Saturday April 22nd.
Diet and exercise define our body shape and can determine our future health. To stay healthy, we think about what we eat or drink and take action on how much. Likewise the health of the Earth is determined by how we treat it – whether we feed it properly or starve it of resrouces; whether we work out or let it go flabby?
We can damage our bodies by overeating and also by undereating. We also damage the Earth if we strip it of the natural resources it needs to thrive – such as the Rainforests. If we continue to strip away the Rainforests at the current rate of 32 million acres per year we will increase the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere by 20% (according to figures from WWF).
Oceans are under threat from us feeding it with our pollution which not only affects the sealife but also enters the food chain and ultimately affects us. Global warming also affects the availability of fresh, clean water for human, animals and agriculture.
Coral reefs (the rainforests of the oceans) are critical marine habitats – but oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.
We exercise to keep our bodies functioning efficiently. The Earth needs protection from the Sun’s harmful ultra violet rays to carry on functioning efficiently. It is more than 20 years since scientists discovered a gaping hole in the ozone layer. The efforts made to ban or reduce harmful chemicals have initiated a gradaul recovery of this hole; but like exercise, once you stop it’s so easy to fall back into bad habits.
Finally, we all need sleep to stay healthy as a lack of sleep leads to fatigue, lowers your immunity making you more likely to develop diseases such as diabetes and heart problems. The Earth is increasingly fatigued as we drain it of resources without allowing it to replenish itself.
Overfishing of the oceans has a devastating impact not only on the supplies of food for us all but also on the economies of the coastal communities that depend upon this resource. We cannot continue to take more fish out of the ocean than can be replaced. We also cannot continue to ignore the Earth’s fatigue when we choose to use fossil fuels instead of exploring renewal energy sources.
We sustain our body by nurturing it and looking after it – and many of us take pride in doing so. Does not the planet that we live on and depend upon for our very existence deserve the same consideration?
We all have a part to play in this endeavour – just like the choices we make in our everyday lives have an impact on our own health – other choices we make have an impact on the health of the planet. You can choose to buy foods that have come from a sustainable source, or you can choose to reduce your use of plastic bottles and bags – simple steps and achievable. Just like going to the gym, you start off slowly and gradually build yourself up until staying healthy is a way of life and you can’t imagine ever living any other way.
Without a healthy Earth there isn’t a healthy anything!