A Practical Guide for Physicians and Health Care Workers to Reduce Their Carbon Footprint in Daily Clinical Work

With Earth Overshoot Day having recently passed, there is no space for complacency regarding taking care of our planet. On August 2, 2017, humanity used nature’s resource budget for the entire year. For decades, we have lived far beyond our means by overexploiting natural resources and spewing pollution, such as microplastics and industrial chemicals, into our environment. On the other hand, public awareness of human-induced climate change has also increased since the 1980s. The frequent media coverage about extreme weather conditions and natural disasters, such as Hurricane Irma in 2017, serves as an important reminder that anthropogenic climate change is happening now. Adverse health conditions associated with climate change include an increased prevalence of diseases and disorders. Although we all contribute to this development, as physicians we also have the privileged duty to protect global human health. Therefore, we should make every effort to cut down our own carbon footprint and adapt a more sustainable lifestyle. The aim of this commentary is to provide feasible tips and strategies to effectively reduce one’s individual carbon footprint, with a special focus on daily clinical and hospital work. Not only are these strategies easy to implement in daily clinical routine, but most of them are associated with important health benefits.

Author: Storz MA. ; Full Source: The Permanente Journal. 2018 Mar 12;22. doi: 10.7812/TPP/17-145.

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