Australia is one of the highest polluters per capita in the world. Small changes to everyday life can make a difference to this.
|Everyday Action for Climate Change|
|Car Travel||Reduced travel time. More efficient Car. http://www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au/GVGPublicUI/Home.aspx|
|Water Heating||Shorter showers. Wash clothes in cold water.|
|Electronic Appliances||Use electronic appliances less. Turn off switches at the wall to avoid electricity use in standby mode.|
|Heating and Cooling||Dress for the weather, so less temperature control is needed. Heat/cool only the rooms being used. Set to highest temperature tolerable for cooling and lowest temperature tolerable for heating.|
|Refrigeration||Keep fridge in cool place. Open the door as little as possible|
|Waste Production||Put up a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign. Use reusable shopping bags. Recycle Compost.|
As important as making changes on your own, is encouraging others to do the same, and informing them of the problems that climate change is causing and will cause in the future. This is something that can be done in the course of everyday life but also through events such as Earth Hour. Earth Hour is a movement that started in Sydney and has spread to over 162 countries since its beginning in 2007. It aims to get people involved in making changes to stop global warming, and to spread awareness of the issues. It involves everyone participating turning off all their lights for an hour on the chosen night. This year there has been a focus on the effects of climate change on the country’s farmers and food production.
To learn more about this event click on the links.
Earth Hour documentary about climate change and food production.
Changes to weather patterns and climate that affect crop production have huge effects on the livelihoods of farmers. This is another way climate change affects our health. Changes to income security, uncertainty about the future and mental health effects caused by climate change are social determinants of health, meaning they contribute to the overall health or lack of health of a person. To help farmers in Australia there are many organisations that take donations and provide support. Some also organise the direct selling of Australian produce to buyers, this means more money and business goes to the farmers, helping to ensuring their futures and the future of Australian food production.
Eating nutritious food is hugely important to health. The cost and availability of fresh, healthy food is affected by climate change. This is because of increased rates of drought and flood, changing spread of pests and increased water needs of plants. The increased cost and decreased availability of fresh food in areas of Australia, as mentioned in a previous post, affects the health of people living in these places because it increases rates of unhealthy eating. This increases biomedical risk factors, as well as social risk factors of disease such as economic pressure, mental stress and other determinants of health. For these reasons it is important to make an effort to eat healthily even in these circumstances. There are guides produced by the government and health conscious people that detail how to eat healthily and how to do it on a budget. Click on the links to read more.
https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/tips-budget-buying http://nutritionmattersdietitian.com.au/resources/ References
- The World Bank. CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita) [Internet]. Washington, DC (USA); 2015 [cited 2015 Apr 7]. Available from: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC/countries/1W-AU?display=default
- Conservation Volunteers. Action for Climate Change – Reduce your Carbon Emissions [Internet]. Victoria (Aus); 2011 [cited 2015 Apr 7]. Available from: http://www.conservationvolunteers.com.au/support-us/action-for-climate-change/individual/reduce
- Chapman L. Transport and climate change: a review. Journal of Transport Geography [Internet]. 2007 [cited 2015 Apr 7]; 15(5):354-367. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0966692306001207
- Gardner GT, Stern PC. The Short List: The most effective actions U.S. households can take to curb climate change. Environment [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2015 Apr 7]; 50(5):12-25. Available from: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.uwa.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=68f3d310-3052-4556-b88c-3b3b440b75b9%40sessionmgr115&vid=1&hid=116
- Menchik PL. Economic Status as a Determinant of Mortality Among Black and White Older Men: Does Poverty Kill?. Population Studies [Internet]. 1993 [cited 2015 Apr 8]; 47:427-436. Available from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.uwa.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=9678c95c-3788-4a8d-9780-ea194f6e544f%40sessionmgr4004&vid=1&hid=4104
- Fact Sheet: Healthy Diet [Internet]. Geneva, WHO; 2015 [cited 2015 Apr 8]. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs394/en/