We are intricately connected to the world around us. This extends beyond our relationships with other people to include our connection with the water, air, earth, and every form of life with which we share the planet.

This isn’t a philosophy for “tree-huggers,” but a reality we all must face as healthy human beings.

How we view our interconnection with the Earth influences how we treat it and how seriously we take our responsibility as caregivers of the eco-systems we rely on. When we acknowledge how we are dependent on the Earth for good health, we will act for the mutual benefit of the world around us.

Clean Air

It will come as news to no one that we need clean air to breathe. It is why we live on this planet and not somewhere like Venus, where the atmosphere is 95% carbon dioxide and contains clouds of sulfuric acid. Anyone who has experienced the poor air quality resulting from a nearby wildfire will attest to how critical clean air is to health and well-being.

Breathing polluted air creates oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, leading to health issues like respiratory disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders. (1) Children are especially prone to the health effects of poor air quality and living near a major roadway causes higher rates of asthma. (2)

Healthy air is a basic human need and one we can be involved in protecting. Planting trees, buying from farms that practice sustainable agriculture, and driving our cars less are all ways we can protect the air around us.

Fresh, clean air is an essential ingredient for a better Earth

Pure Water

Fresh, unpolluted drinking water is essential for health and well-being. Polluted water kills 3.5 million people worldwide each year, more than the number of people killed by war or violence. (3)

Unsafe drinking water issues might seem like a faraway problem. However, hazardous compounds have been found in drinking water in every state in America. (4) With only 1% of the planet’s freshwater being available for drinking, keeping our water pure and safe is essential to health and survival.

To care for our water sources means being proactive to prevent waste and pollution. There are two areas where we can create change and improve our impact on water sources. These are the personal products we use that end up down the drain and our daily water usage practices.

A better planet starts with clean water for everyone.

Healthy Soil

Farmers and gardeners know the food you eat is only as good as the ground it came from. Healthy soil produces strong, healthy plants that nourish us. This soil also maintains the ability of the earth to produce food for future generations.

Current farming practices are responsible for eroding the soil and degrading the nutritional quality of our food. (5) Soil is a living thing that requires careful, sustainable management. We can improve the soil’s health by purchasing from farms that engage in organic and sustainable practices. We can also better care for the soil’s health on our own plots of land, however big or small.

A healthy Earth means healthy soil

A Sense of Place

This planet provides us shelter, food, water, and safety. These are all the ingredients that form the foundation for us to grow and flourish. It is also our place, both in the physical sense of being where we live as well as in the spiritual sense. We hold a place in the grand scheme of things, in the complex system of life on Earth.

Environmental degradation is known to have many adverse health effects. However, those aren’t the only impacts. Our mental health and well-being are also negatively affected by what we see happening to the world around us. (6)

This is our home, and when it suffers damage, the impact extends to us all. Caring for our environment means caring for ourselves and is an essential part of a life of wellness.