1000 Flowers for the Planet - #321 Look After Your Health
Your health is your responsibility, and nobody else’s. You decide what foods go into your mouth, whether you smoke, drink or take drugs, how much exercise you do and how often you consult a doctor for a check-up. But are you aware how much you can help the environment by simply being responsible for your own health?
Let’s look at what happens when you don’t: when you allow yourself to become unwell through bad diet or drug taking for example, you may require medical assistance. Hospitals use lots of resources, including many single use items that are sent to landfill. Bed linen has to be washed using lots of water and putting detergents into the environment. Tax payers’ money has to go towards funding the health system, and we have to pay for administrators to manage the finances and organise the types of facilities and clinics available to the public. Some areas of health receive more than others. Medication is used to make people feel better: chemicals which end up in the water system by either being eliminated from your body, or the disposal of unused drugs. But more than anything is the amount of landfill generated by surgery and infection control (e.g. single use gowns for visitors to infected patients or latex gloves used each time a doctor or nurse treats/touches a patient).
By looking after your health and staying out of hospital you can save the planet from a huge amount of landfill and chemical use. More importantly, though, you’ll lead a happier life being able to do all the things you truly enjoy, because the world really does have so much to offer you, particularly when you’re healthy enough to appreciate it.
[There are people who are unwell through no fault of their own, and to them I send my best wishes that you always receive the best of care through your health services.]