Why Sustainable Health and Wellness Matter
Related to environmental sustainability, air pollution is one of the main factors negatively impacting human health. Most human inputs of air pollutants are in urban and industrial areas where people, cars, and factories are most highly concentrated. Chemicals emitted from power plants and refineries such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxides mix with other elements in the air to form acid rain. This is harmful to human health and further acidifies agricultural land and oceans. This decreases plant productivity by leaching essential nutrients from the soil. Leaching metals from the soil such as mercury and lead then flow into our water supply and accumulate in fish and the animals that eat them, including humans. Building a sustainable future brings along many health benefits from reduced disease prevalence from pollution to healthier lifestyles. Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels means less pollution spouted into the air and more active lifestyles as people switch up their transportation. Eating a more local, organically grown plant-based diet reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. There is a great sense of community that is created when people get together to clean up and garden at their schools and parks. Research shows that these group activities help with depression, anxiety, and raise self-esteem by creating support systems and giving purpose.
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