thegreenestdoctor

The best place for sustainable medical practice information.

Environmental Health Issues


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What IS “thegreenestdoctor”?

Inspiring blogs are everywhere. So why read this one? What makes “thegreenestdoctor,” any different than another blog on the internet? That question is two fold- it requires asking yourself two very important questions. Do you care about having a habitable planet to live on, and do you care about being healthy? Combining these two questions, we come up with one very important, yet sometimes neglected topic: environmental health.

Environmental health is a fairly new concept; so new, that it is not even defined in dictionaries (don’t believe us? try it for yourself). Whether or not it is defined though is not what is most important. In fact, not having a rigid definition makes this topic a widely questioned, yet important field to study. Environmental health is about the combination of climate change and environmental issues with personal health and wellbeing. To most, it can be thought of as the purest form of common sense: the health of the individual depends on the condition of the environment.

Environmental consulting groups are popping up all over the map to help individuals recognize the importance of environmental health. One up and coming company, Environmental Health and Engineering, recently published a study on air-quality in U.S. cities– ranking the top 10 U.S. cities with the cleanest air to give people a general understanding of how pure their air really is. Not surprisingly, none of the top 10 populated U.S. cities made the list, which is precisely why we need to start caring more about environmental health. We need to start promoting cleaner air in the cities that have the biggest populations, and movements like these just skim the surface of what encompasses mandating environmental health.

Consulting groups are not alone in trying to teach the public about environmental health. In fact, that is the purpose of “thegreenestdoctor”- to teach physicians and patients about what it means to be healthy in an environment that is constantly changing. Doctors are at the forefront of health, as they are trained to treat and cure patients of infection and disease. As the climate continues to change and our planet continues to warm, doctors will need to be constantly informed about plausible health conditions that will arise and how to best fix patients. Physicians will need to serve as environmental activists, in addition to health activists, as the two fields continue to merge.

So, why read this blog? For the well-being of patients, physicians will need to start incorporating environmental practices into their health clinics. Thegreenestdoctor will teach physicians how to do this, how to save money, and how to coin the phrase “thegreenestdoctor”. Encourage your doctors and encourage your friends, but keep in mind that your own personal efforts could indeed make the biggest impact of all.

Green-and-Healthy


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Why Green is the New Healthy

Why is green the new healthy?

Notions of health pop up all over food and drink labels. Terms like ‘low-fat’, ‘all natural’ and ‘low-carb’ show up on most food packaging. While eating right and staying fit has always been important, the newest healthy eating fads hardly address all of the key environmental health concerns.

Eating the right foods and getting exercise is one way to help prevent disease. Though environmental health is a huge concern, most people probably don’t understand the links between the environment in which we live and our health and the role that doctors can take in making the links between our environment and their patients’ health. It’s impossible to be healthy if we live in an unhealthy society, and doctors should take the lead in promoting healthier environments.

So what is environmental health? It’s the essence of the food you eat, the air you breathe and the water you drink. As we guzzle more and more fossil fuels and increase the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, not only are we warming the planet, but we are changing agriculture, polluting air and melting fresh bodies of water. As we try to become a healthier society by consuming the right foods and becoming more active, we are leaving out a key player in the “healthy” game. While eating right is a great start, promoting environmental health is also an essential component of health.  Eliminating environmental toxins such as lead and mercury and reducing carbon emissions to minimize climate change are as important for human health as a good diet and exercise plan.

Fortunately, making our environmental healthier is not a futuristic endeavor. Medical practitioners can make small but important changes to their office practices that are both green and healthy.  Our hope is that this blog will serve as a resource for anyone who works in a medical office- places of health-and wants to  help make it more sustainable. Physicians, nurses, and nurse-practitioners have been trained to cure the sick; this blog will help train them to create healing office practices, as well.

We hope that you will read along with us on our efforts to make office practices places of healing and wellness.  A healthy environment is as important as a healthy diet, so please join us on the pathway to becoming the clinician you can be.