Doing these 5 things improves your health AND helps care for the planet
07 April 2022
Healthy Pilipinas

We often forget how connected our health is with the state of our planet. Most of the time, we think of environmental issues as separate from our day-to-day lives. You’ve probably heard terms like ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’ yet don’t really see how they relate to your own health and well-being.

The reality is climate change directly affects all human lives and health. For us to be healthy, we require: clean air, safe drinking water, a supply of nutritious food, and safe shelter. But climate change threatens these essential ingredients to good health. That’s why it is one of the biggest health crises of today.

While it is an issue that needs large-scale and long-term action, as individuals, there are also small things we can do to help take care of the planet and, as a result, our own health as well.

Pay attention to these 5 areas and see which habits you can switch out for the healthier choice:

1. Transport
  • Instead of taking the car, can you try walking or biking to work at least once a week? You not only save on gas and lessen carbon emission, you also get your daily exercise in!
  • Can’t walk or bike? Try taking public transport instead
2. Energy
  • Are you saving energy by turning off electronics when not in use?
  • Are you prioritizing having "cool spaces" in the house with natural ventilation and shade (i.e., trees) over having air-conditioning units in all rooms?
  • Is there a way for you to switch to renewable energy at home? Houses can run electronics using power from the sun (solar), wind, or water (hydropower). See how yours can make the switch.
3. Nutrition
  • Are you buying local goods instead of imported ones?
  • Are you consuming more fresh products instead of highly processed food?
These not only support our local farmers, fishers, and small businesses, but also cut down on carbon footprint.

4. Healthy lifestyles
  • Are you a smoker? It might be time to quit because smoking pollutes and harms your health.
5. Consumption and shopping
  • Do you bring reusable bags, utensils, and tumblers when you go shopping?
  • Do you choose long-lasting products instead of disposable, non-recyclable ones?

Treating yourself to a nice day of shopping is always better when you’re doing it responsibly!

Making conscious choices for your health and the environment is a good start. You can also do more by using your voice to demand climate actions to protect your health. Support policies and initiatives that protect the environment rather than contribute to its destruction. Remember: our lives depend on the natural resources that our planet generously gives us. Let us not wait until it is too late to take action!