We only have one planet. Our health depends on it – like its health depends on us.

Written by RJ Heron: With everything going on in the world at the moment it is easy to feel helpless especially when it comes to things that are global; but the good news is that there is always something we can do. For World Health Day we celebrate being more sustainable as just one example of making a difference.

We only have one planet. Our health depends on it – like its health depends on us.

World Health Day

April 7th is World Health Day and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are championing the links between a healthy planet and a healthy population.

Climate change has been identified by WHO as the single biggest threat to humanity, making the climate crisis a health crisis. Reducing our impact on the environment is one way we can help tackle this problem.

WHO estimate that more than 13 million deaths around the globe are caused by avoidable environmental causes. This is a sobering figure and evidences that we all have a huge opportunity as a global community.

Why does climate change impact health?

As global average temperatures rise, disease transmitting insects such as mosquitoes have the ability to reproduce more successfully and travel further, leading to more widespread disease.

The pollinating season for plants, trees, crops and flowers is extended and hayfever sufferers are seeing their symptoms start sooner and end later in the year.

Extreme weather events such as heatwaves and flooding also hugely impact our health. A & E admissions spike during a heatwave as do monthly death statistics, Temperatures above or below the norm can make things like respiratory conditions worse. The links between our climate and our health are clear.

What can we do?

It doesn’t take World Health Day to take action on our carbon footprint but it is a good reason to make a start.

We have a responsibility to ensure that our planet is a safe place for us all to live healthy lives. Making small changes such as walking or cycling instead of driving is an easy win for your own health and your carbon footprint.

To help you make a change today take one of our pledges – click here and help make it a healthier world.