Our health and the health of our planet are inextricably intertwined. When we take a walk in the woods or gaze at a natural scene, our stress levels decrease, and our mental health improves. When temperatures and humidity exceed certain thresholds, incidence of heatstroke and heat exhaustion skyrocket. When we consume fresh, whole foods and pure water, our physical health and energy improve. When air quality is compromised by pollution, cases of asthma flare up.
This first week in April is “National Public Health Week.” What better time to reflect on the close connections between sustaining ourselves and our planet? This year, the American Public Health Association is focusing one day of National Public Health Week specifically on environmental health.
APHA’s goals around environmental health include:
Reduce our collective carbon emissions footprint. Transition to renewable energies. Protect our natural resources and use evidence-based policy to protect our air, water and food. Support environmental health efforts that monitor our communities for risks and develop health-promoting interventions. Call for transportation planning that promotes walking, biking and public transit — it not only reduces climate-related emissions, but helps us all stay physically active.
Learn more about the importance of environmental health, and what you can do at http://www.nphw.org/nphw-2018/environmental-health.
The Metro Nashville Department of General Services’ Division of Sustainability and Socket, Nashville’s Sustainability Outlet work to make Metro buildings, grounds, and operations harmonious with our visitors’ and employees’ health and the environment. Our electric and alternative fuel vehicles, 21 LEED® certified buildings, and efforts to inspire sustainable practices at the office and home all support people’s health and the wellbeing of the planet.
Richard H. Fulton Campus, managed by Department of General Services
Ultimately, the saying “what goes around, comes around” proves true. By ensuring that our everyday actions are respectful of the world around us, by being conservative with our natural resources, and by treating the planet with kindness, we are helping build better health and wellness for all people.