HEALTHY PLANET, HEALTHY PEOPLE
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” ~ Jane Goodall
At Thrive Medical we are acutely aware of the importance to health of clean air and water, stable climates and biodiverse natural places.
Cairns is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
- Cairns is one of the lowest-lying cities in Australia. Rising sea levels, storm surge and more severe flooding all have the potential to cause significant infrastructure damage.
- Our economy is very dependent on the Great Barrier Reef for tourism and fishing. During the 2019/2020 summer the reef had its third mass bleaching event in five years.
- It is expected that tropical cyclones will occur less frequently but will be more severe.
- The Wet Tropics region comprises the world’s oldest living rainforests which support the highest level of biodiversity of any region in Australia. A warming climate poses many threats to already vulnerable species as we saw when the local population of spectacled flying-foxes was decimated in the heat wave of 2018.
- Increased temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns will affect agricultural production.
- The welfare of our indigenous population, both urban and remote, will be impacted in many ways, potentially widening the existing health divide.
Action on climate change has benefits beyond limiting global warming. These include:
- A more just, equitable and healthy world.
- Healthier bodies when we use active transport and eat less meat, dairy and processed food.
- Increases in jobs and economic prosperity from a growing renewable energy industry.
- Feeling a sense of a satisfaction, wellbeing and optimism from contributing positively to a safe climate.
We actually have all the technology and knowledge needed to make the required changes. And there is a lot of action already happening at local, state and federal levels, both in public and private spheres.
Our actions at Thrive Medical:
- Minimising energy use through energy efficient devices
- We obtain most of our energy from solar panels
- Waste reduction (use of electronic communications, sterilisable instruments, purchasing quality long life products where possible, saying no to freebies and promotional information)
- Composting of kitchen waste for use in our fruit garden
- Ethical purchasing
- Encouraging use of active transport when possible
- Engaging with other local medical practices to adapt similar policies
What you can do?
- Be informed. Learn as much as you can about what is happening.
- Use your voice. Talk to friends and workmates, lobby politicians and consider the environment when you vote. Use your consumer voice when making decisions. about purchases, banking and investments
- Travel responsibly. Use active transport where possible, share transport or use public transport
- Eat sustainably. Where possible buy local and seasonal produce (or grow your own!) and cook your own food. A plant-based diet has much lower environmental impact and is better for your health.
- Reduce your waste. Every product we buy has an environmental footprint.
- Be conscious about what you buy and where you buy it from. Consuming less will help you and our planet. Use your purchasing power to support positive change.
- Reduce electricity use by insulating your home, purchasing energy efficient appliances and switching off appliances and lights when not in use.
- Volunteer and donate. Get involved with your community.
- Spend time in nature. Grow a plant, go for bush walks, join a Landcare group.
These actions generally save money and many will improve your health too.
There are thousands of websites and many helpful films about climate change and living sustainably. Here are a few of them:
- Fight For Planet A: Our Climate Challenge
- TED Talk: Countdown - We can change climate change
- War on Waste (note) also lots of good info on ABC website
- Before the Flood
- Former US Vice President Al Gore - TED talk "THE CASE FOR OPTIMISM ON CLIMIATE CHANGE"
- Plastic Ocean
- Zero Waste by Bea Johnson TEDx Talk
Learning more about climate change can sometimes cause distress and despair. Try to focus on positive action and connect with others around you. If needed, talk to your doctor. We are all in this together!
"Tackling Climate Change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century" ~ 2nd Commission on Health and Climate Change, Lancet 2015.