Exploring the Relationship Between Environmental Care and Human Health

15 APRIL 2024

environmental care

Despite our vast socio-political, cultural, and individual differences, we all share one home. And just like any home, it is our responsibility to take care of Earth. 

Our failure to be good stewards of the environment leads to poverty, famine, extreme weather, war, human rights abuses, famine, and chronic medical illnesses.

This April, let’s set aside a brief moment to celebrate Earth Month. Let’s reflect on why it’s important to take care of the only home we have through measures like sustainability in healthcare.

About Earth Month and Environmental Care

Earth Month began as Earth Day, a humble grassroots movement that was established in 1970. Its agenda was so vital that the movement and its activities have since been extended to cover the entire month of April. 

Earth Day was inspired by Rachel Carson’s 1962 environmental novel entitled Silent Spring. It was also influenced by the 1969 Santa Barbara crude oil spill, an environmental disaster that affected nearly 800 square miles of ocean. 

These two factors prompted the founding of Earth Day and the largest single-day political demonstration. An estimated 20 million people attended its inaugural events on April 22, 1970.

Earth Day led to several notable environmental initiatives like the passage of landmark environmental laws, the inclusion of climate literacy in school curricula, and the Paris Agreement which called on nations to fight climate change and adapt. In the same year, the Environmental Protection Agency was born.

Important Environmental and Earth Month-Related Issues

Earth Month draws attention to pressing issues like climate change and the overproduction of carbon emissions.

The temperatures on the Earth’s surface are rising significantly, reaching levels that humankind last experienced 125,000 years ago. Climate change doesn’t just mean enduring minor discomfort. Humanitarian emergencies that threaten our very survival are also more likely to occur.

To ensure our future, we need to develop clean and renewable sources of energy that preserve the planet’s natural resources. Unfortunately, these resources are being consumed faster than they can be replenished because of the world’s growing population.

Earth Month also challenges us to live more sustainably, minimize our carbon footprint, and create a zero-carbon planet. It forces us to ask ourselves how we can travel, operate businesses, maintain healthy diets, and shop without harming the Earth.

Taking Care of the Planet Means Taking Care of Ourselves

When we take care of the environment, we help ensure our health and well-being. Degraded environments negatively affect our health in the following ways:

Chemical Safety 

Whether it’s through skincare products, electronics, or cleaning supplies, we come in contact with natural and man-made chemicals daily. 

If they aren’t properly managed, hazardous chemicals can cause major public health concerns. They lead to polluted environments as well as contaminated food and products.

Make sure you’re knowledgeable about the safe handling of chemicals to lower your risk of respiratory problems, neurological effects, and more. 

Clean Air

Did you know that pollution is associated with 6.7 million premature deaths annually? Caused by vehicle emissions, volcanic eruptions, industrial facilities and factories, wildfires, and more, it can usher in climate change which increases the risk of illnesses even among wealthy nations. 

When the air is riddled with pollutants, it can cause various short- and long-term health issues like nausea, headaches, lung cancer, weakened immune systems, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

By taking care of the environment, we can reduce pollution and make a positive impact. 

Nutritious Food

Today’s fruits and vegetables are less nutritious than the ones grown a few decades ago because of the decline in soil quality. However, there are methods to improve soil fertility which can lead to better yields. 

It’s also important to watch what we eat. High amounts of added sugar and fat can lead to health issues while certain food additives, like hydrazines in mushrooms, can have toxic and carcinogenic effects.

Food is directly related to health, so it’s important to draw attention to food adulteration and call for proper legislation, including policy changes that address the needs of vulnerable and susceptible populations. 

We must also highlight the impact of zoonotic diseases, illnesses that originate from animals. This type of sickness is responsible for 2.5 billion cases of human illness and 2.7 million human deaths globally.

Safe Water 

Water pollution is brought on by deforestation, radioactive waste, the use of chemicals in agriculture, and marine dumping. It has severe implications for human health and can ramp up the transmission of diseases like typhoid, diarrhea, and cholera. Unsafe sanitation and hygiene are the cause of death of 1,000 children under 5 every day. 

When commercial waste contaminates bodies of water, it can harm aquatic life through eutrophication and interfere with the food chain.

Since 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, it’s important to ensure environmental care through green agriculture, wastewater and stormwater management, air pollution prevention, and water conservation.


IMANA and Environmental Care 

IMANA believes that prevention is the only cure. Hence, raising awareness about sustainability is an important part of our agenda. Actionable knowledge is power when it comes to environmental care so we host seminars and social media events to encourage awareness and action. 

Beyond health promotion, we also alleviate the global burden of morbidity and mortality by encouraging green initiatives in hospital environments. 

We also launched an app to help users form healthier habits while staying true to their deen. 

Create a Healthier Planet With IMANA 

The Earth is our only home and the only planet capable of sustaining life. There is no plan B.

Since environmental and human health are intertwined, we need to eliminate pollution, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and ask governments to regulate natural resources. It’s also important to build resilience in communities and host discussions about the proper allocation of healthcare funding across demographics. 

Real change takes time, but the people affected by poor environments and man-made disasters need your help now. Donate or volunteer with IMANA. Help us make the world a better place.