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Public Health Wants You

April 7th marks the beginning of Public Health Week 2008. Since they began under Bill Clinton, PHWs have focused on issues like disaster relief, infrastructure, and eldercare. This year's campaign, themed "Climate Change: Our Health in Balance" is tackling the environment. A special partnership between the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) and the American Public Health Association is promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the health needs of the planet and its citizens. Planners included not just environmentalists, but leaders from public health, environmental science, faith-based and other community organizations--an increasingly common sight, as green activists realize that "the environment" refers to, er, everything.

This month you'll be seeing me blog more about the intersection between energy challenges and everyday needs, and ways in which less worrying about "global warming" can (counterintuitively) nudge Americans toward a healthier, more efficient future.

Kicking off this blog and this week, their recommendations: 

Monday: Be Prepared. Inform yourself about the health impacts of climate change and climate change issues facing your community, and take actions to prepare for possible emergencies.

Tuesday: Travel Differently. Leave the car at home one day, and take public transportation. Walk or bike, but if you need to drive, carpool – and telecommute if you can.

Wednesday: Eat Differently. Buy food from a community farmer’s market that doesn’t travel across the country to get to you. Eat more vegetables, and less meat 

Thursday: Green Your Work. Use recycled paper if you don’t already, and even if you do, print less often and on both sides of the paper. Set your computer to energy-saver mode and buy eco-friendly office furniture.

Friday: Green Your Home.  Seal and insulate your home and replace air filters frequently to cut costs and save energy. Reduce your use of wasteful products, and reuse or recycle the products you do use. Conserve water whenever possible. [My emphasis]

It's a slightly cheesy, literal "eat-your-vegetables" argument they're making here--but eat them! 

--Dayo Olopade