by Ainsley Lawrence,
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder
We all know the importance of taking care of our planet – it’s the only place we can call home, and its condition heavily impacts both humans and animals.
Things like sun damage, air and water pollution, and chemicals in our food all have negative effects on our bodies. There are things that we’re able to change and even “control” when it comes to the health of the planet, but other things are nearly impossible to avoid.
On the other side of things, spending time in nature and feeling completely connected with the world around you can benefit your physical and mental health in many positive ways. The planet has a lot of potential dangers when it comes to our health and well-being – some even worse thanks to our own doing. However, there are a lot of good things we can take from it, too. Let’s look at some of the positive and negative effects the planet has on our bodies, and how together with science we can combat those negative effects.
The Pros of the Planet
It is widely known that nature is a great healer. The mental and physical health benefits of spending time outside and being immersed in natural surroundings are nearly endless. Some of the biggest health benefits of spending time in nature include:
- A better mood
- More energy
- Greater physical health
- Reduced stress
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
Being outside more often can also help you to appreciate your surroundings more. When you start to reduce your anxiety and stress, you’ll be more mindful of everything around you. Not only can that give you a greater sense of gratitude, but you’ll start to think more about how you can protect and preserve your surroundings.
We’re dealing with things like climate change, excess waste, and carbon emissions every day. If you haven’t thought about those issues or haven’t done anything to mitigate them, spend more time outside. When you start to experience the wonderful benefits the planet has to offer, you might be more motivated to preserve it.
Dealing With the Risks
Global warming is just one of the problems we face here on earth. There are some things that are out of our control, like sun exposure. However, you can mitigate that problem by wearing protective clothing and sunscreen.
Other issues, however, are often caused by man-made practices. Scientists have categorized earth as a “toxic planet,” suggesting that we’re exposed to thousands of chemicals with every breath we take. Things like air pollution can cause eye and lung problems, and be especially harmful to those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. According to the CDC, the effects of the climate on health include:
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Increased risk of respiratory disease
- Threats to mental health
- Premature deaths due to extreme weather events
These issues don’t just harm humans, but animals as well. Rising temperatures will eventually mean less food and lower rates of reproduction, negatively impacting our wildlife population. Warmer temperatures will also cause an increase in the pest population, disrupting the natural ecosystem and potentially damaging food supplies, as well as structures and materials. More pests like mosquitoes and ticks can also increase the spread of diseases like Lyme and malaria.
What Can You Do?
There’s no denying the importance of caring for the planet. While some things can’t be controlled, many of the harmful risks and potential problems we face are of our own doing. The good news? It’s not too late to turn back the clock on some of these issues.
It’s important to focus on the positive impact the planet can have on our minds and bodies, so we can take advantage of its healing properties rather than fearing the worst about things like climate change and air/water pollution.
So, what can you do to protect the planet and improve the positive impact it has on humans and animals?
Start by taking issues like climate change seriously. You can do your part at home by cutting back on traveling, eating less meat and dairy, and reducing your energy use. Try to produce as little waste as possible by recycling what you can and composting.
Most importantly, become an advocate for our planet. There are many groups and organizations dedicated to protecting the earth and all of its natural resources. Consider donating to the groups fighting global warming or those advocating for green initiatives. You might not think you can do much on your own, but if every person took the initiative to make some habitual changes, it would make a huge difference.
The things we do each day have an impact on the planet, which in turn impacts our health and well-being. Take time to appreciate everything the earth has to offer, and do what you can to combat some of the man-made issues we’ve contributed to that are making the planet more harmful to our health and our ecosystems.
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