Relationship Between Personal and Environmental Health

published Mar 21, 2018
1 min read

Doing your part for environmental preservation and working toward a more sustainable community isn’t completely altruistic. Environmental activism is at its heart also a self-centered goal. As well as helping to preserve a future in which we can live comfortably, conscious environmental choices have more immediate positive effects on our personal health.

Renewable Energy

We tend to think of renewable energy as a community or country wide effort. With the advent of roof-installed solar panels, that began to change. Investing in solar energy became possible on a local and individual level.

Freeing one’s self from a power grid, at least partially, has more immediately noticeable benefits for physical and financial health. Reducing the load on your local power grid is more likely to help improve local air quality. On the financial side, it often requires a large investment up front for savings down the road, but homeowners can produce up to eighty percent of their energy themselves, making for significant annual cost reduction. In addition, many people enjoy the element of energy security they get by having a stand-alone system with batteries on site in case of emergency.

On a community level, the effects are compounded. Investing in renewable energy has the potential to create jobs, and improve the local air quality by reducing dependence on non-renewable energy sources.

Food Choice and Water Conservation

Fats aren’t necessarily bad for you, but a lot of nutrition advice mentions reducing intake of red meats in favor of lean options.

This is because high fat food has been connected to certain health conditions such as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and red meat has been connected with increased risk of colon cancer.

Bovine meat is also one of the biggest consumers of water, and is one of the best things to cut out of a diet in order to prioritize water conservation. Water consumption is becoming an increasingly important topic, especially in areas that were already prone to drought.

Choosing local, in-season food is also an important aspect of diet planning for people concerned about sustainability. It’s another factor that has both personal and potentially more far reaching consequences. Choosing local foods means supporting local farmers and small businesses, creating a healthier local economy. It also allows buyers to know more about where their food comes from, and what processes and chemicals farmers use in its production. This sort of information is great for personal health and peace of mind.

Local food also helps in the fight against global warming. Rising sea levels threaten to destroy many communities, and when up against an issue that large, it’s easy to feel powerless. Choices like the location of our food, however, can have a big impact. The further food has to travel to meet demand, the more emissions are produced by its delivery chain. A movement to prioritize local food, when undertaken as a community, can do more to reduce emissions than any single household’s individual efforts.

As renewable technology improves individuals are gaining more power to impact their own health and security. Environmental activism is just as much about personal health as environmental health, because the two are inseparable from one another.