The health benefits of climate action

Climate action has many great benefits for our health. We can all take these actions to benefit our health and the health of the environment around us. Win-win!

 

Walking, cycling and other modes of active transport are fantastic ways to build exercise into your everyday routine.

Swapping your car for a bike or some runners is good for your health and good for our climate.

When vehicles burn fuel, they release dangerous air pollution, which makes many people sick and leads to premature deaths.

They also release greenhouse gases, which drive climate change. The fewer vehicles on the road, the better for our collective health.

Active transport not for you? Taking public transport is still better for your health, resulting in less stress.

We've been told forever that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is important for good health—but Australians aren't getting enough plants into their diets.

Swapping meat for vegetables and plant-based products is good for people's health, and also very good for our climate.

Animal products, particularly red meat, are more carbon-intensive than plant products.

An RMIT study found that 1kg of greenhouse gas emissions is emitted by producing about:

  • 5.8 kilograms of onions

  • 1 kilogram of lentils

  • 290 grams of eggs

  • 44 grams of Australian beef

Whether it's a bushwalk, a camping trip, a dip in the ocean or a stroll in your local park, being in nature is good for our minds.

Supporting our mental wellness and building resilience are especially crucial in the face of the climate crisis.

Eco-anxiety and climate grief can arise from grappling with the threat of climate change. Spending time in nature is one of many ways to support your mental health regarding climate change.

In the modern world, we can't always get into the great outdoors as often as we'd like.

Increasing green space in our homes can mimic the positive effects of nature.

Spend time in your backyard. Grow herbs on your balcony. Pay attention to the native birds out of your window. Tend to your indoor plants (carefully!)

"Just as doctors spoke up on the dangers of asbestos and tobacco in the past, we have a responsibility now to sound the alarm on the dangers of gas" - Dr Kate Charlesworth, CAHA member

Getting gas out of our homes is crucial for our health, particularly the health of children.

Gas cooktops have been linked to 12% of all childhood asthma cases in Australia.

Other examples of indoor gas use, such as unflued gas heaters in classrooms, also harm children’s health.

Replacing gas with green electricity is good for people's health and good for our climate.

Locally grown food is usually fresher, tastier and more nutritious. Buying local helps support our communities and make them more resilient. And it reduces the transport, packaging and chemicals required to feed people.

Unfortunately, locally grown or fresh food is sometimes inaccessible to people in "food deserts" or people of lower socioeconomic status. Climate change will make this worse.

In CAHA's framework, we call for governments and relevant sectors to address already-existing food insecurity in under-served communities to prevent further exacerbation of health inequities by the impacts of climate change (Recommendation 1.35).


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