World Health Day: How Our Health Is Tied To the Planet’s Health
As World Health Day draws closer, there is one thing that is glaringly obvious: our health is tied to the health of our planet. Serious collective action is needed if we’re going to see change. The bad news: global warming is causing catastrophic climate change. The good news: we live in a world full of technological innovations that can see us mould the current trajectory of the planet.
There is a global thirst for improved living. That ties into everything that this year’s World Health Day is focused on – clean air, clean water, clean food, and health equity. Celebrated each year on April 7th since 1950, the WHO (World Health Organisation) has been using World Health Day to raise awareness around issues affecting global health. As a planet and as a species, we are regrettably facing an uphill battle. We’re in the midst of an unfinished pandemic, our planet faces continual contamination, and we’re seeing the proliferation of ailments such as heart disease, asthma, and cancer. According to the WHO, over 13 million deaths occur each year as a result of stoppable environmental causes, and this includes the main most responsible antagonist of the lot – climate change. The climate crisis is the biggest threat we face as a global community and thus it is also a health crisis.
As the world continues to heat up…
According to the WHO, more than 90% of the global population ingests polluted air, a direct by-product of our reliance on fossil fuels. In addition, if people are breathing unclean air, so are the various species that populate our planet. A world that continues to heat up under the current global-industrial dispensation seeing land degradation and wildfires.
Secondary impacts abound, such as mosquitoes that spread disease further and faster than in the past and the type of water shortages that affect human health, forcing populations to uproot and seek vital resources elsewhere.
And then, of course, there’s the ugly cousin of climate change – plastic. It’s at the very depths of our oceans and at the peaks of our highest mountains. It’s even found its way into the air we breathe and the very blood that courses through our veins. Plastic enters our body through the food we consume and the air we breathe. In fact, a recent study conducted in the Netherlands revealed that of that of all the blood samples tested, almost 80% had plastic particles. In a study commissioned by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) back in 2019, it was revealed that UK residents eat a credit card’s worth of microplastics each week. Processed foods and drinks have been pushing up obesity numbers and with that, cancer and heart disease, not to mention a third of greenhouse gas emissions the world over.
What immediate action can you take?
It might sound a tad cliched, but it starts with us; it starts with you, and it starts in the home. For instance, by simply wearing a Cambridge Mask PRO, you can literally clean the air that your lungs ingest. We all need to breathe. While air pollution might be worse in some places than in others, and sometimes purely by way of geography, it is universal. Air pollution doesn’t stop at borders.
Our masks have been rigorously tested and certified to filter out 99% of pollution, viruses and bacteria. This means that by electing to mask up, you can do your immune system a world of good. After all, good health starts with the quality of air that you breathe. Our masks have already made an indelible mark on people with disabilities, auto immune issues, respiratory issues, lung cancer, chemotherapy patients and those who suffer from asthma and allergies. In addition, people use our masks in crowded spaces, for general commuting and even when doing rigorous activities such as cycling. In the current climate of living, the utility and the health benefits of a face mask have become blatantly obvious.
How can we combat climate change?
Masking aside, if we’re going to take our health seriously, it means we have to take the planet’s health seriously also. For many, reconciling the two concepts is a challenge, and that’s because we’re often so caught up in our own lives and our own processes, that it’s quite easy to overlook the health of mother nature. Throw in the fact that in today’s social and technological climate of living, we’re bombarded with constant distractions – emails, WhatsApp messages, advertisements on almost every website we peruse – and it becomes even tougher to focus on what is important and altruistic.
To address the issue on a broader scale though, what’s needed is action, long term action in the form of legislation, corporate reform action and incentivised action. An example of legislative action would be tax incentives to promote carbon capture technology and renewable energy sources. It all starts at the top; once government enacts these laws, corporate reform will follow, and then the products and services that adhere to sustainable practices. The public already has a thirst for more renewable forms of energy as well as goods, foods, and service that subscribe to greener methodologies. One of the biggest hurdles facing a more sustainable way of living is affordability, but once sustainable means start to proliferate our lives, the costs associated with it is sure to come down.
Climate change solutions
Climate change poses the most serious threat to the planet and us. The good news is that there are all kinds of solutions to the problems we face. Back in 2015 world leaders from 197 countries signed the Paris Agreement, a major treaty geared towards seeing these solutions put into practice. At the core of all climate change solutions is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the eradication of which must be achieved as soon as possible. Forests and oceans are the most vital regulators of our climate, thus increasing their natural abilities to ingest carbon dioxide can drastically curtail global warming.
Already there are reforestation programs like One Tree Planted who have planted 40 million trees in 43 countries. On average, one tree can absorb between 10 and 40kg of CO2 per year. This means that the trees already planted by One Tree Planted at full capacity will absorb anything between four hundred thousand and 1.6 million tons of CO2 per year. Cambridge Mask Co has entered into a partnership with this global reforestation organisation that sees one tree planted each time a full price PRO mask is sold.
Only consistent pressure from members of the public on government and businesses can eventually steer the course of this planet in the right direction. To effect real change requires a collective effort. At Cambridge Mask Co our dedication to providing people with clean air is matched by our dedication to see a greener future for everyone. Therefore, when you purchase just one of our masks, you’ll stop a staggering 170 single-use masks from going into landfills and the ocean, while also preventing 4kg of plastic waste. And as mentioned, every time one PRO mask gets sold, one tree gets planted. Let’s ALL work together towards a greener, cleaner future.