Your Health Can Save The Planet

Feb 23, 2012

I know this is a little outside my regular health and fitness topic but please give me a chance as health and the environment both relate very well. As some of you may know, I have a little girl (8 weeks old) and I would like her to grow up having all the benefits we had on this beautiful planet. I’ve also read so much into this topic over the last year that i feel the need to write about a solution that will make a big difference.

The earth is very much like the human body. It’s a complex system that interrelates with all other systems. The top soil feeds the plants, the plants feed the animals and we consume the animals and the plants. But even further than that are all the other systems that support this process like the millions of microorganisms in the soil, the bugs, the rocks, the birds, the sun, the moon, the stars and much, much more.

All this to say that if you mess with one system it throws other systems off balance, the same way that if you are deficient in some nutrients, it will effect your neurotransmitters that then affect the hormones that then affect all sorts of other systems from the digestive track to the immune system.

The body really is a complex system just like the earth.

From my experience working at getting people healthy, one thing is for sure; Looking at a problem in isolation is not the solution. .

I like to look at things from a priority stand point. When I face problems I like to think of the 3 things we could do that would have the greatest impact? To even begin to tackle that question you must first have a good understanding of the complete earth as a whole to pin point what the biggest contributors to the problem are.

We have many problems contributing to the damaging of the earth right now, at the top of the list is the fact that we are over populated for the current structure of living which leads us to more people using more energy to live (buying stuff), eat and move around. The problem with changing structures is that our current structure is built on financial profit which creates resistance to switching structures. (For more on this check out the documentary “Future by design”).

So what are the 3 main priorities that are damaging the earth the most?

  1. The source of electricity consumption
  2. The use of gasoline for transportation
  3. Agriculture and large scale farming

Electricity consumption

What can we do about it?

This one is the one that bugs me the most because it’s the biggest contributor and the one that I find the hardest to adopt myself. Sure we can get energy saving light bulbs but is this really creating that much of an impact? We need to switch our energy source to a renewable energy source based on our living area. Tidal and wave energy if you live close to the ocean, wind if you live in open fields and solar or GEO thermal in suburban area’s etc.

Here is an idea; What if we publicly display the energy consumption for all neighbors to see at the end of their driveway? I believe together we would
work on bringing our neighborhood number down.

The use of gasoline for transportation

What can we do about it?

Instead of driving your car to work why not start ridding your bike. Live too far? Move closer to where you work. Also buy local to in order to reduce the travel cost of our food that is shipped from all over the world.

Agriculture and large scale farming

Ever look outside the window when you’re in an airplane and see all those fields? Well for the past 10 000 years we have been farming this way and with the increase in population and their desire to consume more food. We expand these fields wider and wider to a point where all that we are left with is large open pesticide filled fields with dead soil with little to no regard for forests and trees which again effect other parts of the system like the insects and animals that go extincts and the deterioration of our top soil.

Most people I talk to love animals and think that the solution is to become vegetarian which increases the expansion of agriculture and cheap food production like soy, corn and wheat expanding more fields and destroying the forests and trees and their own bodies by consuming something they were never meant to consume in the first place.

What should we do about it?

Here is a very important idea. Why not grow your food vertically as oppose to horizontally?

It’s called permaculture and it’s what we did before we started agriculture 10 000 years ago. Permaculture is about growing your own nutrition forest filled with vegetable, nuts, herbs, seeds and fruit and you don’t need much space to grow it since you are building it vertically with trees, bushes, shrubs flowers etc. You can then buy pasture raised, grass fed beef and free range chicken from your local farmer.

This strategy really resonates with me because it’s not only the best way to improve your health it’s also a renewable food source that reduces emissions with a great incentive to grow nature as oppose to destroying it. To find out more watch this documentary called: Farm for the Future.

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