Environmental Health

What We Do Can Have Negative Effects on the Environment

We are a product of our environment and our environment is a product of us. This applies both locally and globally on micro and macro levels.

The bubonic plague ravaged Europe in the 14th century, killing an estimated 50 million people. The disease and its rapid spread has been directly attributed to unsanitary conditions such as lack of sewers, improper disposal of trash and ultimately, the improper burial of dead bodies and animals.

Tiny, almost invisible, fleas propagated the disease through an entire continent. Proof positive that small things can add up to create BIG problems.

Plastic Straws and the Environment

Was the disease caused by fleas? No. It was transmitted by them. The unsanitary conditions in the environment were the root cause, but, back then, the blame fell on the fleas and the rats that carried them.

Right now, there is a big movement to ban straws. I drink a smoothie every morning and I love how the use of a straw facilitates the ingestion of my delicious meal-in-a-cup, however, I have been using the same straw for almost the entire year.

I use it, rinse it in hot water, let it dry, and then store it in my utensil drawer in my kitchen. It takes me an extra five seconds every morning to do this, but I take pride in the fact that I’m not contributing to the estimated 500 million straws that Americans alone use on a daily basis.

That number is astronomical, especially considering it only takes one straw to pollute or to impale the nostril of a sea turtle.

A small green plant in dirt held in a woman's hands

Big Problems Call for Small Steps Forward

We are polluting our planet every day at an alarming pace. In the process, we are creating unprecedented environmental disasters; from the great Pacific garbage patch right down to the cells in our bodies that absorb toxicity from the air, water and chemical-laden foods that we ingest.

Florida is currently experiencing a toxic algae bloom, also known as red tide. This is a product of poor environmental management.

Runoff from farms and even residential fertilizers, among other human-related factors, are to blame. Water is the second most import element to life, right behind oxygen, and when we recklessly pollute both, we are flirting with a modern day epidemic of bubonic proportion.

adult holding sad face

So what can we do? It starts with you. Speak your mind and cast your vote with your shopping dollars. Buy eco-friendly, fair-trade and organic products whenever possible. Reward responsible companies that don’t pollute by buying their products.

Help stop pollution by not supporting companies that negatively impact our environment. Take the time to sort your trash and recycle. Pick up litter when you see it.

Your efforts will be rewarded with a cleaner environment that promotes better health for us all.

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